What is FinTech?

Whether you're considering a career in financial technology or need to learn FinTech tools as part of your current role, understanding the breadth and depth of the FinTech field is crucial. From blockchain to digital wallets, FinTech is a fast-growing area with vast job opportunities, ranging from financial analysts to cybersecurity analysts.

Key Insights

  • Financial technology, or FinTech, comprises services, products, and companies that use technology to enhance financial systems.
  • Major FinTech companies include Visa, Mastercard, Tencent, Ant Financial, Intuit, PayPal, and Stripe.
  • FinTech tools and software are essential for a career in this field, with many crucial programming languages, libraries, and frameworks available for free.
  • Noble Desktop offers multiple FinTech courses suitable for varying career goals, including FinTech Bootcamp, Financial Modeling Bootcamp, and Python for Finance Bootcamp.
  • Top FinTech sectors include Embedded Finance, Banking as a Service (BaaS), and Open Banking.
  • Popular careers in FinTech include Financial Analyst, Business Analyst, Blockchain Developer, Data Scientist, Cybersecurity Analyst, Risk Control Manager, and Market Analyst, with competitive salaries varying by position and level of expertise.

Financial technology, or FinTech, has existed in one form or another for decades. Forms of currency evolve, from gold, coins, and paper to online banking. FinTech in the 2020s refers to the technologies that make today’s complex systems possible, from the blockchain to digital wallets.

In this overview, you’ll learn more about FinTech and how you can enter this growing field. Whether you want to specialize or you need to learn FinTech tools as part of a broad curriculum in areas like cybersecurity, knowing more about the breadth and depth of FinTech can help orient you as you begin to explore this exciting field.

What Can You Do with FinTech?

FinTech refers to the many Financial Technology products and services you can use today and some of the companies that offer them. Consider FinTech as an umbrella term referring to three main categories:

  1. Services - On a basic level, many FinTech services may be considered products, and vice versa. PayPal is a service, but the platform of services PayPal offers may be called a product itself. To simplify matters, look at services that are now commonly provided and named as such: Banking as a Service (BaaS), payment services like Venmo, and investment services like Robinhood.
  2. Products - FinTech products range from the payment app you use on your smart device every day to robo-advisors and digital banking. Currencies aren’t typically referred to as products, but cryptocurrencies certainly fall into the product category as opposed to a service.
  3. FinTech Companies - Organizations like Visa and Mastercard top the list of major FinTech companies in the U.S., followed by Tencent and Ant Financial in China, then U.S. companies Intuit, PayPal, and Stripe. These firms offer FinTech products or services, and people generally refer to the companies themselves as “FinTechs.”

Additional FinTech products, services, and technological innovations include wealth management, insurance (a.k.a., “insurtech”), and credit reporting/identity theft protection services.

How Much Do FinTech Tools Cost?

Acquiring FinTech tools and software depends to a large degree on what area of FinTech you enter. Fortunately, many of the most important programming languages, libraries, and frameworks feature open-source status, meaning beginners can find free versions online.

FinTech Bootcamp: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, Learn From Experts, Free Retake, Small Class Sizes,  1-on-1 Bonus Training. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

Among the most important tools for numerous FinTech positions, the Python programming language is also a free, open-source tool. Python libraries and frameworks like Django and Matplotlib are free as well. You can install Python using the free Anaconda platform and collaborate with Google Colab or Jupyter Notebook, all at low or no cost.

Beyond these basics, the cost of learning FinTech can range from a few hundred dollars for a short seminar to tens of thousands of dollars for an advanced degree program. Because the alternatives are so broad—and FinTech as a field encompasses several major sectors like banking and insurance—many beginners get in-depth training through bootcamps or certificate programs.

Noble Desktop offers multiple FinTech courses appropriate for different goals, including a FinTech Bootcamp, Financial Modeling Bootcamp, and Python-centered Python for Finance Bootcamp. For those looking to learn FinTech tools as part of a broader data science background, the Data Science Certificate program can be the most appropriate choice.

What Are the Benefits of Learning FinTech?

Most people have varying degrees of familiarity with FinTech services and products like Apple Pay, Venmo, and PayPal. But knowing how to use Starbucks Rewards is a far cry from learning how to build FinTech applications.

