How to: A Beginner's Guide To Fintech

Updated: Mar 11

Blockchain? Cryptocurrency? Bitcoin? Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

You might have heard of these terms before when they became popular a few years back. They are all part of a rapidly growing industry called Fintech, which stands for Financial Technology, and in its broadest definition, that’s exactly what it is: the use of software and modern technologies in the financial services sector.

Fintech is no longer just used within financial institutions; it has changed the way we live our lives. Because of fintech, we now get better customer service (eg. through chatbots and AI), and our payment systems have also become more efficient, such as mobile payment services like PayLah!, PayNow and GrabPay.

Fintech is one of the most booming industries that is rapidly growing and will only continue to grow. A report released by Accenture found that investment in Fintech increased from $930 million in 2008 to more than $12 billion in early 2015. Check out TechBullion’s infographic for 87 interesting stats about the evolution of fintech through the years!

Whether you’re interested to learn more or are thinking of starting a career in this industry, read on to find out about the different technologies used in fintech, and also where you can attend courses to grow your skills and knowledge!

Blockchain is the form of technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that uses encryption techniques, where the information and transactions are protected by codes.

Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency that grew in popularity after its value surged by more than 1000% in 2017. It was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto.

We suggest you click on one of these links below, they’ll do a better job at explaining these concepts that can be quite hard to understand!

Making sense of bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency

What’s the Difference Between Blockchain and Cryptocurrency?

Blockchain explained

Blockchain Expert Explains One Concept In 5 Levels of Difficulty

AI is the machine-learning that aims to replicate how humans make decisions. AI learns from their environment and other data fed to it. From there, it is able to make decisions that replicate human problem-solving abilities.

Robo advisers are programmes that give you financial advice and help you manage your investments through data analysis. They bypass the need for human financial advisors through the use of algorithms to automatically manage your assets.

Insurtech, short for insurance technology, is the use of tech to increase savings and efficiency in the existing insurance industry.

With the use of technology, especially AI, insurance companies can offer ultra-customised policies, rate customers and dynamically price their premiums based on the data of customer profiles. The technology can also be used to anticipate consumer behaviour to better tailor insurance packages.

Neobanks completely eliminates physical branches and offer digital or mobile-only financial services similar to traditional banks. This means that they can reduce operating costs and concentrate on the user experience.

Where to attend classes:

Certificate in fintech and innovation by SMU (3-day course)

Learning journey into fintech by NTUC learning hub (half-day course)

Fintech fundamentals programme by Singapore Poly (12 sessions)

Self-paced online learning by EDX

(Source: Forbes)