Risk Management with Amanda Cohen of Resolver | Soar Payments LLC

Risk Management with Amanda Cohen of Resolver

In this episode Amanda Cohen, Director of Product at Resolver explores the way to transform ‘Risk Management into Risk Intelligence’. From regulatory compliance to insight tracking that informs business decisions, Amanda speaks to the way Resolver serves as a wholistic and seamless approach to risk management.

Payments & Fintech Insights In This Episode

  • How integrated risk management can solve the disconnect between risk and the business.
  • The way insights pertaining to risk management can impact company wide decision making.
  • The impact of keeping the pulse on regulatory compliance changes and tracking.
  • The future of risk management solutions.
  • The importance of being loved by customers.
  • And so much more!

Episode Transcript

Heather: Hi, everyone, welcome to another episode of “PayPod.” I’m your host Heather Bodie. And today, we’re going to be discussing risk management. Joining me to help explore this topic is Amanda Cohen, the director of product at Resolver, an intuitive and integrated risk software for enterprise organizations, transforming risk management into risk intelligence. Amanda, welcome to the show.

Amanda: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

Heather: Absolutely. Okay. So, to lay the groundwork for today’s episode, let’s start by discussing Resolver. You have an enormous suite of products. Can you move through those for us and just give us a general idea of what your company offers?

Amanda: Yeah, absolutely. So, I guess at a high level, we’re an integrated risk management company that’s working to solve the disconnect between risk and the business. Ultimately, we recognize that for any organization, particularly within financial institutions, that managing risk is essential. But we think that ultimately, a lot of organizations are actually much more aspirational than just managing risk. They don’t wanna just build process improvements, they wanna get better insights and information from the risk management function to help them make better decisions. So, as you mentioned, Resolver has this wide suite of products. So, those range from things like risk management and compliance all the way to business continuity, incident management, and IT risk management.

Heather: 2015, you became the youngest director of governance, risk, and compliance in Resolver’s history. While that isn’t your current role, that is how you were introduced to the company. Let’s talk a little bit about you, and the path that led you to that position.

Amanda: Yeah. So, I guess I’ve grown up at Resolver. My interest initially in what Resolver did came from my academic background. I was doing a master’s on anti-money laundering legislation, and they had a position for a compliance specialist and helping build out a compliance program for financial institutions and making sure that they could keep up to date on regulatory change. And so, naturally, it felt like a really good fit. I was always a little confused with where do you take your academic interests and how do you apply it? And so, Resolver seems like this great fit where my academic interests aligned. And then, as I started, I discovered…turns out, as you know, as interesting as the domain is, solving technology problems in that space is actually really fascinating.

And what I really liked about being in product is you get to kind of understand the suite of challenges that your customers are experiencing, and then use that to help enhance technology and build best practices for a variety of organizations. And so, I grew through the organization and expanded my interest from solely in compliance to what does that mean in the risk space, what does that mean for internal audit, internal controls all the other application areas that we offer? So, it’s been a pretty great journey to kind of be able to learn a lot about the domain, put it into practice, and then figure out how to use technology to solve for those problems.

Heather: Let’s talk risk management and regulation. Businesses are continuously focused on moving the needle forward, driving change, creating efficiencies, and oftentimes it’s the things we don’t anticipate that slow down that progress. What are some of the most common concerns you hear from businesses who are prospective Resolver customers?

Amanda: Yeah. So, in the regulatory space, I think we get a variety of challenges that our customers are facing. One is that regulatory obligations change all of the time. Keeping up and having confidence that you’re in compliance is a giant undertaking in itself. Just because you might operate in a variety of regions, you offer a variety of different products and services. And so, keeping pulse on that and having confidence that you’re doing a good job there is definitely one of the major challenges. And then the other part is really how do you engage with your business? So, nobody’s responsibility beyond that compliance function is to think about compliance all day, every day, or same with risk management. However, they are doing things, and they need to align, and they need to make sure that they’re considering their compliance obligations as part of their daily function. So, while they’re not the people who are managing it, they have responsibilities to be in compliance.

And so, making sure that you have oversight into those programs and how they’re operating is really, really important. So, if you wanna get good information from your business, you need to ensure that you make it really, really easy for the business to provide you with that information back. So, I guess the two challenges are ultimately how do you keep pulse on the regulatory changes and then how do you make sure the organization and itself is actually adhering to the things that they claim that they’re doing from a compliance perspective and that they are operating in compliance in their day-to-day jobs?

