At the recent ITU World 2018 I cornered one of the founders of Intergreatme and asked him to share his story on why they started this much needed business and to explain how the system fundamentally worked and the benefits to law firms.
My question to Luke Warner was a quick but complex one: “Tell us the background story that initiated this business and how the system solves the problem it has identified.”
I had to have my wisdom teeth out and filling out the forms was a complete nightmare. Forms were needed for the dentist, the orthodontist, medical aid pre-approval and hospital pre-admission. What made matters worse, was that my bank account kept getting frozen because I didn’t have utility bills in my name to give them proof of residence.
I was working for a bank at the time and they had just recently been fined for non-compliance of RICA. So then the penny dropped, the customer has to fill out the forms and provide supporting documentation for KYC (FICA and RICA) regulations, the merchant needs to collect and verify all of these documents. I realised that this would be a great business model. So I left the bank and started my new business.
I met my business partner Dewalt Thiart at a Standard Bank incubator function and he was working on a similar project at the time. Instead of competing we decided to combine our efforts and launched what is known today as Integreatme.
In our first application approach we tackled the credit applications, where people needed to include FICA documents in their financial applications and then RICA for the telcos. Because the procurement process in these two industries was so long, we needed a solution that could adopt our technology and quickly, so we turned our initial efforts to automating visitor logbooks in office parks and buildings.
Today we have 13000 active users registered on the platform – a difficult and slower process than if we had partnered with our big clients to white label the solution, but we believe that us owning and controlling our client database is the best way to go, for us and our clients.
Our system allows you to handle your car license disc renewals – something which is a nightmare at a number of metro areas. This fits in nicely and proves our vision statement, which is “Never fill out a form again”.
Next week we will be launching our “Self Service Accounts for Businesses” which will allow any business to register with Intergreatme. They can then setup their account, request the fields they want from our client data and also the documents they will need – like the proof of residence. This will create a profile for their business and when people enter their office, a simple scan of the QR code, will upload the data and documents needed for the client take-on or application.
This will deliver a one tap/scan onboarding for businesses, something which up until now has been a real pain.
At the moment we are quite far down the line with MTN and Vodacom on them adopting our service for their standard take-on system, which will cater for the FICA and RICA requirements at the same time. Once this rolls out, just about all financially active South Africans will already be on the system, and business outside of these two big service providers will be able to use the data for their take-on forms.
Currently the charge per client take-on to law firms would be R100 ex VAT, a huge saving to the firm as they no longer need to do the FICA process and that would save them way more than R100 in labour costs. This R100 per FICA process is the standard price, if the law firm needs additional forms outside of the standard FICA set, they would need to pay extra per set of documents needed.
The trick to get ongoing “fresh” proof of residence documents is overcome by using the Intergreatme email account to receive online utility bills, which then get used as the latest copy of Proof of Residence.
The backend database is secure using strict end to end encryption and micro services, where the information is segmented and stored in separate databases. Also the only person who can change the data is the individual themselves. Not even the developers have access to the data on the system. The office has full access control and phones are not allowed in the verification room – this gives you an idea of how seriously we take security of people’s information. We spend a lot of money on security, we don’t have a choice to be honest.
To date Intergreatme has been funded by outside investors, as Luke says, “We are kindly financed through Friends, Families and Fools.”
Thank you Luke for spending time explaining the system to us, we look forward to the roll-out next week and seeing how well this system works for the law firms.
For more information contact Intergreatme with the details below: