Refine Intelligence launched earlier this month with a $13 million seed funding round led by Glilot Capital Partners and Fin Capital with participation from SYN Ventures, Valley Ventures and other investors including Ground Up Ventures. The firm describes itself as “greenflagging” legitimate customer behavior by providing a clear picture of their life stories.
In a release, the company said most alerts are triggered by perfectly legitimate life stories such as selling a house, buying a used car, or paying tuition for an international student. Banks simply lack the context for these activities and devote many resources to investigating false alarms. Refine Intelligence provides critical context in real time to explain customers’ actions using digital inquiries where customers are asked about the source of funds, the nature of the activity and other crucial contextual information. They also employ an AI-trained proprietary data set of genuine customer activity patterns that can automatically recognize specific customer life stories.
“Banks used to have a superpower: knowing their customers’ life stories so they could provide personalized financial service,” said Refine Intelligence co-founder and CEO Uri Rivner. “With banking increasingly done online and a significant drop in face-to-face interactions, banks’ understanding of customer behavior is limited. Refine Intelligence restores that critical context, empowering banks to ‘catch the good guys’ – identify false alarms triggered by perfectly legitimate customer transactions, and focus their energy on actual dubious activity.”
Refine Intelligence’s first customer was Valley Bank, which saw such great outcomes that their venture capital arm, Valley Ventures, decided to invest in the company.
“After implementing Refine Intelligence’s solution, our AML inquiry process was cut from 16 days to two minutes,” said Valley Bank’s director of AML Chris Phillips. “This has freed up our team to spend less time on investigations and more time serving our customers. Using Refine Intelligence has enhanced our efficiency by streamlining the process of investigating and resolving AML alerts, and improving our customers’ satisfaction.”
The company said 64% of all AML alerts can be explained by buying or selling real estate; payment for cash-intensive jobs; giving or receiving gifts; buying or selling a vehicle or payment for construction expenses
“Money laundering is a persistent problem for banks to monitor, yet it lacks an effective automated solution to keep the issue in check,” said Glilot Capital Partner founder and managing partner Kobi Samboursky. “Refine Intelligence has developed a powerful solution that ensures efficiency through the innovative application of their AI technology. We are excited about the market opportunities ahead of Refine Intelligence and thrilled to join their mission to transform the financial fraud detection sector.”