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Kani Payments Expert Interview – Liam Stephenson

9th December 2022

We spoke with Liam Stephenson about what he does at Kani Payments

Hi! Can you introduce yourself and share a little about your role at Kani Payments?

I’m Liam Stephenson, and I’m the UX Designer and Product Owner at Kani Payments.

 

The best way to describe my role is the middle ground between customers, senior management and developers. Firstly, we get feedback from customers about any issues or features they want to see in the platform. From there, I go to the senior management team, see what ideas they have, and decide what changes we want to push into the platform.

 

From there, I’ll design some mock-ups and explore different ideas with the team. We’ll start to develop what we call ‘stories’ for the developers, and organise sprint sessions, which are essentially two-week slots where we aim to implement a mix of new features, improvements and bug fixes. We’re constantly working on improving existing features and devising new ones that customers would love to see.

 

What inspired you to get into fintech and specifically to join Kani Payments?

Fintech is one of the largest growing business areas at the minute: there are so many companies already in that space, and so many more wanting to push into it. Kani is solving a really niche customer need with payment reconciliation. When you mention fintech, people tend to think of banking as there are so many companies doing that. It’s nice to come to a company which veers away from that and aims to solve a specific problem. Kani is at the forefront of reconciliation and I really believe we’re leading the way in this area. It’s really exciting to be part of the innovators taking that forward.

 

What does transaction reconciliation typically involve?

Depending on what the customer provides, it could include chargebacks or cardholder fees, but crucially, any data the customers want to bring in. We can accommodate those requests and make sure we support that in our system. Once we’ve pulled in the clients’ data, our reconciliation tool has numerous features, which we use to interpret that data. Clients get these huge datasets that can be really hard to understand. Our platform translates those into meaningful data to produce easy-to-read reports.

 

It’s all about simplifying data and presenting it in an easily understandable way. Layering on top of that, we then have the additional tools where we can manipulate that data to get meaningful outcomes. We can do different calculations, like taking off cardholder fees for example, and then reconcile the remaining data. Our automated reconciliation platform will not only balance client transactions each day, it will also instantly spot any errors or reconciliation breaks. When data sets don’t reconcile, out platform can notify team members automatically through the workflow system.

 

How is Kani Payments working with record matching to improve and reporting authentication?

With record matching, a key problem that we’re trying to solve is finding correlations in seemingly disparate datasets and being able to match those together. One of the features that we’re looking at right now is more experimental in terms of expanding beyond simple matches and trying processes like multi-matching. It’s about exploring the idea that if we choose one record, and we have thousands of other records, how can we start to associate those, especially when the fields become complex. That’s what we’re trying to do at the moment with our Splink record matching solution.

 

Splink is an experimental software, but it’s really intelligent in matching up those datasets. We’re starting to test that with our customer data sets and matching up thousands of records between them. From that tool, we can start producing reports in terms of the likeness across different datasets, and how likely they are to match up as well.

 

Going forward is where we’re going to see some really good use cases, with difficult datasets, and that’s what our new offerings are looking to solve. It’s one for the future. Watch this space!

 

What’s being done to further develop Kani Payments’ automation and workflow capabilities?

A couple of months back, we released the new workflow feature, which is integrated with our reconciliation platform. That’s a step further from what was called the ‘Rec Bot’ feature that we had initially. That was quite basic in setting up alerts on a particular reconciliation, and sending emails based on that. With this new workflow feature, clients can create multiple branches to make more elaborate automations. When some of our other features come in, such as the query builder module, we can start to add more complex functions. We’ve got like a really good foundation where we can start building up those additional features that customers want to see.

 

What is risk scoring and how will it benefit Kani’s clients?

This is another feature which is in development and coming soon. As we know, reconciliation is a lot of numbers which can, at times, be hard to decipher. In terms of risk scoring, we’re trying to highlight which transactions should be flagged to the team. Because everything is integrated across all our features, our risk scoring feature can start to pinpoint those higher risk transactions throughout. For example, if a certain transaction is from a particular country, or if it’s of a certain type, we’re giving users the power to decide how risky those transactions should appear. From that, we can start to flag those within the platform itself. The idea is that any transactions that customers see in the platform will give a risk score, and based on their preferences, they can be flagged to their team. The idea was to give clients a really easy way of identifying those risky transactions to make sure that they can action them as soon as possible.

 

How does Kani’s in-depth client support and customer service stand out compared to competitors?

It’s so easy for clients to contact us. Most companies have a Slack channel as well as Microsoft Teams. We’ve also just released our live chat feature on the platform that customers can access at anytime, ask questions / queries, and send requests for features. We also have our monthly emails, updating customers on what’s coming into the platform. They can also ask for a call with one of our customer success teams. We’re leading the way in terms of just how accessible we are, and we’re really quick to respond. Our customers are really happy with that!

 

Last question on additional services – are there any other features or services in the pipeline that either clients should be aware of or that you’re particularly excited by?

One of the main focuses that we have for the platform going forward is about giving more power to the customer, in terms of how the data is actually manipulated, and then how it’s transferred into the platform as well.

 

We have a couple of exciting features coming up. The first one is user-defined data, which allows clients to create and edit their datasets in the platform. Things like products, countries, currency codes, and other parameters at the minute are templated by us, and the customer has to work around us to fit to those moulds. When this feature gets pushed out, clients can choose how those are defined within the interface itself. If they want to choose a different currency code, they can go ahead and change that. If they want to add additional products, they can just jump in and apply that. Giving that flexibility to them is a huge bonus.

 

Another feature we’re looking at is the query builder, which will determine how the data is pushed into the platform. We can build up the query, and if clients find that they want to try and bring in a new type of report, they can drop in the components and link those up, then push that into the reconciliation platform themselves. Another feature giving power to the customer.

 

We’re also looking at a file feature, which is similar to the query builder but allows customers to accommodate new file types. Here they can drop in the components to make new file types available within the platform. It’s currently what we do for our customers on their behalf, but by giving them these tools, they can add these how and when they want, with our support layered on top of that to optimise the integration.

 

It’s easy for customers to think that we’re professionals, and we know exactly how to do it, but giving them these tools means they can go in and decide how their data flows into the platform, with our expertise on hand to elevate that.

 

Summing up?

I think it’s fun to see where that boundary can shift between Kani and its customers. We’re there to help them and give them the tools to get those insights. It’s definitely about the balancing act between the two to ultimately create a better experience for the end user. We’re taking the basics of reconciliation and going beyond, to connect the customer to their data, allowing them to take that journey themselves.