Chattanooga-based Mission Omega is fighting financial crime one click at a time

Image courtesy of Chattanooga Chamber / Ben Wallach, left, and Ian Mitchell, Mission Omega co-founders.

In part due to the digital transformation of commerce, financial crime is a growing and fast-changing concern for consumers, banks, economies and governments worldwide. Ben Wallach and Ian Mitchell, armed with their experience in combatting fraud for more than 25 years, began to recognize unaddressed needs in this arena.

Wallach and Mitchell founded Mission Omega, formerly known as Omega Fincrime, to focus on fighting fraud and scams, and lending expertise, resources and support to banks, credit unions, financial services institutions and technology companies.

By assessing risk, providing strategic guidance, sourcing and training talent, and helping with investigations out of their Chattanooga-based operation center, Mission Omega keeps a watchful eye out for preemptive and common red flags, such as financial transactions inconsistent with a customer's typical behavior and more.

"There's a lot of exploitation happening out there, we aim to bring the very best of financial crime-mitigation services to the market," Wallach says.

"We have extensive networks and depth of experience -- that's something we felt like we could offer in this space that would be unique and meaningful."

The name Mission Omega reflects the company's goal of bringing alpha-level resources and technology to the smaller, omega-level financial institutions that may not have the same level of investment as the top-tier banks. While Mission Omega offers competitive pricing, to them their business model is not just about cost – it's about incorporating a sense of authenticity and purpose into the work.

Upon meeting with survivors of human trafficking, Wallach and Mitchell recognized the need for creating good jobs that could prevent victims from going back into a life of trafficking. They saw an opportunity to meet both Mission Omega's need for talent, and these survivors' need to find stable and safe ways to provide for themselves.

Their Helping Hands program was established with the goal of employing a certain percentage of their workforce from the survivor community, or others who may need support to find a career. The program provides comprehensive training about working in the banking industry to help these individuals successfully secure new employment.

Effective fraud fighters possess a unique mindset. They typically enjoy the challenge of trying to solve a problem before it's even revealed itself. This type of thinking aligns well with prevention of financial crime. For people who love to explore data and numbers, it's a well-suited and excellent career path.

Mission Omega's early success and growth can be attributed to strong networks and partnerships, patronage from the local Chattanooga community, and assistance from the Tennessee Small Business Development Center. By being in the Chattanooga Chamber's INCubator program, the company also has access to flexible workspace, word-of-mouth marketing, and peer-to-peer collaborations among the INC's other startup tenants.

"Being a part of the INCubator has been fantastic for us," Mitchell says. "It's so much more than just a physical workspace; it's a chance for us to scale up and support Chattanooga's growth."

To learn more about how the Chattanooga Chamber's INCubator program supports startups like Mission Omega, visit the INCubator website.


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