Heather: So many questions. But what about companies that are in highly regulated industries that, I mean, they often have in-house compliance teams? Is Resolver a solution for both companies with and without those internal compliance components?

Amanda: Totally. So, ultimately, your compliance function, like on a day to day, their responsibility is making sure that the organization is in compliance. And so, all we’re trying to do is really augment them and allow them to shift away from some of the mundane activities that are pretty repetitive, things like regulatory tracking, you know, making sure that the process is running smoothly so that they can take that information and ensure that the organization is operating within compliance. So, that way, they can test to make sure that if you say that your cashiers are always…you know, they’re not just giving away confidential information when someone comes up and is looking for account information, they’re the ones that are validating the process that you have in place actually operates the way that it’s designed to. So, if they don’t have to do that tracking piece, then you can free up their time and make sure that they can focus on things that really drive value for the organization and make sure when those regulators come in, that your organization is on top of everything, that the process is operating the way that it’s designed to and that your organization is ultimately operating in compliance as a whole.

Heather: And you’re gonna have to check me here for whatever reason I speak outside of the realm of what it is that Resolver is assisting with. But I’m trying to wrap my brain around integrations essentially, right? Since Resolver’s product suite seems to fit so many different industries, how do you approach integrating with the way that these things are already being tracked with inside a company?

Amanda: Totally. So, there’s two fundamental ways that we think about integrations. One is we have a big product suite. We have information that we’re collecting from risk. We have information we’re collecting from audit, compliance, all these different groups. And so, one of the challenges that a lot of our customers face is that someone from the compliance team walks out to the business and like, “I really need this information from you. I would love to understand how you’ve implemented this policy.” And then two weeks later, a month later, the audit team comes up and they are looking for the exact same information. And so, from a business perspective, you’re like, “How come you can’t all get together and share this information?” And they just tested me for the same thing, like I just proved that I’m in compliance with this or that it’s operating in a way that it’s designed to. And so, if we can help teams share that information, then not only can we help them expand the scope of what they can cover, and the assurance that they can provide to the organization, but we can also help reduce the friction that they’re seeing from business users who are sick and tired of providing the same documents over and over again.

So, that’s one form of integration that happens kind of within our tool where we think that there’s a lot of synergies between the information that the teams collect. But then also, and I’m sure a lot of organizations feel this, there’s so much data living inside your organization that doesn’t exist within our platform. And so, if we present barriers and say, we’re gonna make it harder for you, or you’re gonna have to double that up and you’re gonna have to produce it in two different systems, again, all we’re doing is creating friction for you to be able to make risk-based decisions. So, having seamless integrations between the systems that feed your risk compliance audit program is really important. And you see that in forms of key risk indicators that are operating across the business, you might have issues that are being tracked and other parts of the organization. And so, we need to make sure that that information can flow in and out of our system really seamlessly.

Heather: A customer of Resolver comes in and is initially engaging with you in just one element of risk management. I know you have this suite of products and sort of talk about the holistic approach, right? That it’s possible for a company to come in and lay out many different components of their risk management in conjunction with Resolver. If you find a gap, for example, a company is looking for some sort of risk management or some sort of, as you put it, shifting to risk intelligence, is Resolver ever-evolving and continuing to add to that suite?

Amanda: Yeah. I think there’s depth and breadth that’s important on that one. We wanna make sure that A, we’re not forcing someone into a program that we can’t scale with them for. So, a lot of our customers will come in and they’ve got one pain point or one problem area that they’re looking to solve for. And so, we wanna make sure that while we can solve for that today that we also have the opportunity to grow with that customer because anyone who has implemented technology recognizes that that process can be pretty overwhelming. They can be big projects, expensive projects. So, we don’t want you to have to go back every couple of years and rethink this. We wanna be able to scale up with you. And then to your point that you might just start with one program area, it might be risk, it might be compliance, but the suite of products is really important, and then to be able to expand that we find that for a lot of our customers they start in one area, and then they often grow just because they see the value of integrating that data.

And we hear this a lot on your podcast, people with no code technology solutions, that means that if there is something that they need to build, and it’s not quite within the suite of what we do, then we wanna help them capture that information in our system as well. So, we do see a lot of people seeing the value of our tool, seeing the value of our ability to reach out to customers, or reach out to their business users and really engage the business. And then they find other use cases that they start building on their own to really augment the information that they have available to them.

