November 28, 2019 Financial Technology Role in the Finance Service Sector

By Tom Wilde

Financial technology changed physically handling money matters by going into a bank branch, to using web browsers and finally now looking over your finances using an app. The merging of technology and consumers, lead to the growing demand for financial technology.  It allows consumers to be more hands-on with their money and understand how and where it is spent. The finance sector now has the challenge of staying ahead of their clients who are becoming more tech-savvy and want more control over their money. Financial services are no longer for the 1% people with any range of wealth may now look to improve their financial situation. What is financial technology? Financial technology includes a wide range of products and services — the combination of finance, technology and business, to make for client convenient financial control methods. The market for new financial services isn’t limited to individuals, many companies find a growing necessity for advanced technology to keep up with the global macroeconomic environment. The software is designed to increase the use of the product by being comfortable for the client to use and thus bringing them back to the app or website to do such things as check their bank balance or track employee payroll. What is the role of financial technology? Financial technology services are now replacing the traditional method of physically walking into a bank and depositing cash or sitting down with your bank manager to discuss how your accounts are doing. Instead of certain individuals being privy to financial information, the doors have opened up and anyone with the inclination to follow their finances and trends of the market may do so. The advancements in financial services are about consumer convenience. A person looking for a loan, now only has to visit one website and multiple offers will be available, instead of having to go to each loan lender. Individuals may run their credit checks and receive advice on how to improve their score or get rid of bad debt before wasting their time being rejected for a loan. Prequalification processes allow clients from the beginning of investment searches the knowledge of what their spending limits are, instead of what they imagine it to be. The benefits lend itself to many businesses and financial accountants, who may get a clearer idea of what a client has to spend and waste less time on investments clients can’t afford. Financial services now include a wide range of careers What are the emerging trends in financial technology? Many financial institutions are looking to make digital improvements to their business and increase the financial services they offer. Companies who don’t digitalise may find themselves losing potential clients simply because their services are too slow. The pace of modern life usually means very little free time and people no longer want to wait in a queue to be helped. Banks today have become highly automated with online banking and banking apps, making a physical visit to a bank branch few and far between for most people. The changing demographics of clients means the tech generations are growing into the more substantial client base as each year passes. Financial technology startup companies are now appearing in abundance and have not disappointed with technological innovations. They are developing systems for efficient banking, securing a loan, managing investments or tracking budgets. The monopoly of big institutions on banking and investments is now being evened out by financial technology disruptors appearing in the market. Is financial technology the future? The future of finance is technology. Once clients have seen the benefits of apps concerning time-saving, ease of use and cost reductions in investment portfolio management, going backwards will not be an option. The importance of having a holistic and trustworthy relationship with clients will now be more critical than ever as competition increases and information becomes readily available. Finance technology services will move the client’s portfolio focus from calculations of risk and return on investments, as improved technologies take care of the more technical aspects, to individual client wealth management, figuring out ways to maximise savings and future monetary commitments. What jobs are there in financial technology? Careers associated with financial technology are in high demand and qualified applicants can be challenging to find. The field requires knowledge of programming languages, mathematical and quantitative skills. A mind for analytical and logical thinking will give candidates a competitive advantage. Some careers available in financial technology are:

  • Blockchain developer A blockchain developer is responsible for the design and architecture of a blockchain system, including design protocols and relevant development. They create decentralised applications that run on blockchain technology.
  • App developer An app developer is essentially a software developer who creates, tests and programs apps for computer, cellphones and other technologies. The app developer is responsible for thinking of new ideas and concepts. They work with a team to bring the app to the general public.
  • Financial analyst Financial data can be studied to spot trends and make forecasts about where the market is heading to help make investment decisions. Financial analysts can identify inefficiencies in companies operations and improve upon them.
  • Cybersecurity analyst Cybercrime has contributed to massive financial losses and expenditure for commercial organisations. Companies are investing an increasing number of resources into combating cybercriminals and ensuring their networks are secure. The high demand for cybersecurity analysts is understandable, as cyberattacks use sophisticated techniques to break into organisations networks, a security analyst needs to use just as advanced methods, if not superior methods to keep hackers out.
  • Data scientist Data scientists take raw data, clean it, and then analyse it to harvest useful information from it for financial service firms to predict an outcome.
  • Quantitative analyst A quantitative analyst is a mathematics, computing and finance experts whose computer skills are used to develop algorithms needed by investment banks and firms. As big data grows, the higher the demand for trading to become an automated process. Quantitative analysts will be the leaders driving this process.

What qualifications are needed to get into financial technology? A technology-related degree such as computer science, engineering or mathematics may be required but isn’t always essential with all employers. Experience gained outside of a degree is also valuable and shows potential employers skills and motivation. The ability to learn quickly and an eagerness to improve your existing skills and knowledge will get you far in this field. In your spare time, learning a second programming language or taking an additional training course is an excellent way to stand out. Working with computers has long been thought of as a profession for nerds, but perceptions are changing as banks and investment firm’s modernism and strive to keep up with the times. The era of financial technology brings with it working environments that our parents and grandparents could only have dreamed of. Teams are now flexible and work across multi-functional departments, with some organisations aiming to create a more relaxed and “cool” atmosphere. Perhaps joining a corporate company no longer has to mean cold cubicles, zero creativity and faulty printers.