When someone says they want to learn FinTech, their intention can differ vastly from another person who says the same thing. FinTechs like Mastercard and Visa need cybersecurity professionals, as do banks and other financial institutions that offer FinTech services. On the other hand, tech giants like Apple and Google may focus more on developing new products in addition to those they already provide.

The world of cryptocurrency and the blockchain may still be more of a Wild West than traditional banking, but startups in this sector require everyone from Software Developers to Financial Analysts.

Whether you plan a role in data science, banking, finance, insurance, wealth management, or cybersecurity, FinTech will undoubtedly play a role. Whichever way you go, consider FinTech as a factor.

Read more about why you should learn FinTech.

Top FinTech Sectors

To better understand the current state of FinTech, it helps to understand where technology stands in a post-pandemic context. Let’s look at three of today’s primary FinTech sectors.

  • Embedded Finance - Part of the digitalization of finance is the use of financing and payment options “embedded” in a company’s app or website. Amazon, Uber, and Google are all examples of companies that use embedded finance, and there are multiple sub-categories within this category. They include:
    • Embedded Payment Services - Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Amazon Pay- are examples of how shoppers use their smart devices to pay for products or services.
    • Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) - The BNPL model has been around since before the advent of the internet, with stores using rain checks and in-house financing, often via charge cards. Today, top dogs in the BNPL sector include companies like Affirm and Afterpay. Juniper research estimates that BNPL users will surpass 1.5 billion worldwide by 2026.
    • Embedded Lending - Unlike the standard BNPL model, embedded lending marries products and services with a company’s financing department. For example, Honda also has Honda Financial Services, which can collect monthly car payments via autopay, often at a more competitive interest rate than traditional banking entities.
  • Banking as a Service (BaaS) - Like software as a service (SaaS), BaaS gives financial institutions more ways to ensure customer loyalty. Just as Microsoft transitioned from selling licensed software disk products to providing an SaaS model, banks increasingly look to “enroll” business clients by offering an array of custom products and services.
  • Open Banking - Whereas BaaS targets business-to-business (B2B) markets, the idea of open banking is oriented toward the business-to-consumer side (B2C) of financial transactions. Third-party providers use secure Application Programming Interfaces, or APIs, to gain access to information from customers who have provided their consent.
  • FinTech Careers

While you might think FinTech as a whole is directly associated with banks, the job market for FinTech workers extends far beyond traditional banking and finance institutions. Not only do services like Square and Robinhood now compete with household names like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, but there are virtually hundreds of startups making names for themselves in the FinTech space.

These companies need well-trained staff, and much of the future of FinTech today looks toward areas of expertise like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and programming languages like Python and Structured Query Language (SQL).

Popular careers for tech professionals with FinTech training include:

  • Financial Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Blockchain Developer
  • Data Scientist
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Risk Control Manager
  • Market Analyst

While some of these positions are typically available in brokerages and banks, other FinTech pros work in startups, hedge funds, mortgage companies, or executive positions.

How to Learn FinTech

To learn FinTech, you’ll need to have different types of skills: core skills, soft skills, and specific programming skills relevant to the FinTech role you choose. Every student or busy tech professional needs training, and how each person should learn depends on factors like learning style, budget, and availability.

Live FinTech courses, the number one choice for most students, offer a number of benefits. They’re interactive and hands-on; students can get real-time answers to their questions. If you’re interested in live online FinTech classes you can take from anywhere, consider Noble Desktop’s top FinTech options. The FinTech Bootcamp, Python for Finance Bootcamp, and Python for Data Science Bootcamp all offer training in areas like financial analysis, machine learning, and data visualization.

On-demand FinTech training may be another option you’d like to explore. These courses provide students with a self-paced method of learning all about FinTech. Featured topics include database management, SQL, financial modeling, and machine learning, to name a few. Check course listings for details, including any prerequisite information.

Free tutorials, seminars, and blog posts can also serve as a source of FinTech material for beginners. Noble Desktop offers multiple classes, videos, and blog posts on topics of interest to FinTech students. Check out their YouTube playlist for Python, SQL, and Data Science, and look for FinTech articles on the Learn Hub site. While it’s a great way to get started, these resources don’t provide the feedback or portfolio-building you can get from a live in-person or online class.

