The financial technology industry, commonly referred to as "fintech," includes companies whose products and services use technology to automate, enhance, improve, and deliver a wide range of financial services. Because its offerings are constantly evolving and cross so many different categories and industries—including banking, insurance, retail, fundraising, education, and investing—an all-encompassing definition of financial technology is elusive. However, the industry's products allow both consumers and businesses to manage financial matters and conduct transactions more easily, often by disrupting the status quo.
Financial technology's earliest solutions were employed behind the scenes, supporting inter-bank fund transfers and the legacy computer systems and networks used by banks, insurance companies, and other industry players. Over time, related products and services became more visible to the average consumer. Examples include the introduction of automated teller machines (ATMs), which made it possible to deposit and withdraw funds at any time without human assistance, and online banking. The advent of the Internet, smartphones and mobile applications, and emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and blockchain, accelerated financial technology's evolution and changed the ways financial services traditionally have been provided.
Today, virtually everyone uses the financial technology industry's products and services, often without even realizing it. Common examples include making mobile deposits with a smartphone, applying for credit online, using an online budgeting app, making mobile payments, digitally applying for a new mortgage, and using a robo-advisor to manage investments. Other examples include cryptocurrency exchanges and trading platforms that use virtual reality.
To support the financial technology industry's ever-growing array of products and services, workers with a variety of skill sets and backgrounds are nee...