Meet Tom our Head of Strategy

By Konfir Team

First up in our Meet the Team series is Thomas McAuliffe, who brought tonnes of experience and energy when he joined in May.

What excited you about Konfir’s mission?

I’ve spent my entire career working for socially responsible FinTechs, and Konfir is no different. Konfir’s mission is to help people progress more seamlessly through life’s events by building new bridges between people, organisations, and data sets that have historically been siloed.

Using innovative technologies to solve distinct problems has fascinated me for most of my life and it was obvious when I joined that this fascination is shared by all of the team here at Konfir.

In one way or another, I’m confident that everyone reading this has been left waiting for a manual verification process to be completed. Whether it was applying for a mortgage, financing an event, or renting a home, you likely provided documents such as payslips or bank statements via email. Or, perhaps you consented to a third party, such as a Background Screening company, to contact your previous employers (to check you worked there) before you started a new job.

Bringing Instant Employment verifications to the Background screening market won’t happen overnight. But I believe we have the right mission and north star, enabled by a team of industry experts, to make it happen.

Where do you see open data in 5 years?

The UK is at the global forefront of open data & interoperability standards. We’re soon crossing the chasm into a new era of open data standards; fueled by the success of Open Banking and more recently, Digital Identity.

Taking a step back, different geographies tend to innovate either as a result of legislation or market demand. Using Open Banking as an example, progress in the US is led by independent groups of banks (due to market demand) whereas, in the UK and EU, legislation requires banks to maintain standardised, regulated Open APIs.

I see a path where similar legislation is explored beyond banking data over the next 5 years in the UK with financial products such as pensions, investments, and savings. There have already been calls for input from regulatory bodies such as the FCA for the newly coined ‘Open Finance’.

At the same time — the Digital Identity and attributes trust framework, spearheaded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, has recently gone into Beta; earmarked by a wave of Digital Identity providers gaining certification as Identity Service Providers. As a result of this movement, UK employers can now use digital technologies for Right to Work, criminality, and identity checks. The final barrier to a truly fast, digital hiring process is now employment referencing.

What does a normal day look like for you?

Ultimately, my role is to manage a plan that adds as much value as possible for our end-users, our clients, our suppliers, and Konfir itself. While clichéd, the term “no two days are the same” really applies. I spend a lot of my time working alongside our Foundation Clients; helping their candidates progress through the background checking process as quickly as possible. To do this, Konfir instantly connects individuals to several different data sources.

Beyond this, I spend a lot of time helping different teams plan for the short and long term. Usually, this means collaborating with the Product, Sales, & Engineering teams to help focus on what is most important in the short-term, while supporting the broader leadership team and their functions to refine longer-term strategies.

What does hybrid working look like for you?

We have a pretty cool office looking over Hawley Wharf in Camden. While we’re a global team, those based in London tend to go into the office on the same days. I try to avoid virtual calls on these days so we can focus on in-person workshops, meetings, and team-building (and maybe a trip to one of our locals).

We don’t have mandatory in-office days at Konfir but recognise the positive impact that in-person collaboration and socialising have on culture and trust. Saying that I’ve spent a few weeks since I joined working from abroad which makes a work-life mix easy (and Konfir a great place to work!).

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