Jobs You Might Not Know Existed: FinTech Edition
The world of FinTech might be booming, but for those of us outside of the industry, it can be difficult to grasp what all these finance and tech bros are saying and doing at work. Here, we explore some of the technical terms and job scopes within the FinTech industry.
If you’ve got friends or acquaintances in the FinTech industry, chances are you’ll know just how technical their work can be. There are so many new terms, phrases, and even job scopes within the industry that it can be hard to keep up with it all, especially for those of us outside of the FinTech realm. But the reality is that the industry is booming like no other, because of all the fast-paced, convenient solutions that it offers.
The rise of cryptocurrency has made online monetary transactions more accessible and convenient, NFTs have lowered the barriers to investing, as anyone can buy, sell, and even create an NFT, while mobile banking and cashless payment options have pretty much changed the way we live and shop.
That said, it might be useful for us to brush up on some of the common terms used and job scopes found within the industry, just to keep up with the times, need a point of conversation when meeting up with our FinTech friends, or are simply considering a career switch. Here’s a little quiz that will test your knowledge on some commonly-heard FinTech jargon.
Q1: What does HODL stand for?
a. Hold on, don’t leap
b. Hold on for dear life
c. Hang on down lowd.
d. Hanging onto direct loans
Ans: b. Hold on for dear lifeWhat started off as a typo for ‘hold’ in early bitcoin forums has now evolved into a meme of sorts that’s typically used as an encouragement to cryptocurrency investors to hold on to their investments when the market grows volatile. In other words, it simply refers to buying and holding onto investments for long-term gains as opposed to buying and cashing out for short-term gains.
Q2: What does a ‘whale’ refer to in cryptocurrency?
a. People who have made millions of dollars investing in cryptocurrency
b. People who refuse to invest in cryptocurrency
c. People who have lost significant amounts of money from investing in cryptocurrency
d. People who own large amounts of cryptocurrency and are able to manipulate the market with their wealth
Ans: d. People who own large amounts of cryptocurrency and are able to manipulate the market with their wealth
In the ocean, whales are much larger than most other sea creatures. Likewise, in the world of cryptocurrency, whales are the wealthier individuals or organisations with larger wallets, or large amounts of cryptocurrency.
With large wallets, whales are able to put up what is known as a sell wall by listing lots of their coins on the market at a lower-than-average price. This forces other sellers to lower their prices as well, and once this happens, the whale will then remove their remaining coins from the market and purchase coins from other sellers at the reduced rate. Essentially, they sell a small percentage of their coins just to end up buying a larger percentage of coins at a low cost, adding to their wealth. Once other buyers pick up on this, demand for these lower cost coins will rise, and with it, the price.
Q3: What does FUD stand for?
a. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt
b. Fall under demand
c. Fixed unilateral dividend
d. Financial understanding decoder
Ans: a. Fear, uncertainty, and doubt
Typically used alongside HODL, FUD refers to the general pessimism surrounding specific assets or markets. So one could say ‘HODL to your coins despite the FUD in the market right now’.
Q4: What does it mean when a coin is mooning in cryptocurrency?
a. It means the coin’s value is plummeting
b. It means the coin’s value is spiking
c. It means the coin is becoming obsoleted.
d. It means a new coin is gaining traction in the market
Ans: b. It means the coin's value is spiking
More commonly used on Twitter and other social media sites, the term ‘mooning’ comes from the phrase ‘to the moon’, which some crypto-watchers will use to boast about minor bumps in their coin’s prices. That said, this isn’t a very popular or well-liked phrase in the industry.
Now that you're all caught up on what’s what in the FinTech world, let’s move on to exploring who’s who in the industry. Here, we’ll take a look at four FinTech jobs you might not know existed.
1. Blockchain Developers
As the title suggests, blockchain developers do just that—develop blockchains. For the uninitiated, a blockchain is a shared, immutable, digital ledger that facilitates the process of recording transactions and tracking assets in a business network.
The perks of using blockchains over traditional database systems is the fact that transparency is guaranteed, and data shared in this manner is easily traceable. But this doesn’t mean that anyone and everyone will be able to access your data. Often, data shared in a blockchain is encrypted end-to-end, which helps prevent fraud and other unauthorised activity.
That said, many companies are now starting to make use of blockchains to store data digitally, including banks like Standard Chartered. In fact, just last year, Standard Chartered launched a blockchain-based digital trade financeplatform, Olea, in collaboration with Chinese sup-ply chain finance technology company Linklogis.
2. Front-end Engineer
Much like a UI/UX designer, which is a more commonly known job in the industry, front-end engineers are in charge of planning, designing, building, and implementing the user interface systems of websites, softwares, apps, and the like. But what differentiates this role from that of a UI/UX designer is the focus of the job.
As with most roles that have the term ‘designer’ in them, UI/UX designers focus more on the visuals and design elements of a platform, like how the landing page looks, and how information flows on each page. On the other hand, front-end engineers focus more on the functionality of the platform, like whether or not each clickable button on a page takes you to where you’d like to navigate to, and that user data is saved securely and can be processed on the back end of the site (where back-end engineers will then come in).
That said, any company that has a website, or relies on any other type of digital platform to carry out their business operations, would require a front-end engineer, whether it’s an insurance provider like Chubb that lists all of their insurance offerings on their website, or a bank like CIMB Bank that offers iBanking services via a mobile app.
3. Ecosystems Manager
In nature, an ecosystem is a community of organisms interacting within a shared physical environment. Similarly, in FinTech, an ecosystem refers to a group of different teams, companies, or organisations collaborating to reach a common goal. This goal could be the development and adoption of a particular new technology like the Metaverse, or even the disruption of traditional services like banking.
But of course, there has to be a point-of-contact or a person-in-charge representing each company in this ecosystem, which is where an ecosystems manager comes in. This individual would take on more of a partnerships role, growing existing partnerships and forming new ones with other companies in the larger ecosystem.
4. AI Developer
One of the more technical jobs of the lot, AI developers typically focus on machine learning and its application across different industries. What this means is that they programme systems like software and applications that are integrated with AI technology so that these systems can change and evolve by analysing data according to a particular businesses’s needs.
Most of the time, AI developers work collaboratively with data engineers in the development and maintenance of these systems. An example of an AI-powered system would be DBS Bank's digiPortfolio, a ready-made investment portfolio. Built upon the expertise of their human portfolio managers, a robo-advisor was created to automate processes in the back end of investing such as back-testing, rebalancing and monitoring, so that customers get to enjoy all the benefits of investing, without the hassle of having to watch the markets themselves.
Despite all of the jargon and technicalities, the FinTech industry is one that will likely continue to grow in the months and years ahead, especially as technology continues to advance. So whether or not you’re looking to jump into this field, it might be good to keep some of this knowledge in the back of your mind, just in case you ever need it.
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