The changes that have happened in the Financial Services world over the last decade have been huge. Technology has completely redefined the processes within financial services companies and what customers expect from them. The banking sector is a great example, where the traditional method of going into your local branch to arrange a mortgage, take out a credit card or perform a simple transaction has changed greatly.
Now the majority of customers want to be able to do everything that they need through the convenience of a few clicks within the app on the smartphone. If a bank can’t provide that solution for them, then this could be a good reason for the customer to change banks. Due to this change in demand and the costs associated with running a large network of branches, most banks have significantly reduced their number of branches.
According to the Telegraph, 2017 will see an overall reduction of 525 branches. This included 148 RBS and Natwest, 117 HSBC, 95 Lloyds/Halifax, 79 Clydesdale/Yorkshire Bank and 38 TSB. The demand for digital banking is already very high, but the next generations of customers won’t know anything other than digital banking.
Traditional banking methods like the use of cheques will be part of history when they become obsolete in 2018. This will reduce the requirement for branch even more. So, with all of these changes in banking and reduced jobs in branches, it means there is an increasing need for FinTech roles.
Jobs like Software Engineer, Developer, SQL Database Administrator, Agile Product Manager, Machine Learning Developer, UX Designer will be in demand; a simple search on any job site will bring back a large percentage of technical roles, and this pattern will only increase over the years to come as we move closer to a world where banking and financial services are fully digitalised. Whatever sector you look at, you can see how it has been impacted by technology, whether it is providing mock driving theory tests through sites like toptests.co.uk or arranging your car insurance through a comparison site. Learning the theory behind driving is becoming digitalised, as well as other forms of learning through an online university. FinTech is not a solo industry using new technology and innovation; many others are too.
For students thinking about the types of jobs they can go into, there certainly is a lot of choices these days. CEO of Funding Options, Conrad Ford, recently provided some advice for people looking to work in the FinTech sector with a view of launching their own Startup. One of the first pieces of advice was to take up a Graduate Scheme if offered one. The amount of experience and support you generally get through these schemes will set you up really well for the future.
He also said that people shouldn’t be afraid of being wrong or failing. The ability to get over any failure quickly will help. Ford also explained that getting too big too soon would hold people back, how you should never get complacent and you must be ready to adapt. As the FinTech industry becomes bigger, we will no doubt see plenty of Startups emerging over the next ten years across the UK.