By Victoria Goodwin – Marketing Communications Specialist
Last year Semafone held our first ever transatlantic company meeting, aptly titled ‘FraudSTIR’ which brought together the entire Semafone team from the US and the UK. It was such a great success that this year we decided to do it again and start a tradition! The teams from the US, UK and Australia all travelled to the British countryside to Old Thorns in Liphook for FraudSTIR V2, where we enjoyed a couple of days of reflection, team building, and planning.
The Semafone family has grown again this year, and now with more than 100 employees across the globe, it was great to celebrate our success together. 2016 proved to be a very strong year for Semafone, as we recently announced a 65% increase in revenue for £8.3 million, and our portfolio of blue-chip Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 customers has continued to grow significantly. We remain dominant in the market with over 80 customers worldwide and are expecting to release more fantastic results for 2017. The mood was high as members of senior management gave their updates and discussed key objectives going forward.
A real high point of day one was a WhoDunnit team building exercise where teams were sent to different locations across Hampshire and Surrey, to a solve a ‘murder’ in a Cluedo style treasure hunt and murder mystery. Staff took on the roles of Detective Inspectors and worked together to find clues to identify the correct suspect, motive, and weapon in order to solve the fictitious murder. Each team dispersed to different regions of the rolling countryside and found the activity fun, challenging and rewarding. To be successful teams had to demonstrate our five core values: Collaborate, Passion, Stretch, Trust and Innovate, while undertaking tasks such as code-breaking and even carpool karaoke–move over James Corden!
On day two Semafone employees enjoyed an inspiring presentation from Mike Havard, our Co-Founder and a Non-Executive Director. Mike drew attention to the famous quote associated with David Oglivy: ‘If you want to be interesting, be interested’, listening is the key to customer engagement, and reflects how Semafone strives to operate as a business. We exist to solve the problems our customers have with securing their sensitive data, and to ensure they are compliant with regulations such as PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards).
Mike also gave some interesting insight into why Semafone was founded and the need he saw for our Cardprotect product at the time. One particular conversation that stuck with him was a conversation he had with the Strathclyde Police Fraud Squad in Glasgow, an area dominated by contact centres, where he found contact centre fraud had become a serious issue. In the UK, card fraud had peaked at £609.9m in 2008. The latest report Fraud The Facts 2017 from Financial Fraud Action UK shows that 2016 saw a 9% increase in card fraud, up from £567.5m in 2015. This is the fifth consecutive year of increase and higher than the 2008 peak of £609m. Fraud is definitely on the rise and these figures represent the enduring need for innovative, proven solutions to help customers secure their data and mitigate fraud risk. After all, if you’re not holding the data it can’t be hacked!
FraudSTIR V2 closed with an extremely positive wrap up from our CEO Tim Critchley. 2017 will continue to a be a positive year for Semafone as we carry on fulfilling our mission ‘to secure the world’s personal data and protect the reputations of the world’s most valuable brands’.
Thank you to everyone who attended – it was a really great couple of days!