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The lessons I learnt starting my career in FinTech | Delia Pedersoli

Article by Delia Pedersoli, Chief Operating Officer at MultiPay Global Solutions

FintechThe fintech industry is one of the most exciting and fulfilling sectors to work in. Each day you get to meet and work with so many great and inspiring people, while at the same time developing products and solutions that have a real-world, positive impact on people’s lives.

You can see this in so many of the businesses that have emerged over the last few years. For instance, we have seen new and exciting enterprises launch that have changed the game when it comes to small business (SMEs) funding. Now, instead of going through a bank to gain access to funding, SMEs can turn to innovative companies such as Iwoca and Funding Circle for quicker and easier access to financing. In the consumer space, we have seen similar developments too with challenger banks such as Starling and Monzo delivering exceptional customer and in app experiences too. This has now forced every other bank to up its game accordingly with the ultimate winners being customers.

However, fintech businesses like these are not built overnight and without overcoming challenges. Having worked in the fintech industry for the past 20 years I would advise anyone starting out to think about the following three areas:

  • Be confident: It is hard starting in anything, let alone an industry like fintech. Nevertheless, you need to have a strong belief in yourself and what you are doing if you are to stick it out. You will be met by challenges regularly that need to be overcome, and you have to be ready for them. For example, when I started in fintech I was surprised – and still am – about how much complexity there is. What should be simple and straightforward never is. Thanks to legacy technologies, regulations, and legislation, you need to be prepared to push on and not get disheartened when there are bumps in the road. Having confidence in yourself and what you are aiming to do is the fuel that powers you through and solves these obstacles.
  • Get ahead of customers: Everyone talks about putting customers first but few deliver. To provide a great customer experience you must be proactive and get ahead of the customer. Knowing what they want or need before they do themselves allows you to deliver projects that exceed expectations. To do this you have to get to know customers and their businesses on a deeper and more personal level. This is something we instilled in our team at MultiPay as we want to ensure we always deliver a first-class customer experience.
  • Enjoy it: Enjoyment is often overlooked but is the key to success. Fintech is my passion and I enjoy every day that I work in it. In fact, if I could turn the clock back, I would start working in fintech even sooner, it has been such a great journey.

Delia PedersoliAbout the author

Delia is an enthusiastic and outstanding entrepreneur, who has been involved in a number of successful Fintech start-ups in the Card Payments industry.

Delia started her career in the IT sector having completed her MBA at Henley Management College and worked for blue– chip companies including IBM, Xerox and Canon.

In 2006, Delia joined Barclaycard where she successfully implemented the acquiring division in her native country of Italy.

She was Co-Founder of EPS, the first company in the world to be P2PE certified and in 2013 she founded International Payments Services where she built a Fintech payments technology infrastructure, partnering with some major brands.  International Payment Services was acquired in 2017 by an international payments processor and card issuer.


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Online banking businessman using smartphone with credit card Fintech and Blockchain concept

Fintech needs women – 5 reasons why this is the place to be

Online banking businessman using smartphone with credit card Fintech and Blockchain conceptA recent study cited by a leading Fintech publication found that whilst 30% of the fintech workforce is female, only 17% of senior fintech roles are held by women and just over 5% of founders are women.

These statistics are pretty shocking as Fintech is such a dynamic world of discovery and innovation.

The number of women in Fintech are slowly improving but there are systemic flaws, deep-rooted challenges and biases which persist that create barriers to gender diversity and hindering women’s rise to the top.

Having had extensive experience in mission-driven Fintech and experience, I know how it feels to be a female in such a male dominated environment. I am determined to help open doors for the next generation of women and hope to encourage, coach and mentor females who want to pursue a career in Fintech. I now have a platform from which to do this after recently co-founding a new banking app, Novus, so watch this space.

A common misconception is that the Fintech is ‘boring’ but it is so far from that. It’s such an exciting and dynamic industry to be a part of and here are my 5 reasons why Fintech is the hottest place to be for women in tech:

The UK economy need Fintech

The Fintech industry was initially born as a sub-set of financial services; however, it has continued to evolve and today, the UK owns a 10% global share of the growing sector. No longer a sub-industry, Fintech is a force on its own and a part of everyday life. In 2020 alone, $4.1bn was poured into the sector in the form of investments, with revenues totalling over £11bn. In addition to this, the UK government recently conducted a review to further bolster its support for the industry.

The variety of options are endless

Whether it’s payments, crypto, digital banking or sustainable finance, there are unlimited avenues to explore within Fintech. Market intelligence platform, CB Insights, recently unveiled the third annual ‘Fintech 250’ – a list of 250 of the top private Fintech companies that are using technology to transform financial services and is well worth looking up for further insight. In the UK alone, there are more than 1100 Fintech companies across these sub-categories, each employing thousands of people.

A fast-growing industry

Both the government and the investment industry are working hard to ensure Fintech is set up for success in the years to come. In 2021, the industry is expected to double its previous rate of growth at the very least, maybe more – and this is what makes Fintech a hot place to be right now. It also means that salaries in Fintech are one of the highest across different sectors! In a post-Brexit and post COVID world, the growth of the sector is almost certain to accelerate with the continued digitisation of consumer behaviour.

You can make a difference to individual lives

71% of UK citizens encounter at least one Fintech process in some way, every day. Simple tasks such as paying online for a product or service means a likely interaction with a Fintech company. No matter where you live in the world, you have to deal with financial systems to live your life. The ability to make an impact on the well-being of individuals and families around the world is inspiring and the opportunities to work on such projects are far greater than you might think and are hugely rewarding.

Females are the future of Fintech

Fintech needs women more than ever right now. The diversity numbers within all major Fintech companies, especially in senior leadership levels, are massively lacking. Traditionally, finance has been a highly male dominated environment and unfortunately, Fintech has inherited that flaw. Although many firms have recognised this and are actively trying to pull their male skewed gender ratio to the middle, this needs to be done on a much bigger scale for the sector to see any real change. There is so much room and scope for females in this industry.

Don’t be afraid to get involved - do your homework and dig out those companies who are keen to embrace new females in tech. Co-founding Novus is giving me the opportunity to just that and really start to redress the balance

About the author

Shruti Rai is the Chief Growth Officer and a Co-Founder at Novus, the new sustainable banking app making it easy to generate positive impact from everyday purchases. With extensive experience in mission-driven fintech, Shruti is a purveyor of enabling financial apps for doing good, improving lives and using her position to steward many more women into finance and tech.

 


If you are a job seeker or someone looking to boost their career, then WeAreTechWomen has thousands of free career-related articles. From interview tips, CV advice to training and working from home, you can find all our career advice articles here