Paulo Pereira is the Chief Business Development Officer of LOQR, since may 2020 and investor since its foundation. In addition of being a member of the management team, he is in charge of managing the areas of Business Strategy & Analysis, Business Development & Sales, and also, Marketing & Communication.
LOQR was recently recognized by Building Global Innovators as one of the 25 most promising scaleups in Portugal, it is distinguished for the second year as one of the top 30 Fintechs in Portugal in the Portugal Fintech Report 2020 and was recognized as one of the top 21 Regtech in the MEDICI and EY report. How important are these recognitions for LOQR?
For LOQR, these recognitions are very rewarding and reinforce the importance and the impact we have on the organizations that we work with, in the ecosystem, and in the society and, of course, also end up bringing us greater visibility.
How does LOQR faces this pandemic crisis and all the challenges related, since it is focused on digitalizing the processes of organizations, crucial at this stage?
With this pandemic crisis, the world had to quickly become even more digital.
In order to respond to the needs of its clients, LOQR had an increase of the volume of work and delivered solutions in record time, such as: homebanking recovery access, real-time consumer credit, remote bank account openings, among others.
We ended the past year with very satisfactory results, having attracted as many clients as in the previous five years.
We started 2021 focusing on the market and confident about the future. “Empowering Digital Lives” is our vision, the same one that we aim to achieve every single day.
At a time when there is an increasing need for digital products and services, what is the importance of digital identity?
In the past, our identity was validated in loco and we had to present our identity document at the branch.
What changes in this new more digital paradigm is that essentially the digital identity can be confirmed without the need of a face-to-face contact. Nowadays there is a validation through advanced OCR mechanisms and due diligence processes that exempt clients’ physical presence at the time of their authentication.
A simple example is the biometric validation, available on smartphones and in which the device is unlocked through facial recognition, using the device’s camera as an interface. Behind this apparently smooth process, there is a whole complexity based on algorithms that assure the security and the compliance of the digital identity verification process.
Opening a bank account is a good example of the importance of identity. Before we had to go to a branch, being the only way that an institution had to validate that I am who I say I am. Given this, the bank employee triggered the digital process in the bank’s systems, although I still had to sign a contract. What LOQR allows nowadays, with this digital identity verification, is to eliminate this step, which is the physical verification, allowing customers to do it conveniently, quickly, and safely anytime, anywhere, assuming that internet access is ensured.
What challenges arise from the fact that LOQR is present in several markets with different legal frameworks?
LOQR works mainly with banks, which fall into a highly regulated sector. Undoubtedly, there are challenges, but we have a strong compliance area that ensures legal understanding and LOQR’s platform supports in a fully compliant and secure way all the needed requirements of the legislation in force, in each of the markets we operate.
To reinforce the fact that we work with cutting-edge technology and vanguard solutions in terms of regulations it is worthy to note that our Chief Compliance Officer and co-founder is the President of the Portuguese Chamber of Notaries, a fact that gives a lot of confidence to our business partners.
LOQR is a company with a unique product, but not with a single product, right?
Right! LOQR offers a platform, with a set of products and services available.
We have products that make us unique in the market, but above all and what distinguishes our platform is the ability to manage the whole lifecycle of digital identities, through our one-stop-shop platform that provides turn-key solutions, something which allows organizations to have the necessary tools to create a truly integrated digital channel.
We are continually working on our products / services roadmap to enhance our solutions. The business partnerships we establish, based on trust and transparency allow us to be aligned and to anticipate some of our clients’ needs as well as to tailor our solutions to the needs of each organization.
If remotely opening a bank account, for example, the user takes a digital journey with two complementary solutions, supported by two products, VerifyID and SignID, but there are other journeys in which each product can be used separately.
From Felgueiras to the world, does LOQR feel the increased challenge, or do new information technologies allow to bridge distances?
LOQR has an enormous capacity to operate in teleworking regime. We were one of the first scaleups in Portugal that had 100% of the workforce working remotely, without our productivity being affected.
With our business partners, we were forced to replace face-to-face meetings by video calls, something that in modern times turns out to be more and more common due to globalization.
We deal with several stakeholders around the globe on a daily basis not feeling any major obstacles, since we use all the tools and software at our disposal to smooth this physical distance.
What we miss the most is the touch though, the hug, and being all together in our facilities, which we debuted in december 2019.
Where does LOQR aspire to be in five years?
We aim to be a FinTech Marketplace with a privileged position as of 2023, with our platform implemented in several banks, capitalizing the existing infrastructure and helping third parties to avoid the burden of integration and loss of time in long procurement processes. In numbers, LOQR’s ambition in five years is, we hope, to have a turnover of approximately ten times more, but it is clear that it depends on a set of endogenous and exogenous factors. This will go through a plan for greater investment in the internationalization of LOQR, after a cycle of internal growth that we consider to be increasingly robust, but also constantly evolving.
Paulo, if you had to define the LOQR in one sentence, which would it be?
LOQR is a factory of infinite ideas that aim to simplify the lives of the organizations and of the people, towards an increasingly digital society!