Breaking down data barriers – Monnai interview

Wednesday 26 April 2023 07:55 CET | Editor: Vlad Macovei | Interview

In an interview with Monnai co-founder Pierre Demarche, he discusses the benefits of the company's data services for businesses in the US and its plans to expand into the APAC and LATAM regions.


Monnai's co-founder discusses the benefits of the company's data services for businesses in the US and its plans to expand into the APAC and LATAM regions.


Can you tell us about your current data services and how they benefit businesses in the US?

Businesses are typically facing the following challenges:

  • Financial organisations crave a mix of efficiency and simplicity to access powerful insights and analytics that can help them grow and manage risk.

  • Existing decisioning models need complementary tools and alternative data for better decisioning and modelling.

  • Businesses have different ways to use data and form opinions, there is however a common requirement for fast, easy, and flexible ingestion of new data capabilities.

This is where Monnai comes into play, providing a single source of truth for businesses across the entire customer and transaction lifecycle, from onboarding/KYC, fraud, and credit decisioning up to collections.

Monnai takes a horizontal cross-lifecycle approach, providing a holistic view of consumer transactions across silos and use cases. Leveraging multi-dimensional insights through the largest combination of alternate data sources (500+ Insights) including phone, email, device, location, identity, payment, income, employment, etc. The variety and depth of the data deliver more value to customers and can be used across more use cases, including Customer acquisition, Identity Verification, Trust, Credit Risk, and Collections Optimisation. Besides, Monnai's global infrastructure was built ‘default global’ to address international markets in a scalable way (technical architecture, data processing, data encryption, etc.) which also allows global US-based businesses to expand internationally through the same infrastructure.

Key benefits delivered to businesses:

  • Single point of integration and maintenance;

  • Cost efficiency and global scalability;

  • A high degree of data correlation and standardisation (no silos);

  • Improved data governance.

Whether it is to improve conversion at the top of the funnel or to reduce risk or delinquencies, there’s always a direct and tangible ROI which drives customer decisions to use our platform. Overall, our customers experience 99% detection of fraudulent identities, a 40% increase in approval rates, and a 40% reduction in default rate.


What motivated your company to consider expanding into APAC and Latam, and what are some of the challenges you anticipate in those regions?

These are mobile-first digital markets with a diverse set of demographics and a massive growth opportunity for increasing access to financial services. Unfortunately, in these markets, identity standards and customer data are fragmented, disparate, and evolving. This unstructured fragmentation is spread across telecom providers, emerging credit bureaus, 3rd party data providers, and financial institutions.

In a recent report on Digital Lending, Experian stated that fintech-led digital lending reached an inflexion point in India:

  • Access to data and technology will create a new level playing field between digital lenders and traditional lenders. Fintech-led digital lending will cross traditional lending by 2030.

  • The following 100 million customers will vastly differ in profile and expectations.

  • Fintech will have to invest significantly in fraud, risk, compliance, and credit solutions as the data ecosystem will likely explode.

At Monnai, we believe that these trends apply to fintech companies across Asia and Latam, looking to grow rapidly and operate efficiently. And as fintechs in these markets look to scale their business regionally, enable cross-border transactions or drive local efficiencies, they will also need access to ubiquitous and timely consumer insights, decisioning technology, and analytics to onboard the most profitable users, reduce fraud/compliance risks, and expand their business.

We started Monnai with a vision to capture this massive data and tech opportunity across Asia and Latam by delivering an AI-driven Consumer Insights Infrastructure servicing fintechs and consumer tech companies.


How do you plan to tailor your data services to meet the needs of businesses in APAC and Latam, and what strategies will you use to market your services in these regions?

Monnai’s vision to become the single source of truth for fintech decisioning globally requires building global by default. Whether customers are local, regional, or global they must have the ability to grow and expand with Monnai’s infrastructure ubiquitously and enable any cross-border transactions.

For that:

  • Monnai has built a default global cloud platform that is deployed in all its key markets. This allows for maintaining customers' data within each of the respective markets and complying with each local regulation and customer data requirement.

  • Monnai has invested significantly in data aggregation capabilities to automate the integration of new data sources in each market in less than 2 hours, which allow to create the largest data infrastructure available in each market.

