A new way to pay- Fintech innovation at the point of sale

Ewan Dunbar our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 1/11/2018 12:28 PM
Instant transfers, real-time payments, virtual banks, and digital currencies - these are just a few of the ways fintech innovation has been booming in the last few years.

Around the globe, start-ups, upstarts, and non-bank payment providers have shaken up the banking status quo. New technologies, market conditions, and alternative business models fueled by global investment offer much needed change in payment systems as well as complement others already on the market. Demand for optimised payments experience in terms of speed, convenience, and multi-channel accessibility are the new ways to pay.


How to pay- let me count the ways

Retail and traditional banking have moved away from slow batched processing as consumer demand drives real-time payment systems. This demand has Consumers in retail banking also benefitting from the development of payment systems that run in real-time rather than via the traditional (and relatively slow) method of batched processing. This demand has in turn furthered innovation in real-time payment infrastructures. Consumers no longer require a bank or credit card to make payments, but can instead use service layers that run on top of existing real-time payment infrastructures.

In our mobile world, mobile wallets are often at the forefront of thought for payment systems and with the rise of P2P payment such as Venmo, Square, and Klarna. While generally focused on the peer-to-peer (P2P), mobile capabilities are much smaller in the wholesale and corporate sectors. But, this won’t last for long. Projected smartphone growth offers banks an opportunity to adapt and consider solutions across devices to meet growing demand.

An increasing number of non-bank providers are entering the payments world as well. Consider the rise of digital currencies, foreign exchange and remittances, and other P2P models which enable users to buy and sell currencies directly at an agreed rate. Real-time technological innovation reduces currency risk faced by banks and money transfer agencies, while also lowering costs associated with money transfer.

Growth in e-commerce makes consumer and retail payments sector the fastest moving in terms of innovation and adoption of new payment capabilities. Renewed confidence in the financial services sector has led to a substantial rise in available jobs, particularly among risk management teams. Yet, professionals to fill these roles remain in short supply.


Roll out the red carpet- these are the roles in high demand


Against the U.S., Japan, and globally, the U.K. faces a skills shortage in risk functions. According to a report by Accenture, over 75 percent of organisations say a shortage of core risk management talent impedes their effectiveness. Just over 70 percent are facing a shortage in new and emerging technologies. With an eye to the future, many organisations, capital markets, and U.K. banking plan to strengthen their understanding of emerging technology risk and their data management capabilities.

Roles in highest demand are those in counterparty credit risk, particularly within pricing. While more recently, graduates with quantitative backgrounds found roles in risk methodology, real-time payment structures and the role of e-commerce has created more opportunity for those who candidates who understand pricing models. Those at the first line of defence in regard to assurance, internal audit, IT controls, and cyber security fall within the scope of operational risk functions are also in demand.

The role of Brexit programmes will drive risk change hires in 2018. As negotiations become clearer, other organisations are expected to follow an investment bank in Canary Wharf which has made credit risk function hires a top priority.

Top challenges in risk management function


Increased demand from regulators, increased velocity, volume of data, legacy technologies, and variety are the top challenges faced by U.K. banking and capital markets. To meet their needs, these organisations are focused on creating teams which blend core competencies, a deep understand of new digital capabilities, and commercial acumen.

Quantitative risk professionals with experience in counterparty and market risk analysis are in high demand as well as those with a pricing model focus. Demand for regulatory and portfolio level market risk managers have also seen an uptick in demand.

In order to overcome shortages, businesses are considering internal candidate pools and moving strong candidates between asset classes. Despite shortages of professionals with key skill sets within risk, employers have remained cautious. Quantitative risk roles are a notable exception, where skills shortages are most acute.

We have an opportunity for a Senior Credit Risk Manager within New Product Leadership to help build a leading Financial Service’s recently purchased Consumer Finance Portfolio. Shape the entire strategy, oversee all Scorecard and Model Development, and build your own team. Interested?


For additional opportunities check out our current vacancies. Contact our UK Team at 0208 408 6070 or email ukinfo@harnham.com to learn more.

Related blog & news

With over 10 years experience working solely in the Data & Analytics sector our consultants are able to offer detailed insights into the industry.

Visit our Blogs & News portal or check out the related posts below.

2020: The Year of the Data Engineer

Data Engineers are the architects of Data. They lay the foundation businesses use to collect, gather, store, and make Data usable. Each iteration of the Data as it moves along the pipeline is cleaned and analysed to be used by Data professionals for their reports and Machine Learning models. A ROLE IN HIGH DEMAND Even as businesses reopen, reassess, and for some, remain remote, the demand for Data Engineers is high. Computer applications, Data modelling, prediction modelling, Machine Learning, and more need Data professionals to lay the groundwork to help businesses benefit in today’s Data-driven culture. The word gets thrown around a bit, but when the majority of business has moved online, Data-driven is the name of the game. Having a Data plan, a Data team, and all aligned with your business strategy is imperative to the way business is done today. This type of innovation can offer insight for better business decisions, enhance customer engagement, and improve customer retention without missing a beat.  Without Data Engineers, Data Scientists can’t do their jobs. Understanding the amount of Data, the speed at which is delivered, and its variety need Engineers to create reliable and efficient systems. Like many Data professional jobs, even still in 2020, Data Engineers are in high demand. Yet a skills shortage remains. This has created an emerging field of professionals from other backgrounds who are looking to take on the role of Data Engineer and fill the gap. Whether by necessity or design, these individuals build and manage pipelines, automate projects, and see their projects through to the end result. CAREER OPPORTUNITIES OUTSIDE THE NORM As this growing trend emerges, it has created career opportunities for those with experience outside the normal channels of Data Engineering study. While it might involve individuals from backgrounds such as software Engineering, Databases, or something similarly IT-related, some businesses are upskilling their employees with talent. Rapid growth, reskilling, upskilling, and ever-constant changes still leave businesses with a shortage of Data Engineers to meet the demand. It’s critical to fill the gap for success. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, Data Engineering is listed in the top 10 of jobs experiencing growth. THREE STEPS TOWARDS BECOMING A DATA ENGINEER This is a vital role in today’s organisations. So, if you’re in the tech industry and want to take a deeper dive into Data as a Data Engineer, what steps can you take? This is a time like no other. There’s time to assess your goals, take online classes, and get hands on with projects. Though having a base of computer science, mathematics, or business-related degree is always a good start. Be well-versed in such popular programming languages such as SQL, Python, R, Hadoop, Spark, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).Prepare for an entry-level role once you have your bachelor’s degree.Consider additional education to stay ahead of the curve. This can include not only professional certifications, but higher education degrees as well. The more experience, hands-on as well as academic, you have the more in demand you’ll be as a Data Engineer. Data scientists might be the rockstars of Data, but Data Engineers set the stage. As business processes have shifted online, looking for your next job has become more daunting than ever before. If you’re looking for your next opportunity in Data, take a look at our current jobs or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

