We have limited Spanish content available. View Spanish content.

Podcast Series

Deciphered: The Fintech Podcast

Deciphered: The Fintech Podcast

Brought to you by Bain & Co., each episode of Deciphered brings insight and analysis on specific industry topics, dissected with data with help from fantastic guests.



Subscribe to the Deciphered Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or search for Deciphered in your podcast player of choice for the latest episodes.

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts Subscribe on Spotify



Episode 13: Host Adam Davis is joined by Bain colleague Maureen Burns and Head of Strategy, Digital, Innovation, and Enterprise Payments at Wells Fargo, Ather Williams III, to take an in-depth look at one of the biggest retail banks in the world to understand how it continues to innovate and embrace new technologies, despite a myriad of influences. Discussing the question “How do you keep innovating in the largest financial institutions?” they’ll explore the answers, including staying as close as possible to the customer and flipping the script on how banking has evolved to date. The group will also discuss top challenges to innovation in large financial institutions and how best to surmount them. Our guest finds that by looking at what is changing in the macro environment and customer needs, large financial institutions are using their capabilities, knowledge, and new technologies to deliver the outcomes customers are looking for, rather than using a product-centric approach to selling customers products they already have.

Guests: Ather Williams III, Head of Strategy, Digital, Innovation, and Enterprise Payments

Episode 12: In this special episode, LIVE from Money20/20 in Amsterdam, we explore why large financial institutions are seeing value in making investments in 2023, and where they’re looking to place their bets. The group will get under the hood and explain the strategic decisions of large financial institutions to either consolidate and innovate organically or make acquisitions to yield instant capability uplifts, accelerate time to market, and launch new ventures. In a lively debate with our expert guests, we will dig deeper into the type of FinTechs that are being acquired, the positioning of VC and PE learnings from 2022, and the macro-economic environment more broadly. 

Guests: Janine Hirt, CEO, Innovate Finance; and Shannee Braun, Director, EQT

Episode 11: During the spring of 2023, you couldn’t have missed the headlines about the banking sector … wherever you live around the world. Years of fiscal stimulus, loose monetary policy, and banks’ handling of excess liquidity have put new stresses on banks, not just in the US but into Europe and beyond. In this episode, an all-Bain & Company lineup of experts come together to explore whether there’s currently a crisis when it comes to banking liquidity. They’ll outline perspectives on the issues we’re seeing, potential solutions, and where this could lead. The group will discuss expectations for when the banking system and broader economy will find their footing and what the new reality will look like—marked, at least initially, by high rates and greater volatility. All in all, the unfolding liquidity issue across banking has been benchmarked in some quarters against the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The question this episode will explore: Is this a fair assessment? 

Guests: Joe Fielding, Partner at Bain & Company, Maria Teresa Tejada, Expert Partner at Bain & Company and Giulio Naso, Partner at Bain & Company

Episode 10: In this episode, we explore the future of the rich, growing industry that is retail payments. Not only are alternative payment methods such as account-to-account services and digital wallets seeing major growth but traditional credit card and debit card volumes are also seeing growth, thus continuing the replacement of cash in many markets. As the balance of power continues to shift between traditional players and new entrants, we’ll discuss what it takes to stay relevant in this fast-changing industry. Bain & Company experts and our knowledgeable guests will delve into the market’s current state of play, discuss our outlook concerning the future of retail payments over the next decade, and break down a future-back approach to strategy with perspectives on how to outperform in this ever-changing market.

Guests: Kelly Devine, President – UK and Ireland, Mastercard; Colin O’Flaherty, Managing Director – Head of SME, Barclaycard Payments

Episode 9: In this episode, we deep-dive into the world of insurance—namely, how the traditional premise of providing capital to cover risk and reimburse claims doesn’t necessarily satisfy anymore. Increasingly, customers want insurers to redefine their role. This provides tremendous opportunity for insurers to drive more customer engagement and help build loyalty in what has typically been a low-touch business. We’ll discuss the ins and outs of loyalty in insurance and the current landscape for insurers and insurtechs through five key lenses: customer engagement, preventing consumer risk, leading with purpose, building and scaling, and outlook. Ultimately, over the next 5 to 10 years, will a significant share of consumers use services beyond coverage from insurance providers? Will insurers achieve an increase in adoption?

Guests: Prashant Agarwal, Head of Digital, Customer & Ecosystem Marketing, AIA and Ben Luckett, Chief Innovation Officer, Aviva

Episode 8: In this episode, we explore the shift from open banking to open finance, the material contributions we’ve seen to innovation provided by open banking, what the future state of open finance may look like, and how far away an open finance utopia really may be. The scope of open banking has been gradually widening from banking to finance in several countries across the globe, and we’ll discuss the current and future state of this shift. We’ll also consider the introduction of open banking and open finance in the US as well as the move from open banking to open data economies—and what this means for banks and other financial institutions as well as consumers.

