As an aspiring fintech app developer, you’ve likely used an app on your phone or tablet and thought, ‘I can improve this!’ We scroll, swipe, and click only to end up getting taken off the beaten path. What’s more frustrating than a poorly designed app, especially when trying to do something as important as personal banking?
Financial technology app developers, also known as fintech app developers, work to create the best apps possible to make it convenient to pay bills, transfer funds or handle other financial tasks right from a smartphone or computer. As technology advances, the need for these developers is only going to continue to grow. That’s why a career in fintech, specifically app development, is a great field to explore.
Here is some more information on what fintech is and what a career as a fintech app developer could look like for you.
What is Financial Technology — or Fintech?
Financial technology or fintech automates digital financial services and transactions. It’s improved how we do any banking activities, from mobile banking and making payments to trading/investing funds and exchanging cryptocurrencies.
Since Fintech has become an increasingly popular career path, many students and aspiring professionals have focused their education on the field.
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Earning an App Developer Degree
Obtaining a degree in Fintech is a great opportunity to get into a highly innovative and in-demand field. Students will receive the tools and knowledge to incorporate technology into the world of finance. They will then transfer those tools into creating solutions and strategies to benefit their clients.
Since Fintech is a broad field of study, many institutions’ course offerings will vary. To give you an idea, Northeastern University’s program course topics include:
- Digital Currencies
- Financial Data Analytics
- Blockchain Applications in Finance
- Peer-to-peer lending
- Applied Financial Econometrics
- Machine Learning in Finance
Most of these programs are centered on modifying and improving banking methods using innovative solutions and various technologies, such as applications. Depending on the format and structure of each program, students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned to projects, research, and even participate in internships.
Many institutions require students to complete a series of projects throughout the program. The Wharton University of Pennsylvania, for one, has its students focusing on projects that can include designing applications related to the following areas of Fintech:
- Digital Transformation and Financial Services
- Digital Payments and Marketplace Lending
- Personal Banking and AI
- Insurtech and Real Estate Tech
- Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
- Financial Regulation
As Fintech continues to change and progress, students exploring the field will be required to do a significant amount of research to contribute to the subject’s future. The study will include how Fintech started, where it is today, and how it will impact the future of the banking industry.
In addition to the projects and extensive research, students will also have the opportunity to participate in internships or fieldwork. Many benefits come with this experience, some of which include:
- The first-hand perspective of the day-to-day responsibilities
- Gain professional work experience
- Build a portfolio
- Potentially convert an internship into a pre-placement offer
- Network with and learn from other Fintech professionals
Check out our complete guides on how to get a fintech degree and how to get a fintech master’s degree to learn more.
What is a Fintech App Developer?
One of the most pursued job titles within financial technology is an app developer. Fintech app developers are responsible for creating applications that ensure safety and security within mobile banking. Utilizing best practices and the latest technology, developers provide new and creative solutions to meet the end-user and stakeholder demands.
Aside from designing and developing the app, developers also test and monitor the app’s performance to ensure its functionality and adjust as needed.
Seven Skills to Become a Fintech App Developer
There are plenty of soft skills required to become an efficient Fintech app developer. These skills include problem-solving, communication skills, and adaptability. Additionally, several technical skills are needed to expand your career as a developer. According to Huxley.com, some of the skills required include:
1. Blockchain expertise
Blockchain technology allows developers to create apps and software and prevent security breaches and hackers. Having expertise in this area will help create a product that users can trust. Check out our blockchain career profile or our blockchain certifications page to learn more about these new opportunities.
2. Software development
Software development skills help create high-quality applications. The more knowledge and experience you have with it, the less time you spend on the back end of the application creation process. Learn more about how to become a software developer.
3. Data specialist
Having the skills to be able to review and analyze data quickly will help with optimizing your product. This will, in turn, allow you to develop a more efficient and up-to-date product. Learn more about data analytics degrees and how to become a data analyst.
