Financial Technology – widely known as FinTech, is an evolving technology, which provides innovation and efficiency in financial services. Increasingly utilised by companies, business owners and individual consumers, FinTech helps us to manage financial operations using specialised software, rather than relying on traditional financial services institutions. 

The FinTech industry has disrupted financial services significantly in recent years. Its rapid growth can be explained by its offer of more flexible, faster and tailored services for companies and individuals in areas such as lending, wealth, payments, crowdfunding, currency, retail banking and investment.

While even the top FinTech companies may not be household names, you’re probably already using FinTech software in your daily life, for example when you complete secure money transfers, deposit funds with your smartphone, or apply for credit without visiting a bank branch. You may have used FinTech to raise money for a business start-up, or to manage your investments, without the support of a financial adviser. 

FinTech also includes distributed ledger technology also known as the blockchain, big data and business intelligence, and is used in the development and use of crypto-currencies such as bitcoin.

As next generation FinTech services continue to develop and take market share from more traditional institutions, skilled professionals will be in high demand. So what qualifications are required to begin a career in the sector?

Studying to become a FinTech professional

A degree such as MSc Financial Technology (Fintech), offered by Teesside University, UK, helps students to develop theoretical, technical and critical thinking skills in applying disruptive innovative technologies to financial services, and prepare for a career in FinTech.

Students on the course can expect to learn about the evolution of financial services technology, customer needs and user experience.  With a focus on user needs, students gain knowledge of user experience design and use a high-level prototyping platform to develop a new FinTech service in a group. 

Through the study of big data and business intelligence, students develop their ability to design and implement database, big data and analytics applications to meet business needs. Learning is then applied, from inception to implementation, in a case study based on a real-world scenario.

Students investigate the issues and technologies associated with implementing and supporting large scale databases and the services that are needed to maintain and access a repository of data. Big data, data warehouses, integrating legacy data, data management and approaches that support the modelling and visualisation of data are all part of this module.

The course also includes technical modules on Python programming and machine learning - using computational techniques rather than explicit programmed instructions to deal with tasks where a desired output is known, but the algorithm is unknown, or when a system needs to adapt to unforeseen circumstances. 

A blockchain and cryptocurrency module examines the way technology is disrupting the financial industry and has many applications in payments, insurance, lending, supply chain, settlement of securities transactions and contract execution. Students explore what a blockchain is and how to create one with simple Python codes. 

The course also covers digital entrepreneurship, so students can learn about the benefits and impact of emerging digital technologies as the core engine of digital native start-ups in our society, and gain the most out of the opportunities offered by the fast-moving world of digital business. 

The course culminates in a project, where students are required to demonstrate they can apply their knowledge thorough a major, in-depth, individual study. This might typically involve responding to a commercial, industrial or research-based problem by producing a major deliverable, for example software package or tool, design, website or research findings. The project is then critically evaluated and third party evaluations are included where appropriate.

For enhanced employability potential, Teesside University also offers a two year MSc FinTech programme, which includes a vocational or research-based internship. This is a great way to gain work or research experience and build a graduate CV with a competitive edge.

FinTech careers

The potential for a successful and lucrative career in FinTech is limitless, with a large variety of FinTech companies from small start-ups to established banks or investment firms, serving a wide range of sectors. 

Some typical roles would include software engineers and developers, who are always heavily in demand; artists and designers; product managers; data scientists and data managers; cybersecurity practitioners; and accountants, treasurers,

Lawyers, analysts, marketing and support staff. Students from any discipline can contribute to the FinTech sector, and an MSc Financial Technology builds your understanding, awareness and employability in FinTech.

To find out more, join Kate Baucherel, Associate Lecturer at Teesside University and Guest Speaker Hermawan Tjakradiwiria, Country Head at Nexus Standard Chartered Indonesia.  for ‘Fintech – Bridging the Gap in Financial Services’ on Saturday 10 April 2021 (4.00 pm-5.30pm Jakarta time, 10.00am – 1.30pm UK time). Free webinar registration: