Blog: How Pincvision evolved itself into a RegTech company
Welcome to the blog series in which the directors of Pincvision describe their view on current developments in the world of trade compliance. In blog #1: Regulatory Technology: the view of our CCO on RegTech Rob Holtslag (CCO) introduced you to the world of 'RegTech'. A major challenge for companies is to optimize administrative processes in a sustainable way. How do you develop (IT) systems that contain the latest legislation & regulations, but in which also the knowledge and experience from the heads of your employees are also integrated?
As a follow-up on blog #1, Edwin Kampshoff, CIO of Pincvision, gives you a look behind the scenes at the IT department of Pincvision. Read how we, as a RegTech company, have (continued to) develop our IT systems over the past few years in order to be able to (continue to) offer our customers the correct added value in the field of trade compliance outsourcing.
FROM KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO AN AUTOMATED SOLUTION
Our strategic decision for positioning as a RegTech company was made a few years ago and subsequently carried out step by step. Not only driven from a customer perspective, but also to create an optimal working environment for our employees who work with our systems on a daily basis. We integrate the knowledge and experience they gain in daily practice into our systems in order to automate as many steps as possible. This benefits the quality and speed of our own process, but ultimately it is of course all about providing our customers with services of the highest quality.
In my opinion RegTech is the ultimate combination of specialists who know everything in the field of trade compliance to the greatest extent combined with advanced IT solutions that improve and automate compliance processes using smart software concepts and algorithms. The challenge in our IT solutions lies in anticipating the constantly changing legislation and regulations in dozens of countries in the various areas of trade compliance. If VAT regulations in Poland are changing, environmental obligations regarding the classification of batteries in Canada are being tightened and if a new type of certificate is required for customs in Saudi Arabia, our solutions need to be able to deal with this efficiently and be adapted quickly.
The answer to this is the 'digital business technology platform' (source: Gartner, 2020). Pincvision is building its own digital business technology platform to facilitate all these challenges. This is not a ready-to-use product, but a continuous further development and integration of existing and new software components and concepts.
The 3 biggest challenges for a RegTech company are:
- How do I keep my systems up to date while facing changes in legislation and regulations?
- How do I transform Big Data into correct compliance data?
- How do I integrate quickly and flexibly with systems of customers, partners and authorities?
Below you can read how we at Pincvision deal with these challenges.
1. How do I keep my systems up to date while facing changes in legislation and regulations?
The role of specialists and data analysts is crucial in translating legislative changes into their impact on our clients. A change can have an impact on a specific country, a specific legal entity or, for example, on a number of products. To support this multiplicity of rules and complexity, our analysts work with an advanced business rule engine. Over the past few years, more than 4000+ rules and validations have been implemented in this engine, which are handled fully automatically at the push of a button.
Where specific attention from a subject specialist is required, these client transactions are provided with an indicator and offered to the subject specialist for review. This way of processing ensures an efficient and high-quality process. This component is part of ‘IT Systems’, which is part of our digital business technology platform. Does legislation change? Then we immediately adapt our rules and validations. This can be done by our own specialists, which means that this is arranged very quickly and the processes for all our customers are immediately handled in accordance with the new legislation.
2. How do I transform Big Data into correct compliance data?
A second challenge for Pincvision is that we receive and process large amounts of transaction data from many different customers. We need this data to process VAT, Environmental and Intrastat declarations for our customers, to request export documents or to provide services for customs-related matters. This is a typical Big Data issue: it means that we receive data from customers in large quantities (Volume), of various quality levels and in many different formats (Variation). The latter can vary from well-structured XML messages, CSV files, plain text, to PDF scans. There is also a difference in the speed with which the data has to be processed. Sometimes it concerns monthly or quarterly declarations, however it often concerns data with which a certificate has to be processed the same day (Velocity).
To solve these Big Data issues, Pincvision has developed a generic Compliance Data Model, derived from the World Customs Organization data model. In this 'Intelligence' part of the digital business technology platform, an intake is made on customer data via a generic process, transformations take place, the data is enriched where necessary and then processed into the desired format (declaration, certificate, report) and delivered to the authority, customer or partner.
All these steps are fully automated with real-time insight into the status and quality. We use the final 'compliance data set' for the submission of the various declarations and the preparation of export documents.
3. How do I integrate quickly and flexibly with systems of customers, partners and authorities?
Trade compliance covers an extraordinarily wide range of activities and associated knowledge. Pincvision is part of a larger 'trade compliance ecosystem' in which we need to be able to easily exchange data with other parties (API’s), such as authorities within various countries, Chambers of Commerce, but also specialized knowledge sources that validate online & real-time transactions or deliver certificates.
Integration with the trade compliance ecosystem is a challenge that is met with a concept where API’s can be easily designed, published and managed. Existing or new services can easily access external sources for information or functionality. It also allows customers to access compliance services from their own ERP that are not or inconveniently supported in their own ERP directly. These concepts and components are part of the 'Ecosystems' part of this platform.
How does Pincvision do this?
As mentioned before, Pincvision's digital business technology platform is constantly being further developed. Things like predictive analytics in combination with machine learning are on our roadmap. Technologically speaking, SaaS solutions have been chosen from the beginning, which are offered via the Microsoft Azure platform. This means that matters such as scalability, security and cost efficiency have been taken into account right from the start. To remain a leading player in the RegTech market, Pincvision will continue to invest in the ultimate combination of specialists and smart IT solutions.
Are your internal systems already prepared for the future of RegTech?
Read Blog #1 (CCO): Regulatory Technology: the view of our CCO on RegTech
Read Blog #3 (CEO): From entrepreneurial dream to RegTech company