Marieke Flament is a respected technology leader and is currently heading up the European expansion of leading social payments app Circle.

Here she provides insight into the skills and qualities required to break into the increasingly competitive FinTech industry.

fintech
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FinTech as an industry employing over 61,000 people and generates billions of pounds of revenue for the UK’s economy (EY’s UK FinTech: On the cutting-edge report). FinTech is focused on technology and its application to disrupt the traditional financial sector. It’s a multi-faceted industry that covers many areas; from banking and insurance, through to neo-banking and robo-advisor.

Competition to break into the FinTech industry is fierce so it’s important to consider if you have the correct skillset. In my experience, I would say the following are essential:

Analytical mind

If you’re going to pursue a career in FinTech, you will need to be good with numbers because you will more than likely be dealing with large amounts of data, whether that’s analysing the users of a system or understanding the logic behind the systems themselves.

Entrepreneurial

It is likely that you are going to be a joining a fast-growth environment, and there is always work to be done in a start-up. You will need to have the ability to work with an independent attitude and an entrepreneurial spirit while turning your hand to many different elements within the business. It is likely to be hard work but there are so many benefits to that too – in a start-up you get to assume more responsibility than you may do in a more corporate environment, which can often speed up your progression within the company.

Passion for technology

This is a given. I have worked within the tech sector for my entire career, and to succeed in this competitive industry you need to be passionate about technology –from how it works, the trends that are affecting it, how it impacts on consumers’ everyday lives. In my current role, I am the MD of Europe for Circle, a company that is breaking boundaries in the finance sector by exploring the ways in which technology can be used to change the way we view and use money. I am passionate about how our company is forging ahead with innovative technologies and is using blockchain to simplify and improve people’s lives.

Customer-centric

The aim of FinTech is to leverage technology to serve customers with better, faster, cheaper and more secure services. Anyone wanting to work in this industry must be able to empathise with what consumers want and keep that at their core.

Big picture thinking

The financial industry is transforming and this change is being driven by technology. To keep up with these changes, you need to be able to continuously think ahead and be on your toes. What are the latest industry trends and how will these affect the business you are working in? What are the challenges that lie ahead and what are the solutions? Working in FinTech requires you to think both logically and laterally.

FinTech is an industry that is on its way up and breaking into it will only become more competitive as it continues to grow in importance.  FinTech employees need to have analytical and mathematical skills, as well as a passion for technology; combine that with an entrepreneurial attitude, project management skills and team working capabilities, and it will leave you in good stead to landing that dream job.

About the author

This article was written by Marieke Flament, Managing Director for Europe at Circle.