1. FinTech will drive the finance industry

Almost every type of financial activity, from banking and payments to wealth management, is being re-imagined by FinTech start-ups. It wasn’t too long ago that people were waiting in line at the bank with their deposit slips and numerous forms of ID. Today, we don’t often need to be present, wait in checkout lanes, and rarely do we need to provide a signature. In fact, around 40% of Americans haven’t stepped foot in a bank or credit union in the last six months (Bankrate Financial Security Index survey), which isn’t surprising since the number of actual branches has dropped considerably in the past 10-15 years. This isn’t just due to the rise in online banking, but also as a result of the consumer going elsewhere. Customers are using the wide variety of financial wellness platforms, allowing them to do their banking, investing, trading and crowd-funding without leaving the comfort of their homes.

In such an innovative space, it’s clear that these new platforms will continue to emerge and create additional job opportunities for developers, engineers, project managers and product teams.

2. Blockchain technology will become mainstream

This technology was originally developed as a way of securing cryptocurrency transactions. Because of the block method, it essentially allows for safe and secure trading of anything, such as money, estate, royalties, ideas, and even copyrights. Blockchain is a public ledger, but equally has heavily encrypted access keys built in for the stakeholder. Due to its advanced security features, many financial services companies are looking for methods to implement this technology within their institutions.

Blockchain technology will feature heavily in 2018 and could completely overhaul the financial services industry. People who have a strong understanding and knowledge of blockchain technology will find themselves in great demand in 2018. 

3. More mobile technology

One of the biggest trends in 2017 was the rise of mobile transactions, especially for consumer purchases. A recent Google study found that 82% of smart phone users turn to their mobile device to make a product decision. Like many other industries, the Finance industry is being driven by mobile technology, and is becoming more customer-focused as a result. The trend in mobile usage within banking is expected to continue to rise over the next year– it’s predicted that by 2019, mobile banking and payments will reach a staggering $92 billion.

Developers with ideas for FinTech apps within banking and payments will stand to become very profitable in the next year or so.

4. Millennials reshaping the workplace

The millennial workforce is shifting workplace cultures towards an ‘adapt to survive’ mentality. Their penchant for flexible working conditions, innovative technology and fast progress up the company ladder is forcing this historically corporate industry to create a more dynamic working environment. The quality of new innovative talent entering the market is of great importance to the fast developing FinTech industry as the ability to attract and retain the new generation of employees will be key to delivering on long-term strategies. Corporate, hierarchical cultures are already being revived and breakout work zones, remote working, and radical thinking are becoming the norm. In 2018 office space will look different and the culture will have an overhaul too.

In 2018 we will see an increase in younger Managers and Leaders with Senior Leaders playing mentor style roles. If you are looking to climb the company ladder in 2018 there will be lots of opportunities for fast track progression for those who demonstrate true leader potential.

5. Digital vs. Physical currency

Although we’re not predicting that physical currency will become obsolete in 2018, we are predicting the increased usage of digital money, such as Bitcoin. Despite Bitcoin not being backed by any government or belonging to any nation, it has still become a valid form of currency. Confusion around Bitcoin has made many companies wary of using it, but digital currency is definitely here to stay.

The first Bitcoin ATM recently opened in Las Vegas so if digital currency does take off as we predict there may well be job opportunities to create more platforms for digital or mobile use as well as physical platforms such as ATMs and Bitcoin banks.

With the FinTech industry already disrupting the finance space, it will be interesting to see what digital currency will come next and how that will exist in the financial world. We can be sure there will be some competitors to Bitcoin in 2018 and with that an increase in demand for developers in this space.

6. Challenges around security, privacy and trust

Historically banking and financial services companies have hesitated when it comes to implementing newer technologies through fear of high-level security and privacy breaches. You only need to mention the Equifax breach in July 2016 to put shivers down the spine of the financial sector. It’s important to find the best way to balance security and compliance alongside these new technologies before adding them into the system. In 2017, the Fintech industry saw a significant shift towards personal authentication, such as iris scans and facial recognition – the new iPhone X playing into this trend. Evidently, the only thing holding back new innovations and technology is security.

A definite trend this year will be the creation of solutions to support security, privacy and compliance. In turn this will create a lot of jobs in data encryption, secure data storage and ethical hacking. From design, engineering, testing, quality assurance to implementation there will be an increase in the number of vacancies in 2018 within digital security.

 

FinTech has become a major trendsetter to the traditional financial services sector, and is likely to continue disrupting the industry in 2018. Traditionally, these companies have only hired people with financial services industry experience, making it tough to break into. However, due to such high demand for tech talent, the industry has opened its doors to those without prior industry experience. If you’re interested in working in this highly influential industry, now is the time.

View our current FinTech jobs.

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