Things are looking broadly positive in the Fintech space, according to Robert Walters’ Global Fintech Talent Report.
In the first quarter of 2022, the global Fintech industry saw more than 182% in tech employment growth, making the sector one of the fastest-growing industries, post-pandemic – writes Kirstie McDermott, Senior Content Manager, Amply
But what else is happening in terms of jobs, employment and wider sector trends? Below, we’re drilling down into five things you need to know, and if you’re looking for a role in the industry, you can check out our Job Board.
1. Reinventing the office
McKinsey says that financial services companies are at a unique tipping point when it comes to their business premises.
Many have traditionally insisted on having staff in the office with the biggest banks and insurers investing millions in their flagship offices and branches.
But during the pandemic, it turns out that financial-services employees spent around 75% of their time on activities that could be done remotely.
So in order to get employees back into the office some or all of the time, financial services firms will have to think fast, and they’ll have to think smart.
Companies will need to create a mix of tactics which will include accelerating a culture and mindset of continuous learning, embracing diversity and inclusion and supporting an innovation-led, start-up culture.
2. The crypto downturn
It’s impossible to ignore: cryptocurrencies are crashing. Coinbase’s stock has dropped by more than 50% in the last month, and the overall cryptocurrency market lost more than $1 trillion in value in the same period with bitcoin and ether plummeting over 50% from last year’s peak.
The collapse of algorithmic stablecoin UST and recent news that European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde wants crypto to be regulated seems like another blow to the sector.
“My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing, it is based on nothing, there is no underlying asset to act as an anchor of safety,” she said. Lagarde also said she was worried about people who could “lose it all” as they don’t understand the risks of investing in digital currencies.
In the US, the situation is similar, with lawmakers taking a closer look at crypto. The Biden administration is likely to ask US lawmakers to compel cryptocurrency exchanges to keep customers’ money separate from their own corporate funds.
It seems that not everyone is willing to give up without a fight: Coinbase recently released a 30-second ad which aired during a Golden State Warriors game against the Mavericks. The spot made the point that people have been declaring crypto dead for the past 10 years. So, the phoenix may yet rise from the ashes.
3. New and plentiful jobs
As a term, Fintech was coined in the early 1990s, but back then it just meant technology that enhanced financial processes. Fintech’s real growth has happened since the 2008 global financial crisis, which saw confidence in traditional banking institutions crumble.
That opened the door to what we now recognise as the Fintech industry and since then, companies and innovation in the sector have mushroomed, and along with that have come a whole slew of new job titles.
Roles you can expect to apply for as a result of Fintech’s particular needs include blockchain developer, crowdfunding specialist, quantitative analyst, data scientist and risk and compliance expert.
In the future, it seems likely that AI will be a big jobs focus in the industry, as will anti-fraud and cybersecurity roles. ESG and diversity and inclusion roles will become more important too.
McKinsey notes that financial services firms can expect to add new executive leadership roles with titles such as head of remote, vice president of flex work, and director of hybrid working to help manage culture changes as well.
4. Embedded Fintech adoption
As the sector matures and lean Fintech firms seek banking licenses and the once stuffy and traditional bricks and mortar banking institutions pivot into offering Fintech services such as digital wallets, embedded financial services will become the norm.
We’re already seeing this in services such as Klarna, which seamlessly integrates into a regular online shopping experience to offer customers a payment method that suits their needs. It’s simple, easy to use and frictionless.
And there’s a lot more already here, or on the way: Uber offers an easy, embedded way to pay for a taxi, payment-as-a-service companies including Square and Stripe make it incredibly easy for businesses to add payment options, and Shopify uses embedded banking for its vendors.
5. Sustainability and progressive policies
The sector hasn’t traditionally been known for its green credentials but that is all changing. As awareness grows of the huge carbon footprint of cryptocurrencies – a single bitcoin has the same carbon footprint as 330,000 credit card transactions – the industry is responding in other ways.
Partially this is because customers want to use companies that match their own values – and sustainability, diversity and inclusion and ESG are all now top of many peoples’ agendas.
Connected to that is the fact that eco-conscious companies outperform their non-sustainable competitors as people switch to brands that match their values – and that goes for their bank or financial app, too.
In the future, we want to use financial and Fintech services that demonstrably show their care for issues around global warming, recycling, loss of biodiversity and ozone layer depletion, for example. Companies are already making inroads: Starling Bank, Stripe and PensionBee are all leading the field.