Kerry Klewer on Compliance at Tala [Podcast]


Post By: Adam Turteltaub

Kerry Klewer (LinkedIn) is Director, Global Compliance Program for Tala, a Fintech firm providing financial services to the underserved in Kenya, the Philippines, Mexico, and india. These individuals, she explained, don’t have access to traditional credit sources, typically because they lack a credit score.

With Tala, individuals can apply for credit through an Android app. The company also offers card and account products. In addition, the company has recently partnered with Visa to offer crypto services to its customers.

The compliance challenges for Tala are substantial, she explains, with key risk areas such as consumer protection, tax, privacy and anti-corruption. Adding to the complexity: with many bad actors in this market, the number of laws have increased, and so, too has scrutiny.

The company has responded by launching a global compliance program. It conducted its first global risk assessment, and each country has its own risk assessment, as well. The common themes that emerged included data privacy and working with third parties in emerging markets.

Another challenging area is artificial intelligence. It raises a host of issues about how to handle data ethically and the need for a data ethics policy. To mitigate that risk, the data science team regularly checks for algorithm biases.

The company also recently launched a data governance committee to define what data is being collected, why and if it is accurate.

It’s not just data that is a risk, of course. People issues are also a factor and require the team to train and provide the proper tools for the workforce to do the right thing. These include ethics workshops to help individuals understand what can make or break a compliance culture, especially in a purpose-driven company. That’s a challenge when the corporate culture is spread among so many global cultures.

Listen in to learn more about Tala, and perhaps find lessons that can help improve your own compliance program.