Read the full guide on how to learn FinTech.

A Brief History of FinTech

The first genuine advancement in financial technology was the use of wire transfers on an international basis. Businesses and banking customers relied on 19th-century technology like the telegraph to move funds.

Although more sophisticated transfer methods evolved, the next major transformation in FinTech did not come until 1967, with the introduction of the automated teller machine (ATM). From there, FinTech grew rapidly, with the following advances:

  • The 1970s: NASDAQ was established as the first digital stock exchange
  • The 1990s: Popularization of the internet leads to the rise of digital banking
  • The 2000s: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies introduced
  • The 2010s: Financial transactions go digital
  • The 2020s: Smart devices become the #1 source for banking and online shopping

While this is a general overview of FinTech’s evolution, it is by no means complete. Technology is changing more rapidly than ever before, and much of the next decade will be defined by FinTech.

The ABCDEF of FinTech refers to:

  • A - Artificial Intelligence
  • B - Blockchain
  • C - Cloud
  • D - Data Availability
  • E - Efficiency
  • F - Futuristic Vision

The Future of Finance

Whether one wants to be a Quantitative Analyst or a Data Scientist, one needs to gain proficiency in query languages like SQL, data science tools like NumPy and Python, and skills like database management, regression analysis, and data visualization. Bootcamps and certificate programs can provide this training in a concise timeframe.

Cybersecurity is increasingly important in FinTech, especially with the rise in popularity of mobile banking and ecommerce. Estimates show that more than 50% of online retail sales are completed via mobile, and the number will only rise from here. Because a high percentage of fraud targets mobile devices, cybersecurity in the FinTech space will continue to grow in importance.

Although it’s impossible to predict the future, predictive analysis modeling attempts to do precisely that. And while we watch to see who the next disruptor will be in the ever-changing FinTech world—whether a real estate app like Opendoor or an AI software provider like C3.ai—the future looks like a fascinating place.

Comparable Fields

Wealth management may not be the first thing you think of when you think of FinTech, but this sector is massive and growing. As of the third quarter of 2020, the wealth management industry in the U.S. measured over $29 trillion. Even with an unprecedented amount of cash sitting on the sidelines since the beginning of the pandemic, this enormous sector promises unending growth.

FinTech holds sway over much of the industry as digital transformation efforts among wealth managers continue. Top brokerages like Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR), Charles Schwab, and E*Trade offer an ever-increasing toolkit of technologies that can benefit consumers while freeing managers to do other things.

Key Insights

FinTech is a broad field encompassing financial technology products, services, and companies. Top FinTech positions include:

  • App Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • Cybersecurity Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Financial Analyst
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Risk Control Manager

FinTech students can begin learning FinTech through numerous resources. The most popular include:

  • Live online and in-person courses
  • Video tutorials and seminars
  • Blog posts and articles

Learn FinTech with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Some people think there’s only one path to training for a FinTech career, that of a lengthy degree program, but there are other alternatives. Among the most popular is the bootcamp or certificate training model.

Noble Desktop is a leading provider of online education in areas directly relevant to the booming FinTech field. They provide multiple educational options for students, both those who are new to FinTech and others already working in tech. The following are some of their most popular programs.

  1. FinTech Bootcamp - This comprehensive FinTech course is open to beginners and can be completed in four weeks full-time or four months part-time. Topics include SQL and Python for data science, automation, and machine learning.
  2. Python for Finance Bootcamp - The 18-hour Python for Finance Bootcamp acquaints students with financial models, managing portfolios with Python, and other Python-centered topics. Students can save by taking this class as part of the FinTech Bootcamp. See course listings for prerequisite information.
  3. Financial Modeling Bootcamp - A 21-hour program, the Financial Modeling Bootcamp includes topics like Discount Cash Flow (DCF), Leveraged Buyouts (LBO) Modeling, and financial analysis with MS-Excel. Check course listings for details, including prerequisite information.

Other Noble Desktop programs to consider are the Python Programming Bootcamp, Data Science Certificate, and Python for Data Science Bootcamp.

How to Learn FinTech

Master FinTech with hands-on training. Financial technology, or FinTech, refers to technology supporting financial transactions and institutions, including banking, investments, and loans.

Yelp Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Twitter Instagram