Python, blockchain, machine learning...the list goes on. But what are the most in demand skills within fintech?
Fintech has been one of the most disruptive industries and have significantly changed the interactions between financial companies and consumers. And it’s only likely to continue doing so. According to the survey conducted by Vantage market research, the fintech market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of roughly 19.8% from 2022 to 2028.
With this predicted growth in the industry, more people are gaining an interest in fintech and are starting to look at how they can build a career within the fintech industry. In this article, we will explore some of the hottest topics within fintech and what are some top fintech skills that are high in demand for 2022 and 2023.
If you already have skills in python, blockchain and machine learning, you may want to think about building your career in fintech as there are plenty of opportunities that await. To find out more about the fintech market in Japan, click here to read our fintech news. To find out more about salaries in the fintech sector, get access to our latest exclusive Salary Survey below:
Fintech Trends in 2022
First, let’s look at some of the hottest trends within Fintech for 2022 and 2023.
Blockchain and Web 3.0
We may very well end 2022 with the buzzword “blockchain”. As Web 3.0 is expected to become safer and more accessible, blockchain technology will also inevitably become more important. The transparency, security, and efficiency of blockchain technology make it very attractive especially to the fintech industry which will lead to the demand for engineers and developers with experience and skills in the blockchain field. According to Statista, it is estimated that 90% of banks in Europe and North America are considering using blockchain and the technology market in fintech is predicted to grow from USD$0.28 billion (about ¥37.4 billion) in 2018 to USD$22.5 billion (about ¥3 trillion) in 2026.
In Japan, Bank of Japan is trying to apply blockchain-based technology to its payment system in cooperation with the European Central Bank (ECB). When it comes to private banks, nine major financial institutions represented by so-called megabanks such as Mizuho Bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation have jointly conducted blockchain settlement trials, and are already underway in anticipation of the use of blockchain in the future.
Not only are existing players represented by banks attempting to develop blockchain-enabled businesses, but so are other players such as bitflyer and Omise who have also built an innovative start-up utilising blockchain technology.
Green fintech is a combination of finance and technology, with the added benefit of contributing to the protection our environmentand is emerging in the UK and many other countries. Although sustainability has been a big part of companies’ goal for years, more individuals are becoming more aware of its importance now. For example, the creation of a mobile bank account eliminates plastic cards as well as paper statements and allows users to complete all their transactions on their smartphones.
The combination of sustainability data providers and financial services is also becoming more popular. Fintech start-ups such as Doconomy, Yayzy and Cogo calculate users’ carbon emissions which are linked to consumer purchasing behaviour, and provide a 'real-time CO2 emissions tracker’. Italian digital bank Flowe uses Doconomy's service to visualise CO2 emissions for its debit card users and encourage sustainable behaviour change (i.e., less carbon-intensive behaviour). Net Purpose also provides Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) data and a service that enables retail investors to track, report and measure the impact of their portfolio companies alongside other investments.
If you wish to find out more about green fintech, you may read the related article here: Finance x SDGs: What is sustainable finance or "green finance" and what are some of the green FinTech companies to look out for in 2022?
Regtech (regulation + technology) refers to technology used by financial institutions to comply with government regulations and is a growing sector alongside fintech. As government regulations become more stringent, compliance also comes under pressure. As such, regtech is a very effective way to help relieve the pressure on compliance in a variety of areas, ranging from compliance verification to organisational risk management and anti-money laundering (AML).
Regtech is mainly used in the financial industry at the moment. However, as it becomes more successful, it can also be applied in the judicial sector and, eventually, the administrative sector in relation to My Number. This is expected to make people's lives much easier by simplifying and speeding up procedures. Personnel with experience in regtech will be in demand not only within financial services but also in various other fields in the near future.
Skills in demand within fintech
With the above mentioned trends, here are some of the top in-demand fintech skills you need to have for 2022 and beyond:
Python (and other programming languages)
Understanding programming languages and having coding skills can be of huge benefit for fintech professionals. The best part – learning to code is not difficult. Python for instance, can be used for several fintech applications, including building analytics tools, providing the structure for banking software, cryptocurrency applications, building stock trading strategies, and more. Therefore, it is a very effective programming language for Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and big data, where large amounts of data processing are required. Python can also be used to build APIs and is highly versatile and relatively easy to learn. Additionally, Python makes an excellent programming language for Blockchain projects as well because of how secure, performant, and scalable it is.
Knowing the fundamentals of blockchain is crucial for any professional within the financial services industry or those who may be within fintech. The demand for blockchain-related skills is growing exponentially as is the demand for blockchain developers. The main programming methods of blockchain include:
- Hyperledger Fabric: provides the basis of blockchain through modules of various components.
- Ripple: facilitates open trading between different currencies.
- Solidity: the programming language underlying Ethereum.
The use of blockchains enables you to remove third-party involvement within financial transactions – a blockchain system can effectively integrate the capacity to check identities, record transactions and execute contracts, therefore allowing users to store and move funds without the involvement of a bank. To understand the complexities of blockchain technology, professionals within fintech are highly encouraged to pick up skillsets around blockchain.
Over the past decade, an increasing number of companies have been threatened by cyber-attacks and their need for cyber security specialists have been rising. Fintech companies are no exception. A successful fintech professionals should be able to:
- Identify threats for information security
- Implement precautions
- Implement best privacy practices to protect all information
- Develop solutions to protect against loss of information
Information security is increasingly important within the financial servicesindustry and necessitating a greater demand for cyber security experts. If you wish to study cyber security or upskill yourself, read our article below for the recommendations on courses and certifications.
AI and machine learning
AI and machine learning is another essential skill for fintech professionals as the majority of financial institutions have started to rely on advanced technologies for their operations. AI and machine learning can help with decision-making and customer support. It can also help detect fraud by verifying the authenticity of the user and his/her information. Therefore, it is crucial for fintech professionals to have a fundamental understanding of AI and machine learning.
Fintech companies often use big data to establish customers' financial behaviour, spot possible problems, and give consistent assistance as well as use data and forecasts to propose suitable services or products depending on customers’ specific spending habits. To excel within the fintech industry, you will require skills in data composition and optimisation, and the ability to utilise databases such as Apache Cassandra and data processing systems such as Hadoop will be a major advantage for you.
One of the biggest differences between fintech companies and non-fintech companies is the latter often have difficulty converting large amounts of data into comprehensible statistics. This can be largely aided with D3js which helps to visualise the ordered data and is a great tool for controlling data.
If you wish to find out what other essential skills fintech companies often look for in job seekers, please read this article here: What are the five transferrable skills FinTech companies look for?
Are you a fintech professional or a job seeker interested in entering the fintech industry in Japan?
There are many fintech companies and fintech jobs in Japan. Now is one of the best time to enter this industry if you’ve yet to do so, whilst fintech remains relatively new in Japan and portrays a lot of potential for growth.
If you have the skills mentioned in the article, there may be many fintech jobs available for you. If you are interested in finding jobs in the sector, please get in touch with one of our consultants via the form below. A dedicated fintech specialist recruiter will be in touch to advise you and find you the job that best suits your needs. You may also view and apply for any of our latest job openings here.