About Pleo

Pleo is a leading FinTech company that offers smart spending solutions for forward-thinking teams. Founded in Denmark, Pleo has established itself as a pioneer for payment cards and expense management software for businesses. Pleo is a high growth company, achieving unicorn status in May 2021, with a valuation of $1.7 billion USD. In 2020, the company’s revenue tripled to €22 million and their customer base increased to over 20,000 customers, from 3,500 in 2019. Pleo has also expanded its workforce from 150 employees in 2019 to more than 500 in 2021, and it has raised a total of $268 million in funding to date. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated Pleo’s growth due to the shift to remote work and the need for digital expense management solutions. Pleo's success can be attributed to their user-friendly platform, integration with popular accounting software, and a strong focus on customer service. They have expanded their product offerings, hired top talent, and formed partnerships with other fintech companies to scale rapidly. As Pleo grows, it is expected to continue to disrupt the traditional business expense management industry.

Challenge

Pleo's significant growth led to a notable increase in the volume of transactions managed, exceeding €1 billion in 2020. As a financial services company, Pleo is obligated to comply with the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive, which aims to combat money laundering and terrorist financing to contribute to global security, financial system integrity, and sustainable growth. This combination of growth and regulatory requirements prompted the company to seek an anti-money laundering (AML) solution that could effectively and scalably combat money laundering.

Pleo had an in-house AML system that was becoming inefficient as transaction volumes increased, raising concerns about scalability. The compliance team used external systems such as Jira and Excel spreadsheets to manage information from multiple sources, which resulted in a siloed and time-consuming process. Pleo required a solution that could grow with the company without compromising the security and integrity of its AML processes or impeding its innovative fintech nature.

Furthermore, the AML team was experiencing a 99.7% false positive rate, which became increasingly concerning as transaction volumes continued to rise. The compliance team was eager to transform its processes so that it could manage its caseload in a faster and smarter way. 

Solution

After an extensive evaluation of over 30 AML vendors, Pleo selected Lucinity as the best solution to meet its compliance needs. As a SaaS provider, Lucinity's products offer Pleo scalability, an integration-friendly modern API, and the ability to keep pace with Pleo's rapid growth. Lucinity's AI and behavioral detection-driven AML solution reduce false positives and minimize the number of cases that Pleo's compliance team must handle.

Pleo implemented all of Lucinity’s four core products. 

  • Transaction Monitoring helps Pleo leverage artificial intelligence to reduce the number of false positives
  • Case Manager consolidates Pleo’s AML data flows into one workboard view, driving greater efficiency and breaking down silos
  • Actor Intelligence enables Pleo to see each customer’s KYC information in a narrative context and share data outside of AML
  • SAR Manager allows Pleo to manage SARs more efficiently, including reducing the review and filing process from four hours per report down to minutes with intuitive previews, easier editing, and straight-through filing

Benefits of Lucinity

AML for the modern FinTech

Lucinity shares Pleo's vision for progressive and smart solutions for forward-thinking customers

Central compliance hub

Lucinity’s collaborative approach and integration-friendly infrastructure adapts and scales with Pleo's needs

Open design

Lucinity integrates into the Danish Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and enables more efficient SAR management

Process

During the process, Lucinity provided an unparalleled experience that facilitated successful product implementation and adoption. 

  • Sandbox Environment: Lucinity’s unique sandbox environment called Play Now offered an opportunity for Pleo to test out Lucinity’s product fit before the procurement process, and gave insight into the efficiencies Pleo could gain by using Lucinity. 
  • Process Mapping and Requirements Gathering: Lucinity invited relevant stakeholders from Pleo to an in-person workshop in Iceland to map out current and desired processes, gather compliance requirements, and gain insight into Pleo's pain points, technical nuances, and integration requirements. 
  • Project Team Norms: Throughout implementation and training, Pleo and Lucinity worked together in a highly collaborative manner, with shared missions, open communication, collaboration, and agility being critical success factors. Both teams demonstrated a high level of empathy and created a psychologically safe space for concerns to be raised. 
  • Sustainment: Lucinity continues to offer ongoing support to Pleo's team, addressing any issues that may arise and offering regular maintenance and updates to the software, which continues to evolve as more features are added, enabling the Pleo team to achieve even greater efficiencies. 
Charlotte Lowry, Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) & Compliance Director at Pleo
"Lucinity’s AI-powered AML software ultimately drives a more intelligent and actionable approach to AML monitoring, something we were looking for as we scale with a robust AML compliance risk foundation in place."
Pleo
Indó
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Results

Pleo has been using Lucinity's AML solution in production for three months since December 2022, and they have already seen remarkable improvements in their AML processes. The transaction monitoring and case management capabilities of Lucinity have helped Pleo's AML team of seven people reduce their daily caseload by 70%, from 160 cases to just 50. Additionally, Lucinity's AI-powered behavior monitoring has helped Pleo reduce their false positive rate from 99.7% to just 21% over the period from December 8, 2022 to February 28, 2023, thanks to the solution's large-scale data processing capabilities. The easy-to-use interface has enabled Pleo's team to be more efficient and focus on higher-value work, ultimately improving their wellbeing. As a result of this success, Pleo has decided to expand Lucinity's use to three more products in their portfolio.

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