Heather: That sort of flexibility and growth capability within the suite of products, how does Resolver approach…I mean, with any sort of integration, when you’re working B2B with customers, there’s gonna be hiccups, right? There are gonna be these moments where they reach out and say, “Help. I’m trying to put your product in place in a way that’s working for us, but we’re having these bumps along the road.” How does Resolver approach customer service when it comes to that integration process?

Amanda: So, as corny as it sounds, one of our mandates is to be loved by customers. And I do think…

Heather: I love that.

Amanda: Yeah. It’s right on the wall and everything.

Heather: Yes.

Amanda: Because it’s so important. There’s no sense in giving someone a product that they can’t help fit their needs. And so, that’s a really big part of the onboarding process with us is, how can we help not force you into a solution that we think is best for you, but how can we listen to what you do, understand the jobs and your ultimate objectives of what you’re trying to accomplish, and then use our technology to help you get there? So, there’s a variety of ways that we accomplish that, often a lot of that is through the services implementation where we really tailor our product suite to make sure that we’re helping you solve your problem, we’re not forcing you into a box.

Heather: Can you tell us about a time you saw that play out where you felt truly loved by a customer, and it was that rewarding cycle of this is what we prioritized and we saw it come to fruition?

Amanda: I think my feel-good moment was one of our customers, they’ve been one of our customers for a long time, and they’re the nicest people on Earth. And one of the women on the team, we were connecting on like, what’s coming on the roadmap? And we were kind of working through some reporting things that she was trying to accomplish. And I found out that her job had become to manage and spread Resolver throughout their entire organization. So, she had taken a project that she was on, and now she was responsible for implementing that, using that to grow, and what other spaces could she solve problems using our technology across the business? And I joked, I was like, “Oh, well, is that what you’ve always aspired to do?” She’s like, “No. Seriously, this has been my dream to take on this role for the last couple of years because I love using your product.” And I think that’s a really good moment when you’re like, I can’t believe that you’re invested the same way that I am even though you’re not one of the Resolver employees. I think that’s unbelievable.

Heather: That’s unbelievably exciting. Those moments are priceless. They’re absolutely priceless. Let’s shift and talk about security and privacy. And FinTech very much has a key role to play when it comes to protecting consumers and business data. What is Resolver’s philosophy when it comes to data security?

Amanda: In the space of offering information security products, you have to be an expert in that space, and you have to take that really seriously. So, not only are we able to use our own tools that we offer to customers to manage our own information security program, which is really great, we also, like many organizations, have all the accreditations, industry best practices, in terms of what you need. We have a full information security team, just because the information that we collect, particularly on the incident management side is so sensitive, and we need to make sure that we do everything that we can to ensure that the data that our customers capture within our tool is protected.

Heather: What do you see in the future of risk management solutions? What might the landscape look like longer-term, say 5 to 10 years from now?

Amanda: So, back to that original point, risk management often was seen as a check the box exercise. It was something that you had to do, not something that you wanted to do.

Heather: Right. The task that comes with a sigh.

Amanda: Totally. Nobody wants to provide you with their compliance documents. No one wants to watch the training videos. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had to do that. But the people that we’re seeing in this space, and a lot of the leaders are really looking to use the information that they’re getting out of their risk solutions to inform decisions and inform strategy. So, risk management isn’t just what could go wrong, but it’s what opportunities exist within your organization that you haven’t necessarily capitalized on? And so, when you start to bring risk into the strategic conversations, you start to see this realm of opportunity that you might not have seen if you were just hyper-focused and not considering the risk management end goal of how a strategy or your objectives are meant to be executed on.

Heather: I love that. I feel like with any sort of business management element that comes with…you know, I sort of joked, it comes with a sigh, right? Sometimes just the perspective or reaction to that business area can take up even more energy. And so, anything to reduce and make that exciting, right? Not only efficient and easier, but something that you can then utilize and take action with is just…it’s unbelievably useful. So, it’s cool to hear that.

Amanda: Yeah. And I just think there’s like a bunch of cool examples of where people have used what’s happening in risk to inform what they do as an organization. So, an example, I guess, one of our customers, they track fraud and counterfeit products. And that’s something that you understand there’s fraud incidences, things are going wrong. But when you start to use that information and feed it into your risk management program, you can understand if someone is fraudulently using your products, and then they’re selling these counterfeit versions of them out on the market, how does that damage your reputation? And so, you’re taking things that are happening on the ground and feeding your strategy and your risk program altogether. And that connection of data really helps inform, taking the things that are happening, and then making sure that those are being fed into your strategic objectives.

