For most financial consumers, the word “fintech” calls to mind cash apps like Venmo and the ability to pay for everyday purchases with the tap of a smartphone button.
But in reality, the concept of fintech has been around since the 1950s, and it has been changing the way financial businesses (and the larger world of finance) operate for decades.
According to Forbes, fintech has spurred major innovations in the financial world, including:
- 1950s: credit cards
- 1960s: ATMs
- 1970s: electronic stock trading
- 1980s: bank mainframe computers with sophisticated data and record-keeping systems
- 1990s: Internet and e-commerce business models flourished
Today, fintech startups are popping up left and right, and established standalone financial-technology companies are thriving. But major, mainstream institutions within the financial services sector are also leaning more heavily on technology these days.
And there’s no better illustration of this growth than the increased job creation in this sector. According to CompTIA, 194,000 new tech jobs were created in 2018 alone, many of them within financial services.
Forward-looking financial institutions are increasingly looking to staff up beyond a small IT department and hire like tech companies to more aggressively pursue technological solutions for their business needs.
Let’s take a look at some of the tech trends to watch in financial services this year and in years to come.
Tech teams within financial firms are feeling increased pressure to improve their speed and efficiency to deliver internal and external products that respond to the constant changes of the industry.
But all the while, they’re also expected to control costs and resources, as well as pay attention to regulatory and compliance concerns.
Benefits to agile include greater adaptability to changes in customer needs and industry activity; better alignment between business and IT objectives; increased team productivity; and faster, stronger ROI.
Financial services companies are already leading the pack in implementing agile to move organizational initiatives forward more aggressively, and we expect this trend will only increase in future years.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are seemingly everywhere. But despite the preponderance of Facebook algorithms and Siri-enabled devices available today, what professionals call “true AI” is still in its infancy.
AI-enabled systems are designed to digest huge data sets and then interpret them based on an algorithm. And machine learning enables that system to learn from previous data sets and results — and become smarter and make better decisions over time, without human intervention. That’s “true AI.”
Artificial intelligence has untold potential for the financial services sector, from consumer-finance “robo advisors” to credit risk assessment and fraud detection.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency
Blockchain provides a secure list of transactions with two distinguishing features. First, the list is distributed, meaning there are multiple copies that are constantly updated, providing continuity and transparency across all the copies. Second, the list is immutable, meaning it is a complete and accurate history of transactions.
Combining these two qualities, the blockchain is incredibly secure: To alter, delete, or otherwise disrupt the data contained within it would require simultaneously tampering with countless computers storing the same data.
Blockchain goes way beyond cryptocurrency, though financial services companies will have to contend with and adapt to the continued development of cryptocurrency technologies.
There are opportunities throughout the industry for blockchain to disrupt the way business is done, including faster, more secure transactions; seamless international trade; greater transparency; and increased data security.
Financial markets move faster than ever, and for financial institutions looking to keep up (read: all of them), quantum computing can provide a solution.
It’s a way of computing that uses the principles of quantum mechanics, including superposition, to perform certain jobs more efficiently than a regular (or “classical”) computer — or do jobs that classical computers aren’t even capable of. Suffice it to say that quantum computing can allow processing of massive amounts of data in less time, using less energy.
Financial institutions are looking to quantum computing for several uses:
- Increased trade, transaction, and data processing speed
- Better risk and performance modeling
- Improved cybersecurity
To capitalize on the possibilities of quantum computing, financial organizations will have to bring on board tech professionals who understand how to create systems that leverage quantum computing as well as how to put them to productive use.
Is your financial-services business ready to focus on tech?
If you’re not growing, you’re dying.
For sophisticated fintech startups and well-established financial institutions alike, technology is proving essential to thrive in today’s highly competitive financial markets.
In today’s constantly changing technical skill landscape, small businesses and large corporations alike are struggling to hire and retain top tech talent. Demand far outpaces the supply of qualified resources available. Companies will have to think beyond talent acquisition and start focusing on nurturing talent from within to suit their dynamic needs!
A long-term investment will have to be made in creating talent — to meet short-term demands and prepare for long-term challenges. Upskilling refers to providing your existing staff with training and educational opportunities to learn the technical skill sets they need to do these new jobs.
Collabera helps nurture talent through live and virtual training in the realms of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, big data, and DevOps — to name just a few.
We work closely with our clients to identify tech trends that pertain to their company, hire STEM graduates, provide customized trainings, and deploy them to projects — then ensure clients continue meeting their tech workforce demands through ongoing engagement after placement.
Ready to fix your talent gap or upskill your top-tier employees? Contact us today to learn more about these educational opportunities.
Collabera also provides tech staff augmentation services for our partners in the financial services sector. Looking for tech professionals to staff your team? Contact Collabera to discuss your hiring needs.
Conferences in FinTech take place all over the world, click below for some of the most robust gatherings happening in the U.S. If you work in the FinTech field, you’ll want to make time to attend at least one of these events in 2019.