Say Hi! To RedCompass Labs

16 June 2021
4 min read time

We have news! RedCompass is now RedCompass Labs.

What? Why? When? Don’t worry, it’s still us. It’s everything you (and we hope) loved about RedCompass, plus now, even more.

 

 

A few years ago, the world started to change, and then er… Covid-19 accelerated that change. Was it luck or foresight? As always, it was a bit of both, but three years ago we started on a journey from being a pure people company to people wrapped in tech, and now to tech wrapped by those same world-class consultants.

I know saying ‘world-class’ can sound either salesy or arrogant. I get it! I know that. But… I really believe they are. Let’s be honest, we didn’t grow to 100 people because our clients wanted a cheap body shop or because we had a billion-dollar global brand. No, RedCompass is only brought on board to work with the world’s largest banks because we are experts in what we do. We have to be world-class or we are nothing. #fact #science

We do payments – good and bad. We get the good ones to flow through regulatory systems, new schemes, and new products, and we identify the bad ones that affect people (especially the most vulnerable – the victims of modern slavery or child sexual exploitation) in the rivers of data flowing through the world’s financial systems.

So, what’s changed? Why the new name?

Well, three years ago after many hours at the whiteboard with our clients, it was clear the future was about achieving more with less. And the route to that was in the data. So, we built a labs team. We became a consultancy with labs that started developing tech to solve the problems our clients were challenging us with.

And boy, did they push us. They had big problems, less time and less money to solve them.

They wanted us to:

  • Test payments in new ways: (“We need zero defects, and it has to be cheaper and faster than current model manual test plus automation.” Yes, our Japanese banks say that! And mean it!)
  • Plan and deliver legacy-cloud hybrid platforms migrations: (“We need to start moving to the cloud, but we are tangled up in legacy. How do we get there? And we only have a regulatory budget to use.”)
  • Help accelerate fraud platform tuning and AML detection: (“How do we tune our systems to be more effective at stopping fraud and finding money laundering, AND get fewer false positives?”)
  • Help them stop their systems being used for modern slavery, human trafficking, and child sexual exploitation: (“Where do we start?”)

To achieve this, we needed our entire global consulting team in London, Warsaw, Singapore, and Tokyo. We needed their two decades of payments and financial crime brainpower. And we needed new skills. We hired not bodies but brains. We hired tech people with backgrounds in payments and government intelligence. We spent more long days and nights at the whiteboard and on calls. We explored blind alleys, shed a few tears, raised a few voices, but together we found a common vision.

It was in finding that common vision that our eyes opened to the fact that, somewhere along the road, we were no longer the RedCompass with a Labs team, but RedCompass Labs with world-class consulting.

Just take testing for an example.

We realised we were no longer using the smartest people to manually figure out what to test. Our smartest people were using AI and Machine Learning to profile entire payments production data sets to find functional and data variance including edge cases. We were no longer thinking about how to create test data, we were using profiled masked production data to test and, if needed, to generate synthetic data. Our team were running test cases less and less, and instead, they were deciphering analytics to determine Day-1 Readiness.

Tech, AI, Machine Learning, and Data Analytics are nothing without the smart people. We never forgot that. Often our tech, and the advantages to the client they bring, open the door, but it is our people who walk through it. Where armies of bodies used to tread, three analysts can now do in a week what a test team of 12 used to do in 12 weeks. But it is still about having those world-class consultants. If we don’t, we die.

Consultants still deliver the future of payments workshops and visions to the world’s top banks. While we will need these experts to understand how modern slavery and child sexual exploitation manage to hide in plain sight in our world’s financial systems. It is their knowledge, commitment, research, storytelling, problem-solving that brings change. And any change still needs experts in project and programme architecture and delivery. If you don’t have the smartest people, you will never untangle the spaghetti of change and never be able to leverage regulatory change budgets to use for innovation.

So today, although our name is changing, we continue to be an industry compass, advising and supporting, and delivering your most challenging projects. But as RedCompass Labs, we will continue to expand our investment, research, and development of game-changing tech to meet the financial world’s needs.

RedCompass Labs is for all financial institutions that need to become strategically more efficient, more innovative, and need to deliver that change, faster, better, and cheaper. Yes... all three!!

Our logo and name are changing (a little!), but the compass in RedCompass is not going anywhere. We are your reliable guide who will help you to navigate the hurdles of future of payments, ISO 20022, payments change, financial crime, operational resilience, and regulations. And we will use our heads, our hearts, and now our award-winning and game changing technology to help you do it!

So, now you see why we Say Hi! To RedCompass Labs, the best of RedCompass consulting powered by game changing data analytics technology, enhanced with AI and Machine learning.

 

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Tom Hewson

Written by Tom Hewson

Tom is the Senior Partner of RedCompass Labs. He has worked on business and IT transformation programmes, where he helped define strategic direction and implement change, managing relationships with board-level and senior management stakeholders and external vendors. Tom is results driven and focused on delivering change projects that are on time, on budget, and that exceed expectations.