Finance has always been at the epicentre of measuring an economy’s growth and future prospects. Technology on the other hand has emerged as a strong domain that thrives on innovation. The rapid advancement in technology in the 21st century, and especially in the last decade have allowed the tech industry to penetrate into different spheres and emerge as a globally pervasive domain. The integration of Finance and Technology has revolutionised how we see the world of finance today, thus making it essential to know what Fintech is about.
Let’s understand, what is Fintech?
Fintech is a result of blending the two terms: “finance” and “technology” together, or we can say it is a portmanteau of these terms. It simply refers to the use of technology by a business concern in order to enhance its financial services or to automate the financial processes. The term is diverse and dynamic and caters to both consumers as well as businesses.
The application of Fintech, include but are not limited to:
- Mobile banking
- Blockchain & Cryptocurrency
- Investment apps
Now another interesting question we come across is: ‘What are Fintech Companies?’
Fintech companies aim toward integrating Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain as well as Data Science into the traditional operations of the Financial sector, in order to make the services safer, faster, and more efficient. In comparison to the other tech sectors, Fintech happens to be the fastest-growing sphere. Companies are now innovating in each and every area of finance. Starting from payments and loans, and extending to credit scoring as well as stock trading, the prevalence of Fintech is pervasive.
The Fintech industry has survived the test of time and continues to grow rapidly. Not only are the established market giants in the industry witnessing an upward sloping curve as far as the growth is concerned, but also new players are emerging in the Fintech space and many people are getting inspired from the latter and are taking up the blend of technology and finance as a career.
Now that we have established what Fintech is, let’s understand how fintech works?
As an industry fintech has evolved rapidly, but it is certainly not a new industry. Technology has always played a subtle role in the world of finance, right from the introduction of credit cards in the 1950s, the ATMs, electronic trading floors, personal finance apps to high-frequency trading in the decades that followed.
In the last decade, we observed that some of the latest advances are utilizing machine learning algorithms, blockchain, and data science to do everything from process credit risks to run hedge funds. The mobile internet/smartphone revolution has also played a key role in helping the financial technology domain grow explosively, and now the services of fintech extend to include a broad variety of technological interventions into personal and commercial finance.
Fintech now covers a variety of financial activities, including money transfers, depositing a check with your smartphone, bypassing a bank branch to apply for credit, raising money for a business start-up, or managing your investments, generally without the assistance of a person. Around one-third of consumers utilize at least two or more fintech services and those consumers are also increasingly aware of fintech as a part of their daily lives. With the expansion of the Fintech domain, the career opportunities associated with it have also increased multifariously. One can easily imbibe the skills related to the mentioned profiles and can easily tap a job in this sector.
Some of the careers pertinent to Fintech are:
- Product Manager: A product manager works towards initiating partnerships, which are strategic in nature, with financial institutions and merchant banks. This is done in order to devise solutions which are viable and promote adoption of these services.
- Content Writers: A content writer would typically be focused on publishing articles on thought leadership, creating write-ups on related topics and scripting relevant insights that are to be shared.
- Social Media Marketing: This role would require the team to increase the visibility of the FinTech company on social media and capture audience attention for the promotion of the company.
- Sales: An important metric for Fintech companies is transaction throughput, thus the job of the sales team is essential in terms of targeting the right segments as well as acquiring customers majorly through digital channels.
- Data Scientists: Fintech companies typically have to deal with unstructured data in order to identify the lag and cater to the underserved. A data scientist would work towards uncovering the value from collected data through various sources in order to customise the products being offered.
- Cloud Management: With the expansion of operations and reach, cloud managers ensure to govern the entire ecosystem, including cyber security over a cloud.
- Product Engineers: In order to adopt an agile product development approach, product engineers ensure to implement products quickly with the help of open stack application developers to roll out products in a shorter turnaround time.
- UI/UX and Graphic Designers: These creative professionals develop convenient workflows, primarily for mobile only solutions, in order to create an enriching customer experience.
Some of the other traditional Fintech careers include but are not restricted to:
- Operations and Programme Management
- Legal and Regulatory functions
- Deals and Investments
- Knowledge and Research analysts
Another important factor to consider is how one can pursue a career in Fintech.
There are several pathways that an aspiring Fintech professional might pursue in order to work in this intriguing and dynamic career domain.
At the Undergraduate Level, though there are not many Universities in the world that will offer a program specialising in Fintech, but there are alternate programs which can be pursued to help a candidate develop the necessary skill set to excel in the domain of Financial Technology. An Undergraduate Program in Finance, Management, Economics, Commerce, or Engineering will all set you on the path towards a career in Fintech. Even the creative career domains like Graphic Design have a path leading to a lucrative career in this challenging industry, as discussed above.
Some of the leading Universities in the world will offer Postgraduate Programs with Fintech as a core subject area, and that makes for an interesting option for an aspiring professional who is looking forward to beginning their career in the Fintech Industry.
Online Courses/MOOCs have been a major source of learning for Fintech and related domains. Platforms like Coursera and edX have managed to curate some of the leading modules being taught by some of the Best Faculties in the world, and this allows the students to understand what the domain of Financial Technology is all about. These courses are usually divided into categories ranging from-Beginner to advanced Level, which ensures that even a High school student will have the opportunity to learn about this exciting career domain.
You can also read more about the career opportunities in this domain in the blog (Top 7 Career Options in Finance in India)
A term which was non-existent a decade ago is now leading the wave of change and has brought together two of the most dominant career fields of Finance and Technology.
The world is evolving now more than ever, the industries, and the economies are interacting and trading at a massive scale, convenience and efficiency is of the essence, and Fintech is the answer. If you are looking forward to a challenging and lucrative career domain, Fintech should definitely be on your list! And if you don’t know how to go about it further or have any questions related to this domain, then you’re only a step away from changing your life. Mindler is your answer to every career-related query, they provide online career counselling for students! You may reach out to them and the top leading career coaches will help you pave a way in the domain of Fintech.