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FinTech – a future that is now
FinTech businesses are developing very fast. By 2020, the global investments in this sector will amount to 46 billion dollars. Financial centres – London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Luxembourg – are transforming into financial innovation hubs, and reinforcing their positions on the financial map of the world. FinTech investments create opportunities for new or (so far) less significant centres. An expert from Michael Page, Magdalena Różańska, Associate Manager at Banking & Financial Services, offers an insight into how Poland performs in this context.
FinTechs as the future for financial institutions
According to a PwC report, as much as 1/3 financial services in the world may be taken over by FinTechs. Especially in retail banking – even 57% of bank customers are inclined to take advantage of technology instead of customer service. Almost half of bank customers (47%) aged 20-34 would download a bank application designed to manage credit transactions. Every third customer says also that convenience is the most important factor when it comes to choosing solutions helping them manage their finance. Moreover, 90% of Millennials get information and opinions about products online, which leads to a dynamic development of web-based channels.
Bank institutions respond to such needs by coming up with new solutions to make “banking” easier. For example, in the recent four years, Polish banks have won 24 prizes in 12 prestigious international competitions, including Best of Show or Model Bank Awards. This proves the quality of the services they offer – e.g. cloud-based bank accounts, mobile transaction system or mobile cash deposit machines.
In Poland, there are over 5 million users of the BLIK system, and 55% of all card payments are contactless. What’s more, given the Poles’ interest in new technologies, Google decided to offer its Android Pay mobile system in our country. To gain a competitive advantage and maintain the highest level of services, businesses recruit the best FinTech managers through experienced personnel consulting companies.
Poland as a magnet for investments
Because of the high innovation level and the systematic economic growth, Poland will continue to attract foreign investors. The value of Poland’s FinTech industry is estimated, according to a report by Deloitte, at approx. 860 million euro. All this makes us a major driving force in the FinTech industry of Central and Eastern Europe and corporate headhunters can choose from an extensive database of candidates. EY named Poland the “investment magnet” of the region in its “European Attractiveness Survey”. Moreover, in a Global Financial Centres Index ranking, investigating the competitiveness of major financial centres, Warsaw has been ranked 45th in the world and 12th in Europe.
FinTech vs banks
The FinTech industry in Poland differs slightly from that of Western markets. In Poland, the biggest players are banks implementing technologically advanced services. We also have budding start-ups focusing currently on niche areas such as factoring or offer comparison systems. Given the globalization, Polish financial institutions compete with foreign FinTechs, which gain more and more share in the global banking system. Experts say that the most likely scenario for Poland’s financial services sector, is one that assumes a strengthening of cooperation between banks and FinTechs. Joining forces over the years to come is to result in a new ecosystem of services, able to respond effectively to customer expectations and market challenges. This will result in an increase in the rate of employment in the industry.
An attractive job market
Innovative solutions create a demand for new competence, especially in traditional banking. This offers a range of opportunities to Polish FinTech specialists. Several services related e.g. to blockchain will require businesses to employ experts dealing with compliance, regulations, and financial policies. The growing popularity of the so-called mobile wallets will open the doors to many start-ups and IT companies for mobile app developers, programmers, UX designers and Big Data analysts. As for robo-advisors – there will be employment opportunities for e.g. human behaviour specialists, as well as robotics and cybersecurity experts. Process automation experts should have no problem finding a job too.
Banking sector professionals consider migrating to the FinTech industry more and more often. The traditional banking model is hardly attractive to the Y generation, which is now making increasingly bold steps in the labour market. So, companies operating at the interface between finance and technology should focus on the effective recruitment of banking specialists, searching for new professional challenges.
Despite the many challenges faced by the FinTech industry, it is not burdened with regulations as much as banking is. FinTechs incur much lower operating costs, which translates into higher earnings, even 15-20% higher than what traditional banks offer. A FinTech Product Manager may earn 2-3 000 PLN gross more than a person working at an equivalent position in banking.
A noteworthy fact is that the said specialists are a significant factor of Poland’s potential in the development of the FinTech industry. Many of them are world-class professionals, and such talent is quite often sought for by businesses based in e.g. the Silicon Valley.
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