FinTech: the latest developments

The UK government recently released a report, introducing their Digital Strategy to support the FinTech industry in the UK. The report looked at how successful the industry has become (in 2015 alone, it generated £6.6 billion in revenue and over £500 million of investment) before discussing how they plan to grow it.

With this in mind, we spoke with one of Huxley’s recruitment consultants, Trystan Davies-Tommason, to look at the latest developments and get some predictions for 2017 in the UK.

Automated Advice

Customers have been demanding reliable advice or solutions, tailored to their specific problems, for years. We believe that in the future we’ll start to see chat bots (also referred to as robo-advisors) used more frequently in order to reduce costs and improve user experience.

Chat bots can work alongside advisors, managing investments using algorithms. Artificial intelligence (AI) can also be used to answer basic customer service questions, helping customers to get the answers they’re looking for almost immediately.

Whilst this won’t work for all scenarios, it will be a great way to improve the relationship between banks and their customers. This would also make financial services much easier to access.

As Trystan explains, “Many of our clients believe that a lot of the first and second line support functions currently being outsourced will be taken over by chat bots in the future. This desire to use artificial intelligence is leading to a high demand of big data engineers and analysts. In particular, those that have come from big e-commerce firms who have the experience working with extremely large volumes of unstructured data.” 

Banking Apps

A study by PwC revealed that 61% of banks believe more than 60% of their clients will be using mobile apps in the next five years.

All of the biggest UK banks have mobile apps, with some operating online only, so it’s clear there’s a demand for these services. However not all apps offer the same functionality or user experience, which can result in frustrated users and some banks being left behind in the race to the top.

When you combine this feedback with the new government focus, we predict banks will start to look at how they can update their apps to improve user experience. This is further backed by PwC’s findings that 75% of respondents felt the “most important impact FinTech will have is increased focus on the customer”.

Payment Apps/Digital Wallet

Apple Pay and Android Pay have been available for a while, and now Samsung have announced their version. The difference being, however, you don’t need a bank account in order to use it, making it more accessible. Tesco also launched their payment app, PayQwiq, allowing people to combine their payment card and clubcard for a smoother checkout process.

“Although payment apps or the digital wallet will become more popular, there’s no guarantee of their longevity. Until everything is completely digitised, including ID, people will always be carrying a wallet”, says Trystan.

That being said, we predict more companies will release payment apps, in an effort to improve their customer experience and keep up with the competition. There may even be the potential to combine payment apps with automated advice.

Women in FinTech

With only 8% of the world’s FinTech directors being female, it’s clear work needs to be done to improve the gender balance. Steps are being taken to ensure a fair split – for example, some countries such as the UK and Germany have brought in targets of minimum female representation.

This is something Trystan has experienced. “Diversity is definitely high on the agenda for all of our clients. Some have put tariffs in place to keep the balance, ensuring they’re provided a diverse shortlist of candidates. In fact, the banking and finance industry are so keen to improve diversity, more companies are hiring opportunistically with diverse candidates than we’ve seen before.”

Overcoming challenges in FinTech

As with any industry, there are certain challenges that may be faced. In FinTech, these are typically funding and investment, external circumstances (regulation changes and political changes), and a lack of talent.

By working with Huxley for all of your FinTech recruitment needs, you’ll have access to highly skilled professionals all over the world. So if you want to find out how we can help you place the right people into your team, contact us today.

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