What is Fintech?
Fintech is a combination of financial services and technology and refers to the integration of technology into various offerings. It also refers to a variety of innovations that combine the two main industries together – financial services and technology. This is usually done to improve the products of traditional financial companies and their delivery to customers. Remitances, payment services tied to e-commerce or companies in general looking to provide financial services such as payments are all examples of fintech companies.
To put it simply, fintech makes it easier to carry out various types of financial transactions, such as QR code payments (smartphone payments), online payments, money transfers and investments via smartphone apps, and even virtual currency transactions.
But fintech in Japan is a relatively new field. Hence, it is harder to find technology professionals based in Japan who have prior work experience in the fintech industry. But because it’s a growing industry that’s becoming increasingly popular, it is an attractive industry to move into. This is especially so for those within the technology sector who have IT skills which they can apply in up-and-coming fintech companies that can help you to grow your career.
In this article, we look at the rise of the fintech sector, how it has changed the talent landscape and which IT positions are currently in high demand within fintech.
Rise of fintech
NEC's 2020 report shows a significant increase in the use of smartphone payments from 19% in July 2019 to 43% in July 2020. In addition, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of small and medium-sized businesses in 2021, approximately 70% of all businesses have some means of cashless payment, and 55% of all businesses say they have adopted smartphone payments.
The main reasons behind the widespread adoption of QR code payments include:
- The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) took the lead in developing a cashless loyalty programme between October 2019 and June 2020 to promote cashless transactions;
- As a result of these developments, major companies have begun to enter the market, and through competition between smartphone payment services, consumers can choose a service that is easier to use and a better user experience;
- The spread of new Covid-19 nfections have led to a preference for contactless payment methods over cash.
Furthermore, many of the current smartphone payment service providers are offering 0% commissions in order to accelerate adoption.
This spread of digital payments, particularly QR code payments (smartphone payments), have been a major driving force behind the move towards a cashless society. This also explains the rise of fintech companies.
Talent movement and trends within the fintech sector
As mentioned above, the market is expanding due to an increase in the number of users, and the service offerings between smartphone payment services are becoming increasingly competitive. As a result, companies offering smartphone payment services are hiring even more engineers to develop better and more user-friendly services.
Before the pandemic, many fintech companies have been hiring talented engineers regardless of nationality. But it the last 18 months, it became a lot harder to recruit some of the best IT talent in the market as the spread of Covid-19 meant a halt to the influx of foreigners in Japan. And within the IT engineering sector, which are the roles that will particularly be in greater demand?
- DevOps Engineer
What is DevOps?
DevOps is the bridge between development and operations, developing apps and software that are more stable and easier for users to use.
- Data Scientist
In an increasingly competitive landscape, attracting new users and increasing customer engagement are key to the success of any business. To do this, we need to analyse and use data to develop targeted advertising and campaigns that work for specific users. Data scientists help to analyst and break down large amount of data collected.
- Fullstack Developer
What skills does a fullstack developer need to have?
Any product that is deployed online will need to cover a variety of areas, from front end development to back end development to mobile app development. As such, it inevitably leads to a high demand for fullstack developers and engineers who can deliver consistent development. In addition, many fintech companies are headquartered overseas whilst they have a smaller team in Japan to establish a footprint in the Asia market. This meant that they require developers who can cover a wide range of areas.
- Security Engineer
What are security engineers needed? What do security engineers do?
In 2019, there was a spate of fraudulent use of SevenPay by Seven & i Holdings, resulting in the discontinuation of the service. Users are particularly concerned about the safety of their financial transactions, so it is essential to invest in security measures.
- Project Manager
Apart from the fintech sector, there has consistently been a huge demand for people who understand the requirements of development and the resources needed, whilst successfully coordinating with various stakeholders. This is an attractive role for those looking to gain experience and skills in the fintech sector, as it allows you to use your project management experience from other industries. Salaries also tend to be higher than those of a typical engineer.
To find out more about salaries in the fintech sector, get access to our latest and exclusive Salary Survey below:
Apart from very attractive salary packages within the fintech sector, and plenty of growth opportunities, if you would like to find out more about why you should work in the fintech sector, click here for a quick read on five summarised reasons why you should join the fintech industry.
If you are interested in a career in fintech or simply wish to find out more before jumping into it, Computer Futures can help.
The fintech industry is relatively new and there are very few people with extensive experience in the sector. Many of the people we have helped in developing their careers have moved from areas such as e-commerce, digital advertising and consulting to the fintech sector. You will be surprised at how valued your skills can be within the fintech industry.
Computer Futures has one of the largest fintech teams in Japan, specialising in both engineering and sales & marketing positions. The high level of expertise our consultants have, and strong relationships with our clients means that we are able to offer you access to some of the best and most up-to-date jobs in the industry.
Please click on the button below to view our latest vacancies. If you have a specific requirement, please contact us using the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.