In the first of our new shiny blog series, you can follow me (Nida Rahimi-Naeem) as I catch up with RegTech luminaires who are paving the way for women in our industry in more ways the one. Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Devie Mohan, Co-Founder CEO of Burnmark, where we spoke about hot trends, the RegTech world and advice to other RegTech women. 

Nida: Hello, tell us about yourself and your role?

Devie: Hi, my name is Devie Mohan, I run a FinTech research company called Burnmark. RegTech is a huge topic for us at Burnmark. London is the capital of RegTech, it is something that our clients talk about regularly. Whether they are banks, start-ups, investors, government bodies working on regulatory issues, or payments companies. All of these different parties of the eco-system consider RegTech to be an area of heavy focus. We spend a lot of time at Burnmark working on research and data analysis in that space. 

Nida: What trends and opportunities are you seeing in RegTech right now?
Devie: RegTech has been a hot topic during the past two years. This has also been the case throughout the world. A couple of trends come to mind. One is that banks and service providers in the financial services space have looked at new ways of dealing with customers, which means there has been an increased focus on regulations around privacy, consumer authentication around the security of data belonging to the consumer. So, all of these regulations have come up in the last couple of years to deal with this new behaviour of banks as well as consumers and because of this digitalisation in a way of financial services we also have to deal with new types of data like social media data used for lending purposes or automotive data being used for insurance purposes or variable data being used for health care and insurance purposes. So, all of these new types of data have to be dealt with and regulations have to evolve to be with these new data points. And again, the conversation around the security of this data, you have access when you need it and it's still protected from other parties within the eco-system, so that kind of focus has been huge in the last couple of years. I think these two trends will continue with digital regulations coming up over the next few years and data being stored and used in new and different ways. 

Nida: Tell us about your role specifically in the RegTech space 

Devie: Apart from the work I do at Burnmark, I spend a lot of time speaking about RegTech trends as an advisor, speaker, writer and consultant to facilitate projects within the space. So, I tend to take on multiple roles within the RegTech eco-system working with banks, start-ups, regulatory bodies as well as investors and PEs. 

Nida: What one thing would make the RegTech world a better place? 

Devie: I think improved transparency is the main thing that would drive significant change. There has been a lot of change in the digital banking world in a short period of time, and it is very difficult for consumers to make sense of all the choices available. I think there is a need for increased transparency from FinTech’s and banks to consumers, and from regulatory bodies to banks. Banks and regulatory bodies have to work very closely together and there has to be transparency from both sides in terms of what they are doing to tackle the issues we have been talking about. 

Nida: What advice would you give to your fellow RegTech women about succeeding as a woman in the industry? 

Devie: RegTech is a fast-growing industry, but it is also very inclusive. We have some amazing women leading the way in RegTech. I have worked closely with a lot of women who have been leaders in banks on the regulatory and compliance side, and right at the top of regulatory bodies in central banks making new regulations, as well as running regulatory sandboxes and working in RegTech start-ups paving the way for innovation in that space. So, there are a lot of women, and I would say look at them for inspiration, but find your own path to discover new innovative models and products. We also have to consciously support other women in this space and grow along with them.

Nida: Thank you, Devie! 

I really enjoyed talking to Devie, it’s made me realise we are rapidly shifting at an exciting new momentum in the RegTech world and there is lot of work to be done moving forward particularly when it comes to data, privacy, and accountability. Here’s a summary of the key nuggets of information I gleaned from our conversation.

Nida’s takeaways: 

  • New ways of dealing with customers is great, but with that we need to expect increased regulation in this area and focus around privacy, data and authentication of this data. After all it is our data!
  • Data is gold and data is truly everywhere, with all these new data points we only see a rise in digital regulations. 
  • Banks need to be smart about the data they hold and how they use it, but at the same time all parties in the eco- system are protected. 
  • With all this change, it’s no wonder Devie thinks transparency would make RegTech a better place, I one hundred percent agree with her collaboration from banks and regulatory bodies in the RegTech eco-system will help leaps and bounds. 

Keep an eye out for our next guest blog! 

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