• Christis Charalambous

Interview with Devie Mohan Co-founder and CEO, writer, speaker and commentator on fintech @ Burnmark

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

Devie is a FinTech industry advisor, analyst and a contributor to the ING group based in London, UK. Think Forward Initiative, and sits on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Digital Banking. She writes extensively on innovation, disruption and digitalisation in finance and has been listed in the top 10 of various FinTech influencer lists. Devie will also be taking part Panel Discussion: Digitization of Financial Services: Marketing Strategies of Established Financial Players and Fintech and Future Perspectives of Financial Marketing at the Finance Innovation Forum 2019.

Hi Devie, could tell us a bit more about Burnmark?

Burnmark is a fintech research company, that provides fintech data and insights to banks, governments and large enterprises around the world. It was set up as a way to separate the reality of fintech from the hype, utilising market data from the industry to highlight successful use cases, partnership models and cost models.

What would you like to learn more about at this year's Financial Innovation Forum?

The agenda at the Financial Innovation Forum is one of the most unique I have seen in the fintech world - there is a heavy focus on creativity, customer experience and content. I am looking forward to hearing about trends and best practices (with a lot changing every year in the fintech world!) from some of the biggest experts in the industry.

What is the most fascinating research you have worked on?

We joke at Burnmark that we never get asked to do the same thing twice! We have worked on research projects on how governments can go cashless, whether a new product will work in the market, who it makes sense to partner with, surveying all the startups in a segment, analysing all the startups in a country, etc. It's very very varied at the moment, and fun. Having said that, we worked last year on a financial inclusion project where we had to come up with the metrics to analyse the impact of fintech projects underway in 12 African countries. It's not always possible to treat "programme success" as based on monetary metrics - you have to look at the social, cultural and human impact factors, and that was very interesting.

In ten years, will traditional Retail Banks still be relevant?

Oh yes. Traditional retail banks have no plans to die off, and they will continue to innovate, digitally transform and hire increasingly creative talent to deal with the competition from fintech.

However, I believe they will cease to exist the way they do now and will be more of an invisible force driving payments and money management. Customer owners of the future may be firms like Google and Amazon, but the retail banks will still have a massive role to play in providing infrastructure, regulatory expertise and financial data management capabilities.

Following your TEDx talk, do you think we really need cash?

The UK is a heavily cash-based society still, so cash seems necessary to survive here. However, if we put this in the context of countries that have gone almost cashless like Sweden and India, you realise how much of a fallacy this thinking is. You definitely don't need cash to survive if you have the right tools. However, it's not up to the consumer to go cash-free - the government has to ensure there is support and training for the infrastructure needed and subsidise small merchants and consumers with the right tools to make this happen. If it's super expensive for the corner shops to do a payment over a card machine, it's unfair to expect them to not set minimum charges or prefer cash. Cash will go away only when the government has done enough to bring all parties of the payments ecosystem to the cashless agenda.

Thank you very much Devie for answering the questions and we wish you all the best. If you want to meet Devie in person or networking make sure you attend Financial Innovation Forum 2019.


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