Why you should upskill yourself in FinTech before the year ends

SOURCE: Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP
Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Jelena McWilliams (R), listens while US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks during a conference on "Fintech and the Future of Banking," at the FDIC on April 24, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia. 2020 is the time to upskill yourself in FinTech. Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP

By U2B Staff 

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Contrary to popular belief, FinTech (short for financial technology) is no longer an up-and-coming sector of finance — it’s actually “the new normal” in 2020 – according to deVere Group founder and CEO Nigel Green.

A global survey done by the group in July of last year found that over half – 55% –  of banking and financial services customers around the world use FinTech products and services.

Green noted, “Even two or three years ago, that figure would have been significantly lower.  The fact that today 55 per cent of people polled globally use FinTech solutions on a regular basis highlights the staggering rate of the digitalisation of our everyday lives.

“And it is speeding up. From self-driving cars, genetic bio-editing to AI, new technologies are beginning to impact every part of our lives. Our financial lives are no exception.  We’re in a new age.”

“FinTech firms are filling the void left between what traditional financial services companies are offering and what customers are now expecting, especially in terms of customer experience.”

FinTech sector will see light at the end of the tunnel in 2020 and beyond

The current COVID-19 pandemic is causing an economic crisis and very few industries are being spared of its knock-on effects. While FinTech will also see tough times in 2020, the “The Future of Disruptive and Enabling Financial Technology post CV-19” report from Finch Capital suggests that the post-COVID-19 landscape will see a boom in the sector.

Radboud Vlaar, Managing Partner at Finch Capital, said, “2020 will be challenging for FinTechs to navigate, but there are better times ahead. Post-crisis, disruptive winners will “take all”, as we expect surging demand from financial services for technology to master digital-only interaction, enabled by AI and big-data analytics.”

Key findings of the report showed that certain players in FinTech will fare better than others post COVID-19.

It stated, “Digital-only becomes the new industry norm in financial services, accelerating the current trends, “and that the shift to digital-only will trigger a “Big Pocket” online battle between incumbents and challengers to win Financial Institutions.

As there is currently a FinTech skills gap in the finance sector, the report also states that financial institutions will be turning to tech companies – such as start-ups – rather than inhouse in order to accelerate digital transformation.

Among those identified in the report as FinTech sector winners are consumer and SME lending platforms due to  “best-adapting mechanism to swiftly and efficiently deliver capital to key segments of the economy.”

Those in mortgage and life insurance will also leap forward with technology, disrupting the role of intermediaries in face-to-face roles.

Additionally, FinTech “enablers” offering AI, IoT and software solutions are in high demand in areas such as automation in customer support, account-opening procedures, and loan automation in 2020.


Upskilling yourself in FinTech through online education

All things considered, 2020 is the best time to upskill yourself in FinTech so you can be ready for the boom after the COVID-19 storm has past.

Most in-demand skills by the FinTech industry include Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), as well as programming skills in Javascript, Java, C#, C++, Python and SQL.

It’s also recommended for FinTech professionals to develop and hone soft skills such as emotional intelligence and communication, creativity, flexibility and adaptability skills.

Once you identify which skills you need, you can narrow your search when looking for MOOCs or executive education courses in FinTech online.

For example, the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) offers an online Fintech Foundation Course for novices and professionals who want to upskill in the flourishing FinTech sector.

It’s also ideal for those are upskilling as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD), as you will earn a CPD Accredited Certificate of Completion upon completion. 

You can also check out some online courses from Ivy League universities such as the FinTech short course by Harvard University. 

Some FinTech online courses are also currently going free like this Fintech Foundations and Overview course by The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera. 

If an advanced degree is what you’re after, then there are online options for those too. OBS Business School in Spain offers a Master in Fintech and Financial Innovation entirely online, while GBSB Global offers an Online Master in Financial Management, Digital Banking and Internet Finance, to name a few.