DevOps, short for “development operations,” is a collaborative approach to software development, testing, and deployment. It involves automating and standardizing processes that facilitate efficient and high-quality code releases. DevOps knowledge and skills will allow aspiring fintech professionals to build and deploy a highly functional app.
Understanding the language and the ins and outs of programming is important to creating a solid product. Perfecting this skill will allow you to quickly and efficiently work on your product’s back end. Check out computer programming degree and computer programming bootcamp options.
Regardless of the company’s size, it’s crucial that their products are safe for their consumers to use, or they won’t last. Being a skilled expert in cybersecurity will be a huge advantage when creating different applications. Cybersecurity skills are in high demand; check out these cybersecurity certifications.
General web design skills are also important for any aspiring app developer. App and website design skills will allow developers to visualize an application and that it is also user-friendly and provides a good experience to the end-user. Learn more about becoming a UX designer or getting a tech design degree.
How to Become a Fintech App Developer
Since fintech is quickly becoming a competitive field, it’s important to get a head start over your competition when landing a position as an app developer.
Though many companies have different job descriptions for the position, few things are unanimous across the board. Along with getting an education in the field, here are five steps to help you find a position as a Fintech app developer according to SimpleProgramer.com:
Step 1: Get the education
Obtaining a degree in Fintech app development can be difficult. Since few institutions offer such specific degree programs, there are several areas of study you can focus on, which include:
- Computer Science
- Financial Technology
- Information Security
Step 2: Learn the languages
Financial technology involves a great deal of complicated terminology. Learning the language specific to fintech and programming language will help app developers navigate and integrate various terminology and language into the different financial application systems.
Step 3: Learn the algorithms and data
Creating financial applications that involve artificial intelligence (AI) can be complicated. Learning about the different algorithms involved will give you a significant head start in becoming a leading app developer in the field.
Along with the algorithms, developing these applications also utilizes a lot of data to help with optimization. Becoming a subject matter expert on different databases will allow you to become a well-rounded developer.
Step 4: Stay ahead of the trends
As the industry constantly evolves, those who grow with it will find themselves better positioned to succeed in the field. Having an inside look into what the consumers want from their financial applications will benefit you when creating new applications and optimizing current ones.
Step 5: Apply for the right job at the right company
The final step is looking into different companies and finding the right one for you and your skillset. Since the industry is still relatively new, job descriptions may vary. It’s important to set yourself up for success right out the gate.
Fintech Career Outlook
Financial technology as a whole will only continue to grow. As it does, so will the career opportunities in the field. In addition to being an application developer, below are several additional job titles one can choose to pursue with an education in financial technology and potential annual salaries, according to talent.com.
- Apps Developer – $80,000 – $90,000
- Blockchain Developer – $140,000 – $150,000
- Compliance Expert – $130,000 – $150,000
- Cybersecurity Analyst – $90,000 – $100,00
- Financial Analyst – $70,000 – $80,000
- Product Manager – $100,000 – $120,000
- Quantitative Analyst – $100,000 – $120,000
Fintech App Developer FAQs
Financial technology automates online financial services and transactions. It has improved routine (and sometimes time-consuming) activities, such as banking, mobile payments, trading/investing, and buying and selling new forms of digital assets, like cryptocurrency.
Fintech app developers are responsible for creating applications that ensure safety and security within mobile banking and creating new and creative solutions to meet end users’ needs and demands. App developers also test and monitor apps to ensure functionality and a good user experience.
Becoming a fintech app developer can be relatively straightforward. While obtaining your degree in a related field such as computer science, financial technology, information security, or other related fields, it is important to focus on skills that are specific to fintech app development. Learning the language, algorithms used, and the different data structures will help during the recruitment process. And even after you have earned your degree, there will be opportunities to continue learning, especially because of continuous technological improvements. The last thing: Do your research on the companies you are applying for and be sure you have the desired skills and experience for open roles and that the work culture is a good fit.