Smartphones and the internet have changed the world dramatically in the last 20 years. Until Paytm & PhonePe burst into the scene, finance was largely untouched by technology. ATMs were the biggest consumer-facing innovation in the finance industry in the last 30 years, with those clunky-looking internet-banking interfaces that still don’t work properly. But no CEO in the finance industry today can ignore how technology is poised to change the way banking and finance work. With finance and technology merging seamlessly in new ways, FinTech is promising to be the hottest new sector on the horizon for future professionals.
Fintech, the marriage of finance and technology, has under it a whole range of financial products and services driven almost entirely by technology and digitization. Its implications can be felt in nearly every aspect of finance such as insurance and taxation, (think of GST and its impact on the future), besides banking and payments. Much like India emerged as a powerhouse in the global software industry during the post-Y2K IT boom, the country is well-positioned to repeat history by building one of the most innovative FinTech industries in the world, with the ability to meet both domestic and global demands.
There are a wide array of skills involved besides software engineers, of course. Data analytics will be the biggest of them, and probably even bigger than software. In addition, demand for digital marketing and customer services skills will all massive. At the same time, having a finance degree with a keen understanding of mathematics is critical. ICWA & CA are always useful, but those are not enough anymore. Moreover, while an engineering degree may not be mandatory, professionals will need to have some basic knowledge of data manipulation using MS Excel, SQL, Python or other such tools to boost their market value.
Besides Software Engineers, Data Analysts, Credit Managers, Risk Analysts, User Interface Designers, Graphics Designers, Digital Video Designers, Field Executives, Business Analysts, Digital Marketing, Financial Operations, Decision Scientists, Data Scientists, Customer Success Managers will all be fast-growing careers in the future.
The industry is still at a nascent stage. However, significant amounts of investments are being made right now, both by banks, insurance companies and others who are upgrading their infrastructure, as well as by large investors (Alibaba invested in Paytm), governments, etc. In 2017, just the top 10 global companies raised a total of USD 28 billion in venture funding.
An entry level job could range anywhere from Rs4 lakh/year to Rs 14 lakh/year, depending on the skill-set and qualifications.
The author is CEO and co-founder at MoneyTap