Guests: Charlotte Crosswell OBE , Chair, Centre for Finance, Innovation, and Technology (CFIT); Keith Grose, Chief Operating Officer, Sequence; and Alex Johnson, Creator, Fintech Takes

Episode 7: In the final episode of 2022, Deciphered hosts Adam Davis and Jeff Tijssen are joined by Bain colleagues Karim Ahmad, Michael Cashman, and Michael Smith to discuss the top trends in fintech going into 2023. These guests bring together their diverse expertise as we explore how the turbulence of this past year—from geopolitical conflicts to rising interest rates and threats of a recession—will impact and shape the fintech ecosystem into 2023 and beyond. Key themes the group will discuss include consolidation and acquisition in the market, the regulatory environment, tokenization and chain adoption, and the continuation of embedded finance and other 2022 trends spilling into the new year.

Guests: Karim Ahmad, Expert Partner at Bain & Company, Michael Cashman, Partner at Bain & Company and Michael Smith, Partner at Bain & Company

Episode 6: In this episode, recorded live at Money20/20 in Las Vegas, hosts Adam Davis and Jeff Tijssen are joined by Simon Taylor of Sardine and Laura Spiekerman of Alloy to discuss the outlook for fintechs over the next 18 months. With rates on the rise, many neobank and fintech C-suites haven’t experienced life in a high-interest-rate environment. We’ll delve into the effects of the macro headwinds we’ve been seeing and some products and innovations we’re excited about, despite (or because of) the current macroeconomic climate. We’ll also explore whether long-term strategies should be cast aside for short-term gains and immediate revenue, and whether a seamless pivot is even possible.

Guests: Simon Taylor, Head of Strategy, Sardine and Laura Spiekerman, Cofounder and Chief Revenue Officer, Alloy

Episode 5: In this episode, we explore how macroeconomic trends have affected crypto as an asset, separating the opportunists from the “purists” in the industry. We’ll discuss the opportunity for purists who have been quietly building—away from the volatility, away from the hype and hope, and using underlying blockchain technologies to power new use cases that can meet systemic problems within our financial system. We’ll explore where institutional adoption of blockchain is right now, some of the most applicable use cases, and where it might go in the future. 

Guest: Morgan McKenney, CEO, Provenance Blockchain Foundation  and Todd McDonald, Cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer, R3

Episode 4: In this episode, we explore what the future holds for neobanks, with so few currently profitable in the face of a current economic downturn. We’ll discuss the challenges of setting business strategies over the next couple of years, answering key questions such as whether neobanks should pursue growth at the expense of unit economics, how they can continue to differentiate their revenue streams from one another, and ultimately what they should do as rising rates pressure investors to stay clear of potentially “riskier” assets.

Guest: Valentina Kristensen, Director of Growth & Communications at OakNorth and Nik Milanović, Founder of This Week in Fintech

Episode 3: In this episode we dive deeper into what embedded finance means for the traditional banking value chain. We’ll discuss how big the opportunity could get, some of the most pertinent use cases, and how wannabe players in the new value chain can start thinking about their participation choices and how to build the necessary capabilities to serve customers.

Guests: Matt Harris, Partner at Bain Capital and Sophie Guibaud, co-founder and CCO at Fiat Republic.

Episode 2: Almost halfway through the year, macroeconomic headwinds are significantly affecting the valuations of private and public fintech companies. With a possible recession looming, higher inflation squeezing consumer spending, and interest rates on the rise globally, it’s a stark contrast to only a few months ago, when fintech valuations were at their peak.

In this episode, we’ll dive deeper into what these headwinds mean for fintechs, where investors could and should look for growth, and how long this period of instability might last.

Guest: Tim Levene, Partner and CEO of Augmentum Fintech plc and Sarah Kocianski, Head of Strategic Insights at Founders Factory

Episode 1: 2021 was the year of explosive growth for BNPL, but in 2022 macro-economic factors and regulation will impact its course. The BNPL industry has seen a proliferation of players entering the market on thin margins. With our analysis suggesting the revenue is likely to ~3x for BNPL players over the next 5 years, is there room for everyone or will the unit economics, regulatory changes and macro-economic environment only allow for a small amount of players to emerge in a big way?

Guest: Nigel Verdon, CEO at Railsbank and Alexandra Lang, GM, Director of Product for Debit+ at Affirm

Featured Insights

Featured Experts

Adam Davis Expert Associate Partner London

Fintech: Identify new growth opportunities with digital propositions

Want to continue the conversation

We help global leaders with their organization's most critical issues and opportunities. Together, we create enduring change and results