Fintech is the latest buzzword to hit the innovation landscape. We’ve all heard of blockchain and artificial intelligence, but what does it all really MEAN and how does it impact Delaware?
In its simplest form, fintech means leveraging technology to deliver financial services in new and innovative ways. However, this simple definition encompasses a broad array of products, services, applications and activities that will redefine the way we do business and reshape the future of money as we know it.
Why Delaware and Why Now?
According to the Delaware Growth Agenda*, Delaware’s financial services sector – admittedly broader than fintech per se - is the state’s largest traded sector, outperforming the US financial services sector and growing almost 22% between 2010 and 2015, despite the Great Recession.
In 2017, financial services accounted for 36,821 jobs and continues to grow, with JPMorgan Chase announcing plans in 2015 to hire more than 1,800 Delawareans by next year, and SoFi seeking to hire 400 workers in Delaware by the end of this year.**
Furthermore, there has been a steady increase in venture equity investment in the financial services arena – peaking at $6.6 billion in 2015 – with Wilmington being the single largest destination for outside investment in the financial services cluster within the I-95 corridor in the last few years.***
Delaware’s Department of State – a first-mover in the adoption of blockchain – is already moving to the next level in the use of this technology to help Delaware companies run more efficiently, quickly and error-free.
A changing regulatory landscape will also impact fintech companies as we move forward. While the future of fintech is promising, it also brings with it exposure to regulatory requirements - a key difference between tech industry advancements of the past. Regulations are changing and both fintech companies and banks are adapting and – in some cases – collaborating to leverage each other’s strengths and meet the demands of tech savvy consumers. What is the future of compliance and are we doing all that is necessary to keep consumers safe while encouraging and supporting industry growth?
Finally, as we experiment with new technologies, ensure consumer protection, and continue to encourage outside investment into the financial services cluster, another critical component to creating a core competency in this arena will be building a talent pool that is ready and able to meet the growing needs of this industry. With current employers depleting their networks of qualified talent, can we educate and/or attract talent quickly enough? According to data aggregated by TIP Strategies, 30% of the US jobs postings in FinTech are classified as Application Software Developer or Marketing Manager. Are our colleges and universities producing the talent that meets the real world needs of the evolving fintech industry and how can we make better use of coding bootcamps like Zipcode Wilmington to build our talent pool?
With the industry poised for continued growth, now is the time to convene, converse, collaborate, and lay the groundwork so that Delaware can position itself at the forefront of this growth industry.
If you’d like to learn more about Fintech in Delaware, join the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce for Delaware’s first Fintech Forum on December 11th, 2018 at Arsht Hall where Fintech industry experts talk about Delaware’s Fintech industry, blockchain & bitcoin, legislation & compliance, and building a Fintech talent workforce. More info HERE.
*Delaware Growth Agenda, prepared by TIP Strategies, July 2016 for the Delaware Business Roundtable
** Source: The News Journal - Delaware Online
*** Sources: Data aggregated by TIP Strategies from Crunchbase, Gartner TalentNeuron