An interview with Malik Kotadia, Mentor at Finlab

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Ahead of his participation at Seamless Vietnam we caught up with veteran financial services expert and friend of the Seamless series Malik Kotadia for a chat.

Could you share something about yourself with our readers?

I have been a long time digital banker, with an 18 year career that has spanned global roles and multiple markets. I was with Citi for nearly 14 years, and was last SVP- Global Digital Transformation, driving a unified digital platform and engagement roadmap across all 24 consumer banking markets in APAC, North America, MexMalikkhan Kotadia 200ico, LatAm and EMEA.

I am also digital evangelist. Most of my career has been in Digital banking and E-payments. As such, I have been fortunate to have been at the cusp of 3 industries: Banking, Digital and payments. Therefore, for the past year, I have been a mentor at leading Digital accelerators, mentoring, advising and guiding young companies scale up to viable businesses. I love to share my experiences and perspectives with fast, nimble challengers, who are dramatically changing the rules of the game for incumbents across industries.

Given my rounded experience as a former senior banker as well as start-up ecosystem facilitator, I now speak regularly at industry events – as chairman, keynote speaker and panelist. In the past year, I have spoken at over two dozen leading events across the region, including the Seamless series.
Could you give our readers a quick teaser on what you will be speaking about at the show?
I will be chairing the payments track, as well as moderating a panel.

Why is this role close to your heart?

As chair, I get a holistic flavour of the event since I get to navigate the conference, engage with all speakers and panelists, and summarize the two days of immersive knowledge sharing. Payments is something I have been a part of for over 15 years, so it is close to my heart. Moreover, it is a dynamic, fast changing space, with several exciting developments like P2P payments, wallets, contactless, NFC as well as blockchain, micro payments, quicker and cheaper remittances etc.

What do you think the key challenges are around the future of digital payments in Vietnam?

In my nearly 2 decades’ career, I have seen various hype cycles and downturns, including the dotcom bubble of 2000, the banking crash of 2008 and the current crypto currency hysteria. Clearly one has to be able to separate hype from trends.

Same is true for Digital payments. On the one hand, there is increasing focus on ‘cashless societies’ and digital payments, both in developed markets like the Nordics and UK and emerging markets like S.E Asia, India etc. On the other, challenges continue to exist in markets like Vietnam, from relatively poor connectivity to transaction fee structure to legacy platforms in banks.

Moreover, there are several cases of putting the cart before the horse, where compelling use cases and customer value propositions don’t clearly exist. As an example, NFC as technology has been around for over a decade, but its only now that it is seeing an uptick due to the proliferation of smart phones and seamless mobile payment solutions like Apple pay etc.

Why are you excited to attend the show?

I have been associated with Seamless for a while now, both the Asia conference as well as the regional series. It is one of the longest running, largest and most comprehensive shows in the emerging commerce and payments space. Vietnam is an exciting market, and it would be great to exchange notes with the various speakers, delegates and partners.

Malik is one of over 50 speakers who will be taking the stage over two days at Seamless Vietnam. To find out more, and to book your tickets, check out our website here.

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Comments 1

  1. Jitendra Shah

    A very interesting profile-Mr Malik Kotadia – a vastly experienced international banker with specialisation in driving growth of banking thru technology – speed, ease, seamlessly – across space, time, cultures and borders. His contribution to evolution and growth of tech driven banking n financial services – digital, payments n data interface – is truly remarkable! Best Wishes!

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