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The World’s First Banking Platform On Web 3.0. – Fin Tech


Thinking outside the box is an ability that doesn’t come
easy to most people, and yet all people can reap the benefits of
someone’s ability to do so.

Richard Shearer is the Chief Executive Officer of RegTech
trailblazer, Tintra PLC a company listed in the exchanges of London
and New York. Tintra is an artificial intelligence led bank
removing the barriers of moving money between developed and
emerging markets

London, May 2022, and I’m meeting Richard at Tintra’s
headquarters in London,. Our conversation begins with a curious and
inevitable question: what sparks an ambitious endeavor such
as building something on technology that’s still
evolving
. “Financial
inclusivity”
is the answer and remains the answer
throughout our fascinating day-long conversation.

What does financial inclusivity even mean? The
ability to access funds regardless of your place of residence.
Richard’s ambition in achieving this, is as noble as it is
complex. A person’s place of
residence
from a due diligence perspective in the
context of bank account opening, can immediately classify them as
“low”, “medium” or “high” risk.
Inevitably though, the law’s meticulous “comb”
catches persons who may run entirely legitimate business
transactions and precludes them from opening and operating a
traditional bank account, from receiving funds or trading on the
latest available fintech and digital platforms. Financial
inclusivity and Richard’s ambition for Tintra is to
build technology that allows us to build a regulatory
framework that’s ad hominem -directed at you as an individual
with the rights that you deserve rather than lazy categorising by
nationality, social background or even more uncomfortable
signifiers.”

Tintra has long been making waves in the RegTech industry
developing and applying technology operating as a regulated
electronic money institution, across the world. It was partly this
and partly Richard’s longstanding experience leading
Tintra’s family office that demonstrated the power of
financial
exclusivity.

Soon into our conversation, Richard’s multi-cultural
upbringing takes center stage, and then his resolve to invest in
“financial inclusivity” becomes clearer.
Born and raised in Hong Kong by English parents, Richard was
exposed to and gradually grew up reconciling two very different
worlds. The East and the West. Who then, could better understand
the need to have financial inclusivity, than someone who’s
grown up facing cultural differences; circumstances that probably
equipped him with a unique skillset of understanding a dissimilar
person’s point of view.

When we discuss the topic of KYC procedures for a bank account
opening, the conversation flourishes into an ambition of seeing the
world in 80-days just like Jules Verne imagined it. At Tintra’s
headquarters in London there’s a world map with all the
locations where Tintra offices exist or are in the process of being
opened.

Did you know, that in a place like Nigeria the highest
proof of identity isn’t the passport copy as you’d expect
in the UK, but a document akin to a labour card. Everyone has a
labour card but not everyone has a passport. How could then a
resident of Nigeria be able to open a basic bank account, if his
proof of identity cannot be recognized so it is not
accepted?”
Richard asks.

It is reported that a cyber verification of identity would
enable heavily unbanked nations such as African nations join the
global economy by more than 60% of their total population. So how
do you build software that can identify and distinguish between
rogue applicants? Tintra’s answer lies in artificial
intelligence and more specifically in adaptable algorithms that
remove human bias, according to Tintra’s lead software
engineer. It also, all depends on the data the algorithm is
provided with.

“What does the world’s first Web 3.0 banking
platform, look like?”
I ask. Web 3.0 is built on
distributed ledger technology (blockchain) with content created by
the user. How then, as a Fintech institution or banking platform do
you monitor the user’s information? In a steadfast answer,
Richard says “the answer is
always-on-KYC”.

Always-on-KYC” is extremely difficult to be
achieved, and it’s probably the reason Tintra invests and
collects several patents that secure its ability to build the
software that will provide this as well as financial inclusivity
-meaning a way to distinguish between rogue and eligible user’s
applying as close to objective standards as possible. Even if that
means, moving away from the traditional Western-biases inherent as
much in ourselves as they are in the law we apply when we collect
and evaluate know-your-client information. “The thing that
gets missed with blockchain is that if used correctly it has the
potential to be a much more reliable form of KYC than asking a
prospective client for information and having to trust in many
cases that they are being honest. This form of compliance allows us
to look backwards into a customer’s history for trend lines
that can assist the onboarding process. That is only part of the
solution though, it only reaches its full potential if
post-onboarding there is a move to always-on KYC
,” he
continues.

What about GDPR, AML and anti-bribery laws? How will the
software secure their application so that account opening and
payments remain legally compliant? The answer once more lies on
“always-on KYC
“. Thinking back to some of the latest
high profile financial scandals, like the Archegos Capital scandal
which cost Credit Suisse over USD 5,5 billion, it seems
Richard’s answer is one all financial institutions should be
striving for. Thinking about this recent scandal, or a very current
situation where persons are restricted from having access to their
bank accounts due to a geopolitical situation they have no control
over, it’s clear that Richard’s tapped into a serious
problem. And the solution he is currently working on, valued
possibly in the billions of US dollars, is urgently required.

In September 2022, the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus,
announced the issue of a tender for a digital on-boarding solution
for bank clients, as an initiative to speed-up banking operations.
In hindsight, our conversation with Richard and his “always-on
KYC” back in May, appears to be at the heart of a wider,
conversation between all key stakeholders.

As we reach the end of our conversation, I think of the
regulatory landscape lying ahead as Tintra strives to operate as a
digital bank on Web 3.0. But how does one apply or obtain a license
to operate on Web 3.0? “It is a decentralized
environment” Richard says, and we both agree that it’s
time for new laws to be passed which address companies’
abilities to transact almost exclusively online, using nothing but
digital currencies, and having contracts’ performance depend
almost exclusively on code.

“How do you see yourself as CEO of a company that’s
building pioneering technology?” Richard’s mindset is
down-to-earth, simply focused on solving a problem. On making
financial transactions frictionless and more accessible, ultimately
more inclusive. It then occurs to me that without him realizing,
he’s also working on bringing meaning back to “being in
business”.

Tintra PLC is a public company listed on the London and New York
stock exchanges. It is building a global, borderless banking
infrastructure to democratise payments for emerging markets, with a
current valuation in the private market at least at $100
million.

Richard Shearer spearheads the company’s initiative of
becoming the world’s first digital bank on Web 3.0.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.



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