What is fintech?
Fintech, an abbreviation for financial technology, is any technology that seeks to improve financial services. Fintech is designed to better serve businesses and companies in managing their finances, but also helps any sector that has a need for managing finances, such as education. It can be utilized to automate and improve the delivery of financial services to consumers too. It’s increasingly popular for use with smartphones and any business that deals with finance.
As cryptocurrencies gain traction we also see fintech applied to that too. The term can essentially be applied to any innovation that improves the function of financial services, even the invention of digital currency. We’ve seen many modern contributions to helping consumers manage finances with the rise of internet banking and automated systems that don’t require a human interface or interaction. Like with many advances in tech, fintech is no different, it aims to replace the traditional forms of financial management, especially offered to consumers, to improve or streamline the services offered.
Fintech start-ups are being funded regularly and the interest in these developments is strong and if you want to learn how to get involved and what skills are required, this article will explain everything you need to know.
The landscape of fintech
The current landscape of fintech is evolving, as more technological advancements are achieved and innovators consistently find new ways to improve accessibility to this technology. The industry itself is still considered young and there is plenty of space for newcomers to continue to change the way things work.
There’s a variety of ways to begin a career in fintech and this article will hopefully serve as a guide for those looking for a creative position.
This is of course the typical route of pitching your ideas to an established network if you are interested in the start-up approach, but this won’t apply to many so we’ll be focusing on skills you can develop to find a job role in the fintech industry.
The key to succeeding in the world of fintech is being agile and adaptable, as the industry is quickly evolving. It’s not referred to as a tech revolution for no reason.
Building the right skills
Beginning a career in fintech may involve learning new skills you hadn’t considered before, meaning you need a willingness to jump in at the deep end. Being prepared for the massive changes it’ll bring will help you thrive in such a competitive field.
There are online courses and training programs to help gain certificates in fintech if you don’t already have the necessary skills
They can also provide an insight into the industry before your career begins, informing you of the skills you need to develop, the opportunities that are available, the innate competition in the industry and the different approaches you can take.
Skills you need:
Python is a programming language used to help write code clearer and more logical. It can be applied to AI, data science, machine learning and more. Python is one of the most popular languages but there are many others used depending on the needs of the application, so it’s worth looking into what may be required for the field you wish to specialise in. However, python is perhaps the most widely used and a great skill to have if you want to break into fintech.
Mobile app development
If you were to ask the average consumer to identify a financial technology they use on a daily basis chances are they would all say online banking. As more and more users switch to online banking instead of face-face especially after the coronavirus pandemic, there opens up a great opportunity for mobile app developers to swoop in.
Not only are new apps being released constantly, but already existing apps are always evolving. Banks and businesses are always looking to recruit eager app developers to improve the services they offer. Search for online courses to learn the basics of app development before specializing in fintech related app development.
Data scientists are one of the most sought after roles from businesses that need help processing a massive influx of data. Banks and companies that offer any kind of financial service in particular, must manage high volumes of data. As a result, there is a current shortage of these positions being filled which is great news for anyone familiar with data science looking to apply their knowledge to fintech.
Again, there are plenty of free courses available online for those who wish to hone and develop their skills, from entry level to more intermediate learners.
For many businesses, the threat of cyber hacks remains one of the most pervasive and each year companies invest millions in improving their cyber security. Of course, this is a huge concern for banks or other financial service companies that handle large amounts of money. There are endless real-life horror stories of cyber security attacks on the finance industry as hackers see them as the biggest target.
Not only are the financial transactions at risk but so are the reputations of these companies. This means there is always a high demand for cyber security experts in the fintech industry to help fortify services.
AI and machine learning
AI is no longer just a science-fiction concept but has thousands of real-world applications. Machine learning is the future of identifying patterns and improving services and fintech is no different. What makes it so attractive to companies is how versatile the technology is, how many different fields it can aid, from cyber security to data science.
This means there is no shortage of vacancies for professionals who can innovate this technology and design applications for financial services for consumers and businesses alike. Having a background in machine learning and AI will also be a bonus if you desire to move to a different sector of fintech as the skills developed are often transferable.
Data visualization is one of the more creative jobs in fintech, which is essentially a step beyond data analysis and involves interpreting how the information gathered can be applied to improve the business. The role requires creativity and a knack for storytelling, as you’ll need to convince others the best way to implement analyzed data.
If you have a background in data analysis and are looking for an opportunity to get a job in fintech, consider data visualization as your potential next step.