Case study: Sonovate accelerates customer onboarding & credit decisions with OpenCorporates data

“Integrating the OpenCorporates API into Sonovate enables our customers to receive real-time invoice finance credit decisions and saves our risk team many hours when onboarding new customers”.

Bob Strudwick
CTO
Sonovate

Challenge

Sonovate is on a mission to reshape the future of work through its embedded payments and invoice factoring solutions. Focusing on recruitment agencies, consultancies and online work platforms who place freelancers and contractors, it has become a market leader by outmanoeuvring traditional financial institutions and providing a better customer experience. 

Companies typically utilise invoice factoring, where they borrow money against the amounts due from customers, to help manage their cashflow and scale up their business faster.

Having previously relied on manual processes to verify the foundational information about their customers, Sonovate’s product team realised the need for a solution they could integrate into their product to provide company data from around the world at scale.

Company data was needed to support critical business processes:

  • Customer onboarding
    Before onboarding a customer, Sonovate needs to carry out Know Your Customer (KYC) checks – which often start with verifying a company’s key details from the relevant company register. For companies registered outside the UK, Sonovate’s risk team previously had to manually consult the appropriate register each time – which slowed the process down.
  • Credit decisioning
    To enable fast invoice finance credit decisions for its customers, Sonovate also needs to verify key details about the companies their customers had received invoices from – which they wanted financing for. This was made difficult by the same manual process, and because when their customers upload data from their accounting system into Sonovate, the company names used rarely matched their respective legal company names.

Solution

Sonovate integrated the OpenCorporates API directly into their platform to help solve these challenges more efficiently by automating the collection of global company data.

Data received via the API is the first point of call when Sonovate’s risk team conducts the identification and verification (ID&V) stage of KYC for new customers.

Additionally, when customers add a new company to Sonovate that they want to receive invoice financing for, the platform calls on our API to identify the foundational details about them. If the company is successfully verified, then a discretionary credit limit is awarded. Further checks against other data sources are made if the customer then wants to extend that limit.

Sonovate selected OpenCorporates’ transparent company data for 3 main reasons:

  • Global coverage
    Having first assessed whether it was possible to integrate directly into company registers themselves, Sonovate’s product team identified OpenCorporates as the most efficient option to integrate global company data into their platform.

  • Data that’s easy to work with
    As OpenCorporates arranges the inconsistent data it collects from over 140 jurisdictions into a harmonised schema with open identifiers, it makes the data easy to integrate into Sonovate’s processes and speeds up their ability to improve their customer experience.
  • Access at scale via an API
    By ingesting data via the OpenCorporates API, Sonovate’s team or its customers can simply type a company’s name into their platform and relevant data is immediately retrieved.

Results

  • Quicker credit decisions & improved customer experience
    As Sonovate is able to more quickly verify the existence and foundational details about companies, their customers can receive real-time decisions on their applications for invoice financing – improving their customer experience.
  • Creates efficiencies for risk team during onboarding
    Sonovate’s risk team saves many hours when onboarding new customers by calling on company data via the API – instead of needing to manually look up each company in its respective company registry each time. Automating the collection of official company data to inform this ID&V stage of onboarding frees the team up to analyse and manage risk, rather than spending lots of time aggregating information.

  • Improved data quality
    As the official company data Sonovate now uses to power these critical processes is delivered via an API, it has improved the overall quality of the data in their systems – as standardised data is delivered automatically, rather than through manual processes.

About Sonovate

Sonovate provides embedded finance and payment solutions for the contingent workforce, serving recruitment businesses, consultancies and labour marketplaces that engage contractors and freelancers across the world.

Since it began funding organisations in 2014, Sonovate has lent over £2.75 billion to more than 3,300 businesses in 40 countries to ensure over 30,000 people are paid in full and on time for the services they provide.

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