The Unobvious Career Options in Fintech (1)

Fintech has become a highly popular domain for career choices in the last few years. Venture capital companies bet a lot of money on Fintech, and those deals occupy the business headlines. With its high growth, Fintech is also one of the few industries that are still hiring very actively even today.

The Multi-Million Dollar Questions

I get a strong influx of interest and many people asked me about Fintech: What are the companies? What are the career options? and How to make the career transition into Fintech?

The thing is people naturally think about consumer brands when it comes to Fintech, say, PayPal, Visa and Mastercard, but few people have heard of Adyen, Stripe, or Square. Even less people know there are actually Fintech career options in non-Fintech companies.

People are also a bit taken aback: I don’t have a financial background, will I be able to move into the industry?

The fact is, Fintech companies need many types of skills just like in any other industries. Domain knowledge is good to have but often NOT a must. And, there are many roles in Fintech industry that do not require Financial background.

This is because of the way we understand industries. For any industry, we usually are a lot more familiar with the consumer brands. Way more people who know Cadbury chocolates than its parent company Mondelez, and a lot less people know about Cargill who does distribution of Cocoa beans for Mondelez. But both Mondelez and Cargill have been rated by Forbes as the best companies to work for.

Similarly, when we talk about Fintech, people usually think about the consumer brands like PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Alipay and WechatPay, but rarely know about Adyen, Stripe, and the big number of B2B companies along the whole value chain, making changes happen. Besides all these, there are also many not so obvious industries putting in effort in the Fintech domain.

Why do we need to understand an industry deeply?

“Once you understand an industry at a deeper level, you will start to see the less obvious options in your career planning, and become more targeted in your job search. And when you finally get interviews, such industry knowledge will be crucial for you to shine and convince. “

Before we go into the overwhelming details about career options, let’s take a step back to clear some of the fundamentals.

1. Fintech is not a new industry

As much as it’s a buzz word, Fintech is not a new industry.

Some say the first FinTech firm was actually the Reuters News Agency. In mid-19th century they used pigeons to carry financial news between Paris and Berlin to speed up things!

The full name of Fintech is Financial technology and broadly, it should mean any financial activities that use technology. But today, it has a new meaning: innovation and intervention using technology. This brings our second point:

2. Fintech’s mission is not to “disrupt”

As much as disruption is also a buzz word, there is no point to disrupt for the sake of it. There are a few forces that is driving innovation and intervention.

(to be continued)

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 Yolanda is a certified transformational coach, entrepreneur, and multi-award-winning writer. She holds an MBA from INSEAD, served director/VP level BD roles in Fortune 500 MNCs and tech unicorns. 

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