How To Hire With Video Interviews

Virtual interviewing may have erupted over the last few months but the trends are showing that this is something that is likely to last well beyond the remote reality that many people are facing. Virtual interviewing is not as easy as it seems, in fact we’ve found our clients asking us over and over again for advice on how to run an effective video interview process. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of our top tips for clients and hiring managers for a successful video interview:  1. DON’T FORGET THE PRE-INTERVIEW PREP Confirm: Just like you would confirm a face to face interview with an email with the right address, instruction of how to get there and what to expect – the same applies for virtual interviews. Ensure to email candidates in advance with a link, information about who they are meeting and, most importantly, what you expect from a dress code. One of candidates biggest areas of concern is usually about what to wear for a virtual interview, so setting this out clearly in an email is a great way to start the process off on the right foot.Do not forget to provide instructions for using the video conferencing platform. Whether it is zoom, skype, google hangouts or another – keep in mind the candidate may not be familiar with your platform of choice.  Test:  Make sure to log onto to the interview early to ensure your camera, microphone and set up works. Be sure to ensure that your image is clear and that the volume is adequate. It is likely that the candidate will do the same and will ensure that the first few minutes of the interview aren’t focused on the technical side of things and ‘can you hear/see me?’.  2. PROVIDE A CLEAR STRUCTURE Opening: A usual face to face interview provides opportunity for warming a candidate up, however this time there is no shaking of hands and asking about commute.Just because you are video interviewing does not mean therefore that icebreakers shouldn’t exist, consider still incorporating an icebreaker to put the candidate at ease.  Ease concerns: One of the biggest concerns that candidates have when video interviewing is that there is a lot more out of their control in comparison to sitting in a meeting room opposite your interviewer. To ease any worries that the candidate might have, and to create a great candidate experience, let them know that background noise is okay and not to panic if the connection drops out. It’s likely that the candidate will have done everything they can to stop both of these from occurring, but ultimately, they could happen and it’s important the candidate knows that this will not negatively affect their outcome.  Set the agenda: Once you are through the icebreaker and have eased concerns, make sure to set an agenda for the interview. Let the candidate know what to expect. For example, introduction, CV run through, competency questions, Q&A and end. End the interview the right way, finish up by telling the candidates about the next steps and the timescales that you expect for that.  3. PREPARE THE QUESTIONS IN ADVANCE Due to the nature of video interviews, you will find the experience quite different to what you were used to. Usually you would have the CV and question sheet in front of you on the table, or on a laptop and the candidate separate to that. This time, you will potentially have all of that information on one screen. Preparing for how to optimise your screen and information therefore is important so that you can focus more on the candidate.  Read up on the candidate: Complete your CV read through and background prior to the interview to ensure that you do not need to rely wholly on the CV to make sense of the candidate’s answers. Don’t try and wing it: Prepare your questions in advance, have the questions in front of you and use them to help you to keep the interview on track and ensure all your questions get answered.  4. BE AWARE THAT EYE CONTACT IS DIFFERENT One of the biggest issues that clients and candidates alike feedback to us is that the concept of eye contact when video interviewing has as slightly different meaning. Having real eye contact in a virtual interview is challenging, because it means that you are going to be looking at the camera and not at the candidate, which takes some adjusting to.  Top Tips: Train yourself to look at the camera when you are talking, as this will give the candidate more of that personal feeling.Avoid the temptation to gape at your image on the screen, or the candidate when  you are speaking. If possible, turn off your picture so that the only image that shows on the screen is that of the candidate – this avoids the very familiar desire to look at oneself.  5. AVOID DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS There’s only so much you can do to stop your child running into the room, or your partner forgetting you’re on an interview and heading to the fridge but you can control the digital interruptions. It is important that you give the candidate your full attention. If your entire process is virtual, these are the sole ways that the candidate has to judge whether this is the right opportunity for them – so remember that this is a key part of their experience. Turn off notifications: Interviewing on a computer means that you are more likely to be distracted by your emails, IM messages, we’d advise turning off your notifications for both emails and IMs and closing all unnecessary tabs. Turn your phone onto airplane mode or DND. Harnham are currently supporting our clients within the Data & Analytics space on running completely remote interview processes for candidates. If you're looking to hire we can help you optimise your process in order to get the best talent then get in touch with one of our expert consultants. 

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