Applicant name: ThetaRay
Applicant type: Private Company
Headquarter City: Hod Hasharon
Headquarter Country: Israel
Innovation Name: ThetaRay SONAR/div>
Innovation Type: Product
Category: Best in Class Compliance Solution
Status of Innovation: In-market
Innovation Active Since: 04/01/2020
Innovation Description: Digitized payments are playing a role in economic transformation of the world population with inclusive services. This innovation is being driven by the remittances market whose traditionally high prices are a major pain point for economic inclusion.
As fintechs and banks monitor trillions of transactions to fulfill regulatory requirements, doing the task manually using human labor is becoming impossible, especially with continuous increase at a rate of between 13% to 25% globally with emerging markets leading the growth especially in digital wallets.
The old approach would be to build a model and catch the bad guys based on past patterns of behavior. But this is not working anymore, as financial crime vectors can change in a matter of seconds.
ThetaRay’s AI and machine learning technology, a methodology called “artificial intelligence intuition,” uses proprietary unsupervised and semi-supervised machine learning algorithms that replace human bias. This empowers the system with an unmatched ability to recognize anomalies and find unknowns outside of normal behavior, compared with rules-based or supervised machine learning solutions.
The ThetaRay machine-learning (ML) methodology and algorithms are applied to dozens of risk indicators associated with financial crimes. This risk-based AI approach paints a clear picture for compliance teams and enables them to detect abnormal activity within large sets of data and to effectively calculate and pinpoint transactions indicating suspicious activities and prevent blocking and slowing down transactions of ordinary people.
ThetaRay’s ML process also provides insights on customer identity in cases with limited visibility where KYC information is lacking, creating risk profiles of non-customers and transparency across complex paths.
Using 19 patented algorithms, the system identifies abnormal customer or transactional behavior patterns which deviate from the expected or “normal” behaviors from an AML risk perspective. This enables the rapid discovery of both known and unknown money laundering threats, with a 99% reduction in false positives compared to rules-based solutions.
What was the inspiration for this innovation? Developed by world-renowned mathematicians, ThetaRay AI is based on 20 years of research by Prof. Ronald Coifman of Yale and Prof. Amir Averbuch of Tel Aviv University.
ThetaRay brings a transformational approach to big data analytics, isolating problems buried beneath big data and pinpointing opportunities concealed within traditional systems.
Allowing the data to lead to the abnormalities, instead of telling the system what to look for in a rules-only based method, ThetaRay’s AI can thereby detect new and unpredictable typologies, or “unknown-unknowns.”
Financial institutions find great benefit in the use of unsupervised machine learning to detect unknown financial crime typologies and significantly reduce the false positives associated with legacy, rules-based systems.
Who can benefit from your innovation most? The digital payments boom that took off globally during the pandemic is opening new access and lower costs for the unbanked to the world economy, providing opportunity for prosperity and financial empowerment. All people should be able to send and receive money under fair terms when they need it from and to anyplace on the globe.
The ThetaRay solution is helping payment providers move remittances at a fraction of the cost compared with the banking system.
Leading fintechs and banks are transforming their compliance today with ThetaRay. New customers that chose ThetaRay to open new money transfer corridors, expand risk coverage and improve compliance operations include Zeepay, NOW Moneyy, Payoneer, MFS Africa, Travelex Bank, and Mashreq Bank.
The ThetaRay solution therefore is helping reverse the trend by banks to de-risk to protect their channels from being a clearing house for potentially dirty money.
What are you most proud of about your innovation? New technologies using artificial intelligence for data analysis make it possible for banks to reduce their AML exposure without having to de-risk, which enables them to open the arteries of the banking system to all.
For FinTechs, the ThetaRay AI solution is, therefore, a game-changer offering two major benefits. First it serves as a value layer for FinTechs, PSPs and other financial institutions by opening doors to business and trusted relationships. Secondly, the solution doesn’t create a counterproductive situation by being a heavyweight requiring massive teams of compliance analysts that for fintechs would block and slow business.
Why do you think you should win this category? ThetaRay AI technology is enabling the growing number of payments service providers to facilitate low-cost cross-border payments and remittances, helping to bring billions of people better access to the world economy.
Full Name: Natalya Rahmany
Role: Marketing and Sales Operations Dierctor
Full Name: Nina Gilbert
Role: PR Manager
Full Name: Ranika Agarwal
Role: Sr. Marketing Manager
MFS Africa chooses ThetaRay