  • Monnai has also developed the ability to roll out new cloud instances of the platforms within a week. This gives the ability to update the data flows (processing, storage, consent, encryption etc.) in a very agile way, in line with the evolving data and customer requirements, which is a key differentiator for Monnai to scale faster in local markets.

  • Monnai has built a global team distributed across each of its key markets to meet local business and customers’ requirements. With the latest Series A funding we’ve been hiring senior executives in markets who will further develop our local presence.


In terms of regulatory compliance, what measures does your company take to ensure that your data services are fully compliant with local laws and regulations in each country where you operate?

Monnai’s business model, platform, and processes have been designed at the core to cater for the evolution of regulations around data & privacy, leveraging the latest cloud and AI technologies. It is a key differentiator for Monnai as global initiatives around financial regulation, digital lending, data & privacy will further increase the need for new-age-enabling infrastructures like Monnai that can comply and adapt to the requirements while helping businesses navigate the inherent challenges and complexities.

In a nutshell:

1. Decentralised and localised platform architecture:

  • Monnai has built a default global cloud (agnostic) platform that is deployed in its key markets. This allows for maintaining customers' data within each of the respective markets and complying with each local regulation and customer data requirement.

  • We have also developed the ability to roll out new cloud instances of our platforms within a week. This allows the ability to update the data flows (processing, storage, consent, encryption etc.) in a very agile way and in line with the evolving data requirements. This also gives us a significant edge over legacy identity companies whose platforms are monolithic and centralised.

2. Compliant technology & processes:

  • Monnai is ISO 27001 certified in the different core markets which meet the needs of local and global customers.

  • All the necessary data storage, protection, and encryption mechanisms have been built by design into our processes and technology to be privacy compliant.

  • Through our processes and contracts, we ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR, CPPA, etc.

  • The platform is designed to operate in a tokenized and decentralized manner to neutralize the sensitivity around ‘Personal Identifiable Information’ (PII).


Finally, can you share any specific goals or targets your company has set for growth and expansion over the next 1-3 years, and what steps are you taking to achieve those targets?

Our goal is to become the single source of truth for businesses globally for fintech decisioning and expand the coverage of our consumer insight infrastructure to 90%+ of the population in each of our key markets across Asia and Latam. As a result, our focus and investments will be driven by these two key goals to further expand:

1. Our local presence in our key markets;

2. The technology and AI capabilities leveraging alternate data.

Please find a bit more details below regarding some of the key developments:

  • AI-based Decisioning Engine: We are developing new XAI features that will allow our models to provide granular and personalised reason codes to transactions vs proxy explanations. This will help financial institutions drive decisions in a better way as more transparent and predictive scores will be crucial with the changing consumer behaviour and complex data relationships. In addition, we are adding new complex modelling techniques for our decisioning engine including unsupervised ML which will further enhance the level of performance of the platform.

  • Rapid Data Integration: We have built an AI-based Low Code/No Code data ingestion engine enabling us to automate the integration of new data sources in under 2 hours. Improving data ingestion efficiencies by almost 20 times compared to legacy API integration methods. The Data Ingestion engine also leverages Natural Language Processing (NLP) models to aggregate and standardise unstructured data across multiple siloes. This is an industry first, and this results in the fastest data ingestion and expansion that customers can get in the market. With this capability, we are on track to add more than a hundred data sources in our platform that will feed the decisioning and AI model.

About Pierre Demarche 

Trained as an engineer in Belgium, Pierre has held many executive roles in technology businesses, across the globe. In 2021, together with co-founder Ravish Patel, Pierre co-founded Monnai a global consumer insight infrastructure start-up that enables fintechs to navigate efficiently the four key pillars of onboarding, trust and fraud risk, credit underwriting and collections, across emerging and developed markets.


About Monnai

Monnai is a global consumer insight infrastructure that enables fintechs to efficiently navigate four key pillars: onboarding, trust and fraud risk, credit underwriting and collections. By connecting disparate data, identity and network behaviour in a single API, Monnai's technology enables customers to grow rapidly and securely — anywhere in the world. Headquartered in San Francisco with a footprint across Asia, India, and Latin America, the company was founded in 2021 by Pierre Demarche and Ravish Patel. For additional information about Monnai, please visit

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Keywords: financial data, data aggregation, expansion, regulation, fintech
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Monnai
Countries: Asia, Latin America, United States
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech


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