Within central Scotland, financial technology, or FinTech, is seeing a surge of growth, with new enterprises launching, international firms moving to Scotland and established technology firms developing new FinTech products.
In the north-east, FinTech is experiencing the same vast growth, but for many industry professionals it is still a relatively new concept.
For those readers who may be unfamiliar, FinTech is a catch-all term for the provision of financial services via modern technology.
Permeating all sectors, the implementation of FinTech can significantly benefit and change the operations of a business by a number of means, including faster monetary transactions, improved customer experience and streamlining of processes.
FWB Park Brown, in partnership with FinTech Scotland and Aberdeen University’s Business School recently hosted the Aberdeen does FinTech event at
Opportunity North East’s Tech Hub.
The evening provided an introduction to all things FinTech
– the corporates embracing it, the entrepreneurial landscape, the academics pioneering FinTech and the organisations supporting the FinTech agenda.
Hosted by Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, as part of Scotland’s FinTech Festival, the discussion centred on whether Aberdeen can
In 2018, Paymentsense, one of Europe’s fastest growing FinTech companies, named
Aberdeen as the best UK city to start a business in.
For many years, north-east Scotland has acted as a hub of industry activity – but what in particular does Aberdeen have to offer in this new age of digitalisation?
At present, Aberdeen is home to more than 6,000 people working in technology-centric roles – across a number of technology specific companies and embedded within
the oil and gas industry.
Coding and digital skills are, of course, vital to the digital sector.
But even those individuals not in “tech” roles have skills which are important, for example, data analysis skills, strong business acumen and the ability to visualise digital concepts.
These are all highly desirable attributes for potential digital candidates.
From a commercial perspective, businesses can attract digital talent by providing internal opportunities for diversification and evolution.
Much like the growing focus on the energy transition, it is vital for businesses to evolve to meet changing consumer needs by implementing new technologies.
Businesses must act with agility and change the way they approach innovation.
Unfortunately, the alternative to growth and evolution is failure – as in the case of Blockbuster, which, when presented with the opportunity to buy Netflix in 2000, famously refused, predominantly on the basis that the technology seemed unfathomable at the time.
Use of FinTech is becoming the new normal with technologies like GoFundMe and Apple Pay permeating our everyday lives.
The future for Aberdeen is not predetermined.
However, it is essential we are not complacent and recognise there will be an
evolution of our core industry.
We must show foresight to encourage diversification and investment
from emerging sectors and industries who have a willingness
to invest in our local economy.
Aberdeen can either watch as the industry shapes itself around
us or participate and contribute to shaping the future of the region.