RegTech WTF?

RegTech, like, WTF dude?

It’s hard to place exactly when RegTech became it’s own ‘-tech’. Our resident tech terminologist Gary (who is a dog) places it at about the time FinTech went mainstream. But when exactly did FinTech go mainstream? Gary can’t answer that question, and few could.

What we do know is that the term “RegTech” is becoming more prevalent. But is everyone intending, and understanding, the same thing when they talk about it?


Gary: Legal Geek’s office dog who has a passion for LegalTech (and anything really if you wrap it in enough sausages). This week Gary celebrated his 1st birthday.

To peel back the lid on this particular tin of technological debate, we concluded we had to go beyond Gary and ask five RegTech regulars for their thoughts.


“The term RegTech covers disruptive technology that allows firms to efficiently and cost-effectively manage the growing burden of compliance. The compliance burden relates to a sharp increase in regulation aimed at maintaining the integrity of the global financial system, including anti-money laundering and anti-corruption regulation. RegTech is narrower than FinTech and LegalTech. FinTech can be anything from an online bank, an overnight loan company, or a supplier of technology to the financial industry, so it is quite broad. While LegalTech extends to a range of different technology relating to the delivery of legal services.”

Wayne Johnson

Wayne Johnson: Wayne is the CEO of Encompass, a KYC automation platform for the financial and professional services industry.


The Legal Author

“Have you ever tried to buy something online and had your card instantly blocked by your bank’s fraud team? You have RegTech to thank for that! RegTech is the use of technology to facilitate the delivery of regulatory requirements in a cost-effective, simple and reliable way.

“RegTech was largely forged in the financial sector from the fires of the 2008 financial crisis, but as the legal profession obviously attracts a lot of regulatory requirements, ‘legal RegTech’ exists within the legal sector to ease the regulatory obligations put in place by the SRA. You most commonly see it being deployed to assist with the collection of compliance data, observation of employee behaviour and the creation of digital audit trails.”

Richard BurnhamRichard Burnham: Richard is the CEO of Eallium, an agile cloud based case management system. He is a solicitor and author of the book “How to be an ethical solicitor”, published in 2017.


The Technologist

“The eternal quest to avoid fines in exchange for minimum viable effort. Hah! But seriously, regulations are supposed to streamline and standardise common and critical aspects of society. To meet that goal, great technology and meticulous engineering are needed to remove friction and to make those standards attainable. That’s RegTech.”

Sebastian NemethSebastian Nemeth: Sebastian is Helsinki-based technologist currently focusing on making GDPR an asset to both companies and individuals via Portyr, a platform he co-founded in August 2017.



“RegTech enables compliance folk to know precise regulatory obligations on demand and then manage and report on compliance. It’s enabled by smart organisation of regulatory text segments with relevant real world data in sophisticated databases. Many regtech solutions have emerged in financial services, but RegTech covers other domains too.”

Garth Watson: Garth is co-founder and CLO at Libryo, a SAAS platform for regulatory law. He is a former Director at Cape Town-based law firm Gunstons Attorneys.


The CEO and Co-Founder

“Regtech is 101 Enterprise Software innovation. It is the opportunity to use the Regs to bring better tech to your financial institution.”

Diana ParedesDiana Paredes: Diana is the CEO and co-founder of a Suade Labs, a regulation-as-a-service platform that automates regulatory data requirements for financial institutions.


The lawyer-turned-coder

“RegTech is one of those portmanteau that means different things depending on who you are talking to or the context involved but, for us at Ohalo, when we say we are a RegTech data firm, it means that we write the code that make our clients’ regulatory pain go away – be it using machine learning data discovery to get GDPR compliant through to applying metadata and blockchain tech to govern the whole of a clients’ data landscape.”

Ed GooldEd Goold: Ed is the COO and legal counsel at Ohalo, a GDPR and data governance software solutions provider for businesses. He is a former Bristows, Nabarro and Allen & Overy solicitor.