Jewel Paymentech Puts Banks On Par With FinTechs

There’s one thing banks and FinTechs can agree on: Those old-fashioned merchant onboarding processes take way too long. But nimble FinTechs have been able to move much faster to address that compared to their lumbering legacy competitors, and that has often left traditional banks to watch as merchants turned to the FinTechs instead.

Singaporean startup Jewel Paymentech is on the banks’ side. The company offers real-time risk assessment of merchants who are looking for a traditional point-of-sale (POS) terminal, a mobile POS (mPOS) and other payments and eCommerce solutions.

Done the old-fashioned way, it can take four to six weeks for banks to review a merchant’s application. The merchant has to demonstrate why they need the terminal and submit to a risk assessment process. Jewel Paymentech aims to optimize that process using artificial intelligence (AI), putting banks on par with many of the FinTechs out there.

Automatic onboarding combined with web and social monitoring — two of Jewel’s core products — have proven a powerful risk assessment mix, since negative social comments can help predict the probability of chargebacks. For instance, if customers complain that they never received their products, then the merchant is probably not someone the bank wants in its portfolio. Jewel’s third core product is a fraud wall that enables the provider to shut down terminals if a fraud attack is detected.

CEO Sean Lam told PYMNTS that banks have no choice but to leverage AI technology when they are working with 10,000 or even 100,000 merchants at a time, and the banks are finally figuring that out.

“We are seeing market movement,” Lam said. “The biggest news in the region is that the old giants in the payments space are realizing they need to step up their game.”

The three major banks that own Singapore’s domestic payments networks are now rolling out the technology to take on small merchants, where previously they would have only accepted larger merchants, Lam said.