New owner for CoorpID and Blacksmith KYC

16 January 2024 15:51 CET ... min read

Today it was announced that two ING-developed KYC platforms, CoorpID and Blacksmith KYChave been acquired by Encompass Corporation, a global provider of real-time digital Know Your Customer (KYC) profiles.

The acquisition enables Encompass to develop a market-leading platform that solves the critical challenge of identification and verification of corporate and institutional clients.

Both CoorpID and Blacksmith KYC are ING employee-initiated innovations. We caught up with their founders, Job den Hamer and Nynke Postma, to hear what the acquisition means for ING clients, and them personally.

New horizons: ING’s founders Nynke Postma from Blacksmith KYC and Job den Hamer from CoorpID.

How does this news feel for you personally?

Job: I am very proud of our entire team and everyone who contributed to building a solution that is solving a problem in the market. The acquisition of CoorpID by a worldwide market leader in the KYC area proves that our solution makes the KYC document gathering and outreach journeys of our customers much better.

It has always been our strategy to ‘spin-out’, and with the experience, knowledge and customer base of Encompass we can grow even faster. We have worked towards this goal in the last few years, and now that it’s finally happening, it is a great achievement. A massive milestone!

Nynke: Six years ago, I moved to Singapore for a six-month short-term assignment (STA). Never could I have imagined selling ‘my baby’ to a great industry player like Encompass. I’m proud of the Blacksmith team, the ‘cool kids of KYC’, who believed in the product and took a risk to embark on this journey together with me.

KYC is such an important topic for ING. Does anything change from the bank’s perspective?

Job: KYC remains one of the biggest focus areas for banks worldwide, and also for ING. With this acquisition, CoorpID will become part of Encompass’ product suite, which will continue to be a supplier to ING. Nothing will change in the short run for our clients or for ING. We will remain the outreach portal for ING Wholesale Banking clients.

Nynke: We will continue to serve ING as we did before, and even better. Encompass allows us to respond quickly to demands from the market and because our solutions are complementary, ING and other clients, will benefit from additional features on both platforms.

Does anything change for you?

Job: With the acquisition, Encompass is launching a Corporate Identity platform. To grow CoorpID (within and beyond ING) is an opportunity that I would like to pursue, and therefore I am joining Encompass! I’m looking forward to this journey. The only thing still on my to-do list is to find a new office.

Nynke: Now that Blacksmith has been acquired, my not-so-short-term assignment at ING in Singapore will come to an end! I have witnessed the full circle of being at the forefront of ING Labs Singapore when the doors opened in 2018 and also the lab closing in January 2023. It’s certainly going to be a change to be closing the doors of Blacksmith at ING for good.

How do you reflect on your ING innovation journey from an idea to a fully-fledged business with customers?

Job: CoorpID started as an idea within the Wholesale Banking Innovation team to help to improve the KYC burden of our clients, a very frustrating process for them. Due to the innovation methods that were put in place, we were able to consistently learn, adjust and improve our platform. Our solution was, from day one, developed in co-creation with 10 multinationals who constantly gave us feedback and promoted us in the market. This helped us to convince ING and other banks to start using our solution which we currently are rolling out in Europe and the US.

Nynke: A fun fact is that I came up with the idea of Blacksmith when relaxing by the pool during my STA! It was inspired by a solution that I’d built previously with ING in the Netherlands and the outcomes research we did across various banks. Going through the various stages of ING’s innovation methodology, learning from all our experiments, and pivoting, where needed, has helped us to reach the point where we are today. I’ve always said: ‘be stubborn in understanding your customer but keep an open mind with the solution’. Perseverance is also important. There have been many challenges on the way and occasionally I considered giving up but inspired by my team and sponsors from the business, we always managed our way forward.

What are you looking forward to most?

Job: To work in an international scale-up with ambitions to provide better solutions to the market and make an impact on the KYC frustrations that exist. Also, to expand our solution beyond KYC! The regulatory burden on clients continues to increase and we see possibilities in other areas including ‘know your supplier’ and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).

Nynke: Seeing my Blacksmith baby grow up and meeting lots of new people are the things that excite me the most. But I’m also excited about making the next step in my career.

Innovation at ING

ING’s innovative culture contributes significantly to a superior customer experience. Translating emerging trends and technologies into new business opportunities starts with the Group Strategy & Innovation (GS&I) . At the same time, we continuously work on incremental improvements to the customer experience within our core businesses, where we're closest to our customers.

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