The Most In-Demand Skills for Fintech

Financial technology (Fintech) is one of the world’s fastest growing and in-demand industries. Fintech refers to new technology coming into the financial sector that has the potential to disrupt the industry. The introduction of the first credit card is an early example of Fintech that changed the financial world. Today’s advancements mostly focus on how to make things more efficient for consumers and companies, such as online payments, contactless transactions, and mobile banking. Fintech is any type of technology designed to improve and automate the use of financial services.

The Fintech industry is evolving quickly and it has supported the financial sector in overcoming various challenges. Still a fresh and expanding industry, the experience that you would need in the industry spans across a range of engineering and technical skills. Jonny Demko, Business Manager from our team in the London office, talks us through the top skills in demand within Fintech right now. Check out what he had to say below.

 

Software Development

It may seem a somewhat generic point when you compare software development to other more niche skills that are in demand. But there is no moving away from the fact that the software developer is still very much the number one skill set in demand from our Fintech customer base.

Looking at the specifics, the demand follows the wider Financial Services and Commercial industry in that we’ve moved to a world where Full Stack is the norm rather than siloed server or client-side development. Not a ground-breaking insight by any stretch of the imagination but certainly one that rings true.

Software developers could expect to become involved in a whole host of different Fintech drivers ranging from building a platform for a new digital bank, to building an electronic marketplace for a disruptive Insurtech business.

The user experience (UX) is often the disruptive driver behind Fintech businesses, offering a more customer friendly approach than their more established competitors to take market share. Therefore, developers with an appreciation for design as well as architecture and development certainly make themselves standout candidates.

Blockchain Experts

The rising demand for Blockchain experts can be directly tied to the explosion of the cryptocurrency industry. Over the past decade, the exponential increase in the value of digital currencies like Bitcoin, have disrupted the core banking industry. As the underlying technology, Blockchain uses a single, shared consensus and ‘ledger’-based system of transactions to enable the lending, moving, trading and reconciling of money across the world.

According to a recent study conducted by LinkedIn, the demand for blockchain developers is increasing by 30% year on year. And we can only expect the demand to keep growing in the future as rates of adoption and introduction of new blockchain solutions for financial institutions will increase.

Data Specialist

As technology disrupts and redefines financial services, it also generates vast amounts of useful data that needs to be scrutinised, analysed and interpreted. For this purpose, knowledge of technologies like Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data and Deep Learning is essential.

Fintech companies cannot afford to simply accumulate data. They’ll also need people who will be able to mine this data, analyse it, and offer recommendations on how to use this data to improve services. Customer data analysis is what will eventually allow Fintech companies to stay competitive, and its value cannot be overstated.

Cybersecurity Expertise

The explosion of the online financial services industry has created a new breed of cybercriminals. Fintech start-up companies are especially vulnerable to threats. Such attacks can lead to information loss, can damage reputations, strain business relations, have severe legal consequences and can also affect employee morale.

To cope with these attacks, firms have to bear a 23% year-on-year increase in the cost of cybersecurity and crime prevention. Cybercriminals are getting smarter and cyber-attacks on financial platforms are getting more sophisticated, so the requirement for specialist cybersecurity professionals is continuously growing. Skills needed include incident investigation and response-ability, governance, risk management and compliance (GRC), digital communication technologies, encryption methods and analytical skills. Such candidates must be trained in security operations management, virtualisation, data administration and management, communication skills and platform/technology-specific skills.

DevOps and the drive for Automation

As businesses continue to expand their technology horizons, the need and demand to automate processes continues to grow. As a result, demand for DevOps and skilled talent in this space has been high. In line with the increase in useful data, the need to automate and process the information has meant businesses moving towards a DevOps mentality to increase efficiency and shorten a traditional software development lifecycle.

Soft Skills

Fintech professionals also need to build up a great portfolio of soft skills to achieve long-term success in this industry. Fintech is set to be the biggest employers of new CFOs and CEOs, who will now need to have a deep understanding of information technology at all levels, as well as having the essential soft skills required to manage teams, various personalities and be great decision makers

1.) People Skills

The fast-moving nature of Fintech means that skilled employees who possess high emotional skills are more likely to succeed than those who have only technical skills. Other critical people skills for this industry include the ability to collaborate effectively with others and work in teams, build relationships, share ideas and manage conflict.

2.) Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills

The Fintech industry faces a host of technological and legal challenges and unexpected events. Fintech professionals are required to have analytical and critical thinking skills that can help them find creative solutions to such problems.

3.) Adaptability and Flexibility

Fintech workers need to be adaptable to effectively deal with the rapid changes occurring in the industry. They cannot afford to be bogged down by traditional practices, because what has worked in the past may not work in the future. Resistance to change can be a career-killer.

 

The Fintech industry is set to revolutionise the way we spend, manage, save, and invest our money. 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. A STEM career in Fintech is teeming with endless opportunities. Jonny concludes by saying:

“The industry has matured at an impressive trajectory and London is already considered the Fintech Capital of the world. That, coupled with the government’s review into boosting the UK Fintech eco-system by ‘ensuring it has the resources needed to grow’, has the “conditions for continued widespread adoption” and is focused on “advancing the UK Fintech’s global reputation” certainly makes for an exciting future and a continued rate of acceleration. It’s a great time to join an industry that genuinely offers some incredible opportunities.”

 

If you are looking for the talent that could take charge of your next project, or if you are a specialist who is interested in pursuing a career within Fintech, contact us and we’ll be in touch.

If you'd like to read more about relevant industry insights visit our Fintech Hub or connect with us on LinkedIn.

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