As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun. Or for the founders of ID-Pal, time flies when you’re revolutionising the identity verification process for businesses and people worldwide.
With that in mind, we grabbed some time with our four founders:
- Colum Lyons, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
- James O’Toole, Chief Business Officer (CBO)
- Rob O’Farrell, Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
- Shelley McKinney, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
To discuss their proudest moments to date, what advice they would give to anyone starting their own business and where they see ID-Pal in the next five years.
Colum Lyons, CEO
Advice to founders
There are always the standard things (to advise) like mind your cash, every penny counts. There’s always, “Buckle up, fasten your seat belt.” It’s a bit like a roller coaster but like at the end of the roller coaster you want to get back on it. It has that kind of thrill and excitement.
Decision-making is a key thing for everything. In terms of ID-Pal and making decisions, it does not matter what it is about, it’s always the company first. It is not about individuals; it is not about departments. It’s just company first. That’s the way you should be looking at decisions in my opinion.
My stock answer that I always go with is watching the growth month–on–month, year–on–year. In our product, customer base and team. Everything about the whole organization, the business, the distinct functions that exist. For me, it’s about just looking back on that growth in amazement and saying, “Wow, that’s incredible.”
The next five years
I think being globally recognized is probably the one key driver. There are certain jurisdictions we’re recognized in and are household names but to have that globally, I think is a key driver for ID-Pal.
James O’Toole, CBO
Belief in what you’re doing: determination to keep going, to transform an idea to something tangible, and then to transform that something tangible into a business and the business into something international. Like what we’ve done in ID-Pal. It takes a long time and you’ve got to have that self-belief and determination to get yourself there, as well as ensuring you’ve got the team around you to make it.
It feels like only a moment and at the same time, it feels like a lifetime ago. It really wasn’t that long ago when Colum and I were working on the initial PowerPoint to sell the idea to different clients. I think the thing that lands with me is you realize how much growth has happened when you sit in the office and see all the photographs documenting the evolution of ID-Pal, social events we had: starting off from a very intimate team in a very intimate office space to our office now.
Through our strategic partners we find ourselves engaging with government bodies, banks and organizations across the world. There’s been a few moments, particularly over the last 12 to 18 months where I found myself after a call, just realising how far we have come and that is quite exciting.
The Next Five Years
I would expect ID-Pal to have a physical presence across key regions globally, including North America, but also Europe, APAC and Africa. And I would expect that through our strategic partners we would have a very wide network of Tier 1, 2 and 3 banking clients, but also across the wider financial services ecosystem. Through our direct channel we will be providing the best-of-breed technologies and solutions to financial service providers, brokers, and solutions of all descriptions. So from your professional service firms all the way up to banking customers, and I think we’re pointed in the right direction. We have made unbelievable progress, but I would expect us to really flesh that out in more tangible terms over the next five years.
Shelley McKinney, CMO
I think it’s tough to pick out just one moment over the course of the past five years. I think it’s just a sequence of small things that add up to this wow moment – when you turn around and look back and see what you have accomplished.
The awards we have won over the course of the five years has been an area where we really shine. We’re still a small company yet we are winning are in the same categories as much-older established industry-players. I think it’s been very easy for companies across a wide range of industries to have a look at our product and realize the value in it.
Advice to Founders
It’s often a blessing when you when you start off on this journey that you don’t know a lot of times just how challenging it is going to be. You just have that belief in your product. You know how good it is and the value in it. Just stick with it. The key thing to remember is that, while things may take longer than you expect them to, you are starting your own company, you’ll get there.
The Next Five Years
If I look back at the past five years and what we have managed to achieve, I think the next five will be incredible. Our expansion plans for 2021 alone will take us to a really strong place. I think our brand awareness is going to just rocket as we expand into international markets and where do I want to be as a marketer? A household name making peoples lives easier, building these trustworthy relationships between businesses and customers. Keeping identity verification simple for everybody and based on trust.
Rob O’Farrell, (CTO)
Actually, one of my proudest moments would be to our ISO 27001 certification: when we became the first company to ever to get an audit by Certification Europe that had no opportunities for improvement reported. So to have our information security system recognised as being that good, was huge for the team.
Advice to Founders
I tend to give the same advice every time: Everything is going to take longer and cost more than you expected, so don’t be waiting for the next feature or the feature you’re going to have in six months. Be selling what you have – today. You always have to find a way to sell what is already in place so that you can actually start generating a customer base and then enhance that product for them over time with features, rather than constantly waiting for that one day when your product will be exactly as you envisioned.
The Next Five Years
The identity market is going in a very exciting direction.
I think that ID-Pal is uniquely positioned to take advantage of that. The fact that we’re an all-inclusive offering. The fact that we are a cloud offering means that we can take advantage of all sorts of network effects in that area, that most of our competitors simply can’t without a complete rebuild.
I think there’s huge value to be gained for the end consumer and as a result of our approach we can help businesses of all shapes and sizes.
ID-Pal’s mission is to make it as simple as possible for businesses to establish trust with their customers. We’re five years into an incredible story and look forward to growing extensively in the next chapter for ID-Pal.
We are excited to see the efficiencies and improvements we have made for our diverse portfolio of clients across the world. While we are always at work to develop exciting new features and partnerships, our focus will always be to provide a seamless and convenient way for businesses to verify the identity of their customers.
Contact us today for a live demo of how the ID-Pal service can be easily integrated with your business.