Wire transfer fraud is a real burden for Financial teams and a common problem for businesses; according to a recent study conducted by Euler Hermes, it was the number one cause of cyber attack experienced by companies in 2020.
Invoice fraud happens when a scammer notifies a company that their supplier’s payment details have changed, they provide the company with alternative payment details in order to then reroute the payments into a different account. Funds are often transferred quickly and recovering the money from fraudulent accounts can be extremely difficult. Just a few fraudulent invoices can potentially cost a company thousands, if not millions in losses.
Baptiste Collot, Co-founder and CEO of Trustpair, first became aware of the scale of the problem while working as Treasurer at a major French industrial group. Invoice fraud was a recurring pain and back then, the only available solution was to carry out time- consuming manual checks on supplier payment details. Errors were frequent with costly consequences. Baptiste knew that there had to be a more efficient way of making invoice payments safer. He decided that the answer lay with tech and data.
In 2017, with the help of co-founders Alexandre Gillier and Simon Elcham, and a host of fraud experts, cybersecurity and data engineers, Baptiste created an AI based platform capable of carrying out automatic checks to detect wire transfer fraud on thousands of supplier details.
In just a few minutes the platform’s algorithms scan a company’s payments files for anomalies such as abnormal amounts, duplicates, company holder doubt, fake invoices or wrong sort codes. If an anomaly is detected, Trustpair’s platform will send out an instant email, SMS or in-app notification to alert the company’s financial departments that there is a problem. The platform is also capable of analysing payment patterns to accurately detect suspicious behaviours whilst cross-checking with anonymous client data across a range of sectors and industries to avoid false alerts.
With Trustpair, companies can rest assured that they are paying the right amount to the right supplier at the right time. If the technology itself is somewhat complex, implementing it is simple. No technical set up is needed meaning that financial teams can devote their energy to their core jobs.
Trustpair is one of those solutions that when you think about it, it seems a little crazy that it didn’t see the light of day before 2017.
Bank transfer funds often involve sizable amounts and according to a recent report by JP Morgan, around 74% of organisations around the world experienced invoice fraud in 2020. Companies of all sizes and means can become victims, the $19 M invoice fraud that recently struck tech giant Amazon, is a case in point. For smaller businesses, the consequences can be devastating, even resulting in bankruptcy.
It’s not surprising therefore that Trustpair’s concept has been quick to catch on. In 2017, leveraging their networks of large companies (+€1OOM in turnover), the Trustpair founders signed their first major client. By 2019 the trio had convinced over thirty major French companies in all sectors, such as Air Liquide, Bolloré Group, Décathlon, Kering and Faurecia.
It therefore stood to reason that when Trustpair, already on Breega’s radar, was looking to raise a 4 million round to sustain their growth, we offered to back them. Breega Partner and Trustpair board member, Isabelle Gallo says:
“Trustpair provides financial departments with much needed security, productivity and quality of supplier data in real time. They are supporting financial departments in their digital transformation with a technology that is both simple and reliable. Their solution presents a big gain for companies of both time and money. Trustpair has made huge progress over the past few months. At Breega we’re really proud of what they are achieving and believe they’re on the right track to become European leaders in their field.”
Another two years on and Trustpair now has over 150 big name clients, and partnerships with global companies such as the international retail bank, Société Générale. Also, the software is now available on the multinational software corporation, SAP’s store .
Baptiste and his co-founders were drawn to Breega’s reputation as doers and liked the idea of having a close knit team of entrepreneurs to work alongside them.
“Breega has been invaluable in helping us to grow, providing us with advice and strategic support, thanks to Isabelle, and active operational support. Thanks to their HR team we have been able to hire key talents and structure our team as we scale . The rest of the Ops team are always close at hand when needed for day-to-day support”.
In just a few years, Trustpair has grown from a 10 person team to a 60 person business boasting a close to 4x annual growth rate – fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic which had digital payments (and entailed fraud risks) progressing by leaps and bounds.
So what’s next for fraud-fighting fintech? Baptiste says that with so many corporate partners in hand, Trustpair’s next step will be international. And once the pandemic is well and truly behind us, the scale-up has its sights set on conquering America. Trustpair’s ultimate goal is to enable all companies around the globe to benefit from safer and faster digital payments processes. That’s quite a challenge but with their traction and outstanding product, Breega believes the Trustpair team has got what it takes to get there. We’re excited to be accompanying them on their journey to become the leading global provider of anti wire-transfer fraud solutions.