Fintech companies use technology to bring new types of financial products to market and help accelerate and improve existing products. The industry has grown a lot in the last decade, with companies competing — or forming partnerships — with traditional financial institutions. The industry has a large number of startups that need to hire employees to work in a variety of different roles, ranging from software engineers to auditors to salespeople.
What unites many employees who work in fintech is a desire to work on products that have immediate and tangible effects on people’s lives, according to Kallol Das, head of engineering at cloud banking platform provider Blend.
“Fintech is a super important part of our world,” Das said. “If we’re helping people, for example, purchase homes, that’s a huge responsibility. If we introduce a bug or make an error, that may put in jeopardy someone’s dream, something that they’ve been driving towards for a long period of time.”
11 In-Demand Fintech Jobs
- Customer support specialist
- User experience researcher
- Software engineer
- Data analyst
- Machine learning engineer
- Sales representative
- Operations manager
- Implementation specialist
- Internal auditor
- Compliance lawyer
Regulation, security and privacy are especially important to the industry, and most fintech companies have ways to address these concerns baked into many operations. For some roles at fintech companies, like compliance lawyers, those concerns are always front and center. For other positions, like software engineers, those are principles that each employee has to understand and incorporate into their work.
“When you’re dealing with fintech, when we’re talking about large amounts of money, you really have to care a lot about information security,” Das said.
For those who are interested in working in the fintech industry, there are many different ways of getting involved. Here are some of the most in-demand fintech jobs companies are hiring for.
Fintech Jobs Companies Are Hiring For
Customer Support Specialist
Key responsibilities: Innovating new products is only one aspect of becoming a successful fintech company. It’s also important to support users when they encounter problems. To do that, companies often need to maintain teams tasked with helping frustrated customers and working to make the company’s services a better experience.
That’s where a customer support specialist comes in. Say a user is struggling with a fintech startup’s app for tracking savings, a customer support specialist can step in and help with troubleshooting directly, then report patterns they notice to engineering teams.
Customer support specialists not only help companies with user retention, they also are a great source of information for product teams that are in charge of designing and building the company’s core product. They can provide insight into the parts of an application that frustrate — or delight — users. (Gaining that feedback is so important, some companies even require their software engineers to rotate into the customer support role every so often to better understand how customers use the products they create.)
Skills required: Customer support specialists need great communications skills to interact with users and help resolve their issues. They also need to be empathetic and patient when customers are frustrated. Customer support specialists should also be technical enough to understand the product well and be able to navigate it easily and troubleshoot on a user’s behalf.
User Experience Researcher
Key responsibilities: One of the ways to get more users in a competitive industry like fintech is by creating products and services that offer a significantly better user experience. For example, if a fintech startup is able to approve a loan in just a few minutes while its competitors take days or weeks to do so, that can help customers save time and attract more users. Whether users like a product is important for the long-term viability of a company, so some companies invest a lot of resources in user research to try and build products that address user pain points.
UX researchers work closely with product and engineering teams during the design phase of projects. They advise teams on the attributes that are the most important and have the greatest impact on users. Researchers may set up feedback sessions with potential users, conduct focus groups or look into research others have done for insights.
Skills required: UX researchers need to interact effectively with users to learn about their needs and experiences using the company’s product and also communicate their findings clearly to product and engineering teams. UX researchers also rely on good organizational skills to conduct research on a schedule so product teams can get their UX recommendations before starting to build out the company’s product.
Key responsibilities: Many fintech companies are based around a core technology that their engineers build for users, such as a loan application process for consumers or a point-of-sale payment processing system for other businesses. Usually, different kinds of developers are needed to create the actual application — some focus on developing the product, while others specialize on improving the application’s security or on maintaining customer data.
Software development in the fintech industry is quite similar to software development work in other industries, except fintech developers need to be more mindful of security and regulations. Software developers can specialize in specific areas of development, such as front-end or back-end work. Front-end developers are responsible for much of the user experience, like building out company landing pages and the look and feel of products. Back-end engineers handle the business logic, the scalability of applications and tasks like creating and ingesting data from APIs.
Some might focus on more specific areas like application security or ensuring data privacy, but all developers who work in fintech are expected to understand and be mindful of privacy and security issues that affect the industry in general.
Skills required: Developers should be comfortable working on teams and writing tests to ensure the quality of their own code. Front-end, back-end and full-stack engineers should be familiar with their respective specialties, but also be able to interact and work interdisciplinarily with other developers, project managers and designers.
Key responsibilities: Similar to user experience researchers, data analysts help guide a company toward creating products that users really want to use. While UX researchers conduct their research before products are built, data analysts evaluate user metrics in order to give recommendations.
Data analysts rely on the data collected by companies on how their customers use and interact with their products. This information can help companies narrow down target demographics for the marketing team and also focus resources on developing features that users are especially interested in.
