The world of finance has transformed tremendously in recent years with the rapid evolution of technology birthing the new domain of fintech—the intersection where financial services and technology converge.
Technologies like peer-to-peer lending, robo-advisors, cryptocurrencies, investment management software and online banking are taking the finance industry by storm.
Now, more than ever, financial leaders need to focus on the customer journey. Companies today are seeking better ways to leverage technology to improve their products, services and processes. Through innovation, corporations can meet consumer and business expectations for convenience and personalization.
In the first half of 2018, companies invested $41.7 billion in fintech worldwide, surpassing the total record spend for 2017. Fintech is undeniably advantageous for organizations as technology continues to redefine our daily lives.
With the pressure to stay ahead of the competition and to continually adapt, there’s a growing demand for tech-savvy talent in finance who have the capabilities to manage disruptive technology. To drive organizational change, new skill sets are emerging to help the industry reach new heights.
Check out these promising careers on the horizon in the fintech sector:
The financial services world operates largely on the back of digital and cloud-based technologies. While these applications improve internal processes and customer services, there is also an unavoidable burden—increased vulnerability to malicious cyber threats.
Financial institutions are targeted by cyberattacks 65 percent more than the average business.
Cybercrime is on the rise and not stopping anytime soon. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that cybercrimes will triple the number of open job positions in the next five years alongside projections that there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions by 2021.
- Investigating incidents and creating an actionable response plan
- Evaluating vulnerabilities to prevent future security breaches
- Using intelligent encryptions to protect data and systems
- Conducting scenario-based testing to develop security measures
Another profession set to grow within fintech is blockchain development.
Although this distributed ledger technology was originally developed to account for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, the fintech sector has found other uses. For instance, one solution includes the elimination of business intermediaries to make transactions cheaper, faster and more efficient. Some authorities also foresee its potential to provide more secure methods for record keeping.
As such, the demand for blockchain developers has skyrocketed. Upwork, a popular freelancing platform, reported that blockchain was the fastest-growing skill in their skill sets report with a 3,500 percent year-over-year growth in Q2 of 2018.
The recent peak in cryptocurrency and blockchain interest continues to fuel job demand as more companies require platforms and programs to improve efficiencies and speed-to-market.
- Implementing UI/UX design concepts to define the customer experience
- Employing Ethereum and Hyperledger tools
- Designing, building and launching blockchain technology per business models and requirements
- Applying expertise of algorithms, data security, P2P networks and cryptography
Risk and Compliance
Fintech emerged on the scene initially as an alternative solution to financial institutions. However, the lines have blurred in recent years considering new developments.
More and more fintech businesses are pursuing bank charters, and in turn, banks are nurturing relationships with fintech companies to fulfill consumer demand—a total transformation of both the fintech and traditional financial services domains.
Both fields have been affected by new rules and regulations amid the evolution of technology. As a result, the risk of regulatory scrutiny and obligations have increased simultaneously causing the need for compliance experts to rise.
In addition to compliance, risk control managers are also in demand. More financial companies need specialists to analyze, prevent and mitigate risks to business including regulations, operations and crimes.
- Using technology to analyze trends and patterns to prioritize risks
- Identifying current vulnerabilities and potential compliance issues
- Developing risk management strategies and policies
- Staying abreast of evolving industry regulation requirements
- Combatting financial crime through AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know-your-customer) software
Digital transformation is a hot topic in the fintech space, making technology adoption a huge priority for organizations today.
The financial services industry flourishes on informed-decision making, from extending credit to consumers to evaluating risks.
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) has helped businesses make fast and critical decisions with data and insight. Across the industry, organizations have turned to these technologies to transform their business through ALM pattern detection, chatbots, risk management, fraud prevention, network security and investment predictions.
While these innovations have improved efficiencies and processes greatly, human experts like machine learning engineers, data scientists, developers, researchers and more are needed to manage, develop and oversee artificial intelligence and machine learning. The capabilities within these technologies are tremendous and cross multiple disciplines. Prospective job seekers in this field can expect one or more of the following AI duties in fintech depending on the profession.
- Applying knowledge of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and deep-learning algorithms
- Using program languages like Python, C++, Java and more to build platforms
- Operating complex predictive models and NLP to large data sets to support company objectives
- Building, launching and supporting AI solutions
- Analyzing data and making recommendations based on findings
Fintech is the future
The fintech industry is thriving. Innovation continues to transform this field and will do so for the foreseeable future. Job seekers eager to become a part of this growing domain are those who seek to redefine traditional methods with evolving technology. From programming to AI and beyond, a career in fintech is teeming with endless opportunities.