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Software developer turned banker? Digital disruption in finance

Technology has had a significant impact on the finance sector and IT professionals will be vital for helping banks keep up with the changes.

finance-tech

Daily activities of all kinds have been made easier with technology, including managing your personal finances. With physical money being largely usurped by the convenience of credit cards and online transactions, is in-person banking headed the same way? For professionals looking for IT jobs, working with businesses in the finance sector is another of the many opportunities being created by technology, and it’s likely that more positions will become available and banks try to keep up with financial technology (FinTech) developments.

Fintech disruption: Potential or threat?

Electronic and digital payment options such as Bitcoin and Paypal have presented huge challenges for traditional banking, as have peer-to-peer and crowd funding services. These developments have made it easier and more convenient for users to manage their personal finances than ever. However, banks are now fighting back, investing in strategies such as improved online banking experiences and mobile platforms. According to Innovate Finance CEO Lawrence Wintermeyer, this has been a significant challenge for banks.

“They’re all investing a lot of money, they are desperately trying to understand how to participate, what to do, and they don’t want to miss anything. They know they are not the most agile organisations, especially when it comes to innovation about customers,” he told Computer Weekly.

“They know they are very good at innovating in technical products to extract margins from the value chain, because that’s what they do. People who work in a bank are not motivated to disrupt internally. They are measured to focus on earnings or the balance sheet or profitable lines. Risk and governance have come into it after 2008 and innovation was a bit of an uncomfortable bedfellow. The banks need all of these things and they are learning.”

Where to next?

In order to stay on top of industry developments and avoid being swept away by the tide of FinTech solutions emerging the market, banks need to look ahead to see what that next innovations will be. In a 2016 report, Accenture suggests some strategies for banks to change with the technological environment, including:

  • Making ongoing improvements to information security.
  • Choosing which developments to pursue based on overall business priorities.
  • Creating clear goals for the next stages of economic disruption.
  • Identifying the expertise and talent necessary to adapt.

Whether it’s people in software developer roles or digital specialists, the help of IT staff will be vital if banks want to innovate and stay competitive. As a result, it’s likely that there will be a growing number of employment opportunities in the finance industry the long term as banks and FinTech continue to evolve.