This week we will be looking at the rise of digital banks focused on small businesses and freelancers as well as diving into the role and responsibility of a Chief Risk Officer and why that role is crucial in financial services and beyond.
Please meet Rita Beth Crauge, Head of Risk Management and Compliance at Joust. To say that Rita is impressive is an understatement. As a former intelligence officer for the CIA, Rita has spent her career between the private and public sector including as an AML investigator for IBM. At Joust, Rita is responsible for developing a risk profiling system to extend professional banking privileges to freelancers and for developing and documenting workflows, internal controls, and reporting cycles.
How/why did you get into tech?
I got in to tech as an interesting application of my analytic skills. I found that the techniques that I applied to national security were highly relevant to the identity, fraud and risk aspects of the finance industry.
What role do you play in the tech ecosystem and why is that role important?
My role is in the identity verification and predictive behavior aspect of technology – and these have applications across tech but are especially important for anything having to do with money, banking and financial services. Technology has allowed us to do new things with money, even created new forms of currency, and to interact with the finance industry in new ways. Like most technological advances, this has provided innovative opportunities for legal uses, as well as for fraud and theft.
The starting point for accessing all financial services is verifying the identity of an account holder, and an important follow on requirement is to monitor behavior to ensure financial services are being used for legitimate purposes (as opposed to crime and money laundering). In this way, I am blending both my current role in tech with my previous mission to ensure public safety.
What do you believe is the most exciting tech trend for 2019?
I’m really interested to see where the burgeoning public interest in identity verification in social media and news media leads. I think 2019 will be the year that tech companies either begin to seriously self-regulate or face new policy regulations from national governments.
Who is a person in tech that inspires you? Why?
Leslie Harris – she has been doing really interesting work in the realm of privacy and technology. She served as President of the Center for Democracy and Technology for many years and is now a Senior Fellow at the Future of Privacy Forum. This is an aspect of technology that I’m personally interested in, how we balance democratic and civil rights with national security interests, and how tech companies have gathered and exploited our personal data for profit.
What advice would you give for someone who wants to get into tech?
Think broadly about how you can apply your skills. A career in tech doesn’t have to mean coding. In my professional experiences I have seen applications for all sorts of skills (writing, analysis, logistics, etc.) in the tech context. Get started and stay open to new opportunities.