Skills required: Data analysts should be comfortable giving presentations and presenting findings using data-visualization tools like Tableau. Many have backgrounds in math and statistics, as well as some experience with SQL to query the data they need from databases.
Machine Learning Engineer
Key responsibilities: Some companies may also employ machine learning engineers to help analyze data and create analytical models using machine learning techniques. Machine learning engineers sometimes are directly involved in creating part of a product — like using training data to create models that can quickly give customers estimates on loans or costs of services without as much human intervention.
Skills required: Machine learning engineers should not only have a solid foundation in machine learning techniques, like data classification and training neural networks, but also benefit from understanding how issues of fairness and transparency complicate machine learning work.
Key responsibilities: Fintech companies that mostly create services for B2B customers rely on sales teams for finding potential customers and expanding a company’s customer base. Sales representatives help their companies identify potential clients and also pitch their product to those clients.
Skills required: Sales representatives rely on their communication skills and empathy to cater their pitch to how a product can help clients address their unique needs. Salespeople from fintech companies selling payment processing systems may talk to startups about how their product can help them scale up more quickly, for instance. People working in sales should also have a good understanding of the product to explain how it works to clients who are unfamiliar with it.
Key responsibilities: In B2C fintech companies, operations managers are responsible for interacting with customers when they first show interest in the company’s services and helping them with the initial process of using the product. That could be fielding telephone calls from potential customers or directing them through the next steps in the onboarding process — like when customers are beginning the process of receiving a loan through a fintech company.
Although in some ways this role is similar to that of a customer support specialist, it is usually a normal part of the customer’s interaction with the product rather than a problem the customer is experiencing. Whether a company has operations managers depends on the nature of its product and how easy it is to automate the entire onboarding process for customers.
Skills required: Operations managers are familiar with the company’s product and able to communicate effectively with customers. They need the ability to develop relationships and empathize with customers to be effective in their jobs. They have to balance the need to walk customers through all necessary onboarding steps, especially when there’s a tendency for customers to quit halfway through the process if they find the experience tedious or frustrating.
Key responsibilities: This role is similar to that of an operations manager, but for B2B fintech companies. Implementation specialists help fintech companies integrate their technology with the systems of their customers. Whether the technologies from both companies are successfully integrated can determine the success of the product.
Implementation specialists help onboard new B2B customers by showing teams on the customer side how the product works and what technologies the customer needs to interface with the product. They also help with any technical problems the customer may encounter.
Skills required: Implementation specialists need to have a good understanding of how the product works and sometimes even the product architecture. Customers often run into technical issues, like having trouble sending and receiving data or configuring single sign-on for users. Implementation specialists need to know how to troubleshoot common problems with clients and show customers how to use the product as effectively as possible.
They also need effective communication skills. For B2B fintech companies, each individual customer can be a significant part of the company’s profit, so having implementation specialists who can maintain good relationships with customers and help them be successful is important. They also work closely with many internal teams — like sales, product and support teams — to work out the best ways of making their customers successful in using the product.
Key responsibilities: Companies in the fintech industry usually have some employees who can do deep dives into the numbers, like making sure the company isn’t taking on too much risk. Actuaries help companies examine risk levels and advise companies on how to create practices that minimize risk. Fintech companies issuing insurance policies, for example, retain actuaries to make sure those policies aren’t in danger of making the company insolvent.
Skills required: Actuaries have strong foundations in math and statistics, and must successfully pass certification exams in actuarial science. Some companies have a limited number of actuaries working for them, so each employee will need good organizational skills in order to juggle multiple projects at a time.
Key responsibilities: Internal auditors help companies examine finances and make sure the company’s operations make financial sense. They require a good understanding of their industry’s regulations so they can check whether their company is operating within those regulations and recommend specific changes if it is not. These auditors review company financial statements and interview other employees from different departments to determine whether the company’s processes are accurately followed by employees on the job.
Skills required: Internal auditors are specialists in their field and rely on a deep understanding of the regulations companies face in the fintech industry. They also need to have strong communication skills because they interact with different departments and create reports and presentations on their findings to management.
Key responsibilities: Fintech companies rely on compliance lawyers to ensure that they stay within regulatory boundaries. Compliance lawyers know the federal and state laws that are relevant to the company and check whether company practices stay within those regulations. Regulations may pertain to things like user privacy, and compliance lawyers advise companies on how to follow financial regulations to lower risk and prevent companies from being sued by other businesses and customers.
Skills required: Compliance lawyers need to have a solid understanding of both the regulatory landscape of their industry and the company and its product. Knowing both in detail is important for figuring out how regulations can affect the company. Lawyers rely on their communication skills to explain and counsel company stakeholders on areas of concern and their recommended courses of action.