Heather: What’s next for Resolver? Anything you can let us in on, any exciting offerings or projects, partnerships?

Amanda: I guess our next big investment, we have reporting in our tool, but we really feel like you need to get into the depths of the data that you have within the system. And so, we have this big initiative with machine learning and with augmenting our reporting capabilities to make sure that people aren’t just reviewing and presenting status reports out to their management function, but really using that information to drive better decisions and understand the insights of what’s happening throughout their business. So, that’s a key area for us to focus in on over the next year.

Heather: All right. It’s time. The segment we do on every show, five questions, rapid fire, are you ready?

Amanda: I am.

Heather: Okay. Make a prediction about the changes in the immediate future of risk management, something that you will expect to see happen in the next 12 to 24 months.

Amanda: So, I think we’re gonna see a lot more focus on integrations. I think at a surface level, a lot of people have the desire to integrate their data, but it’s a big undertaking, and it’s a lot to tie all your systems together. So, I do see we’re seeing this uptick where people are truly now it’s not just this pie in the sky idea, but they really are looking to connect a lot of their systems and find insights.

Heather: What’s one cool piece of payment or finance-related technology that you’ve come across recently that impressed you?

Amanda: So, one of the tools that we’ve integrated with recently that I find is really neat is a company called Ascent. And what they do is they automate your regulatory tracking using machine learning. So, they look at all of your regulatory obligations across various jurisdictions, and then they amalgamate that, and they track all your changes and automatically push those out to you. So, I think that’s been a really cool area for us to integrate with.

Heather: The next five years, most people will make a purchase either with Bitcoin or Apple Pay or something else, which one and why?

Amanda: So, I think you’re gonna see an uptick in both, but I feel as though, and maybe this is contrary to what other people think, but people understand what Apple Pay is. And I think that people…you’ll see a higher uptick in Apple Pay because people have the confidence, they understand what it is, whereas Bitcoin is still a little bit confusing for a lot of people.

Heather: What’s one piece of advice you have for someone who is considering…I’m going to go with compliance also in this question, considering compliance, regulatory roles, payments, financial technology, that whole industry as a career?

Amanda: So, I would say do it. I think when you apply technology solutions to a problem that has been facing an industry for a long time, it’s really interesting to see the impact you can have. So, not only do you get to be in front of people every day and understanding their pain points and their problem areas and solving for that, you get to see how that has a fundamental impact on their ability to deliver on their day-to-day activities.

Heather: You know, I hadn’t thought about that before, that sort of very real-time watching solutions play out and benefit people’s lives. Not every industry has that aspect to it. So, that’s really neat. I hadn’t heard that before. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and from whom?

Amanda: I would give my boss and our CEO a lot of credit. They are adamant that we are in front of customers all the time. You can’t build a product in a vacuum. You can’t build a product by reading a bunch of stuff online. You have to understand the jobs that your customers are looking to accomplish. And then you can then help support them accomplish that, but you can’t do that talking to just one or two. You have to talk to people every single day.

Heather: That does it. Thank you, Amanda, so much for joining us today. This was a lot of fun. If folks wanna get in touch with you, or if they wanna learn more about your company, where can they find you?

Amanda: So, you can find me on LinkedIn at Amanda Cohen, or you can find me through the Resolver website. There is a variety of ways to get a hold of everybody there and I would love to connect.

Heather: Thanks so much, Amanda.

Amanda: Thank you.

Heather: If you enjoyed this episode and wanna hear more, head on over to soarpay.com/podcast to subscribe on your podcast listening platform of choice. That’s soarpay.com/podcast.

Industry Spotlight


See risk. Discover value. Resolver gathers all risk data and analyzes it in context—revealing the true business impact within every risk. Resolver’s Risk Intelligence Platform traces the extended impact of all types of risk—whether compliance or audit, incidents, or threats—and translates those effects into quantifiable business metrics. So, customers can communicate risk persuasively, framing it in terms of the business. And with this changed perspective, comes an entirely new role for risk to play. Finally, risk goes from being seen as a barrier, to becoming a strategic partner driving the business. Welcome to the new world of Risk Intelligence. Our mission is to transform Risk management to Risk Intelligence. Our intuitive and integrated risk software for enterprise organizations offers solutions for corporate security, risk & compliance, and information security teams. Resolver empowers businesses to respond effectively to regulatory and market shifts, to discover insights from security and risk incidents, and to streamline risk operations throughout the organization.