According to Google Trends, the search term “fintech” only began its upward swing in search popularity in January 2015, hitting its peak in May 2017. This rapid increase in search prevalence came as a result of the world’s collective interest and investment in financial innovation and disruption.
While the evolution of financial technologies and innovation is ushering in an exciting new world of opportunities, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the fast-paced growth of the global fintech industry. And with so much global interest, it’s near-impossible to stay ahead of the curve.
As Professor Alex Pentland, guest speaker on the Oxford Fintech Programme, puts it: “Fintech is happening right now. We’re seeing all these very exciting changes ranging from Bitcoin, which is sort of old, to Initial Coin Offerings, which are very new. We’re also seeing much more of the democratisation of fintech, so a lot of the crowdsourcing things are opening up new ways of investment that just haven’t happened before.”
From digital wallet Curve, to AI-driven mortgage auction system Lendr, fintech startups are being created by anyone and everyone with a good idea and the appropriate tools.
Fintech innovation isn’t limited to the game of upsetting incumbents and big banks, either. Proptech applications are allowing potential homeowners to virtually tour and remodel their future homes using VR, and with the increase in size of the transactions taking place on fintech platforms, recording, monitoring, and ensuring compliance will need to be high on everyone’s priority list, driving the need for regtech.
These revolutionary new technologies bring with them exciting opportunities, and worrying prospects. Industry experts believe that between 2 million and 6 million jobs will be lost over the next decade due to disruptive financial technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Illustrating the potential, digital challenger banks such as Starling and Monzo can operate with 90% less headcount than traditional banks.
While this is exciting for big business owners, the average employee will stand the chance to find themselves without a job very soon. But fintech, proptech, regtech, and other associated innovations will enable small and medium businesses to create both new wealth for expansion, and new job roles. The challenge now is finding a way to not only engage with fintech, but to also stay ahead of the curve.
One way to up-skill quickly is to tap into the knowledge of global experts, and put the skills you learn to use immediately. As industries and innovation continue to evolve at a rapid pace, interactive and online burst-like education is a natural solution. This format of learning allows you to enhance your skills in a matter of weeks, in your own time, and collaborate with like-minded individuals from across the globe.
Saïd Business School, University of Oxford is collaborating with online education provider GetSmarter to present the Oxford Fintech Programme, a 10-week online programme designed to equip you with the skills, tools, knowledge, and network you need to take a fintech startup from concept to execution.