Payments Talent In 2020: The Recruitment Outlook

22 January 2020

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The global payments sector is set to grow exponentially in 2020 and beyond. Talent will be critical to achieving the industry’s ambitious goals. As the decade begins, we consider the recruitment outlook and advise on the path ahead for payments employers.

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Digital payments have come a long way in recent years. Consumers have become cashless, banks have opened, international barriers have been breached and challengers have ascended in every arena imaginable.

It’s grown our industry to a value estimated at US $3,417 Billion by 2018 (Market Reports World, 2020).

Yet, in 2020 there’s still huge room for growth.

Talent, though, remains one of the industry’s main “Achillies’ heels" – and presents a genuine challenge that potentially limits growth. As we outlined in our Payments Talent 2019 report, there is a skills gap in fintech that 49% of leaders rank as a ‘#1 Concern’ (Bobsguide).

Unless the industry commits to investment in long-term talent acquisition and management strategies, this could be a decade marked more by under-deliver than by innovation and progress. Attracting, training and retaining skilled payments professionals is integral to the success of our industry. Individuals who understand - and can truly harness - the powerful potential of the payments ecosystem are becoming ever more valuable, but are also increasingly rare.

Payments Progress: Big Trends To Attract Talent

Payments and fintech employers, thankfully, remain highly attractive to potential candidates – with numerous ‘USP’s (unique selling points) on our side. Ours in an industry that’s very much in the spotlight, and one that is visibly improving the lives of both consumers and businesses.

Innovation and the chance to ‘create something new’ features high on talented candidates’ “desired” factors when seeking employment.

Big trends that are set to raise the profile of payments in the coming years include:

  • OPEN BANKING
    Expanding the boundaries of banking data will create enormous new opportunities not only for businesses, but for ambitious professionals. Technologists, commercial strategists and astute product managers will undoubtedly be attracted to this exciting new area.

  • PAYMENTS CONSOLIDATION
    High profile M&A activity is likely to result in larger and more prominent payments employers. Joining the likes of PayPal, Stripe and Square will come numerous new ‘omni-channel’ payments businesses that offer high-profile, ‘trophy’ career paths.

  • PAYMENTS IN DAILY FOCUS
    In 2020 and beyond, payments will truly become a household, day-to-day matter. Apple Pay, contactless technology and online wallets have already changed the way many of us interact with money. But new innovations will ensure that payments is an industry that’s ever more present in our daily lives.

  • CHALLENGER BANKS’ RISE
    With over 6 million customers, challenger bank Revolut became the fastest-growing bank in Europe last year, and its far from the only player shaking up traditional banking. This area offers a tech-led, innovation-first approach that appeals as much to millennial candidates as it does to millennial consumers.

All of these, coupled with the industry’s inherent characteristics as a vibrant, international and innovative community, will serve us in good stead when attracting talent for the coming years.

Overcoming The Skills Shortage: Payments Recruitment Tactics

Expectations for the payments industry’s global growth are exponential. The market is forecast to climb from US $3,417 to US $7,640 in the period 2018 to 2024.

To achieve this scale of growth, the payments industry will need to absorb a significant percentage of the world’s most talented technologists, sales people, legal experts, product managers and more.

Internationally, this will involve expansion within and beyond the key hubs of today – Amsterdam, Berlin, Singapore, San Francisco, Bahrain – with a particular focus on emerging economies where the volume of payments transactions is rapidly ascending.

Focusing back to the short term, key areas of high demand that will require proactivity to recruit include:

  • Commercial Salespeople | Those with SAAS sales background – or specific experience of the payments industry – continue to top many employers’ recruitment requirements list.

  • Payments Product Managers | As our industry evolves and expands, the specialist knowledge that’s required to write and direct product roadmaps is critically important.

  • Legal & Compliance Professionals | The challenge of delivering global payments solutions within a cross-border, multi-jurisdiction environment is one that requires world-class legal expertise.

  • Security Technologists | Authentication, verification and security are now in sharp focus, and only innovative technologists will be able to deliver on security credentials whilst maintaining user experience.

  • Change & Transformation Specialists | M&A activity, and the rapidly-changing nature of our sector means that those who are adept at delivering change within organisations will be in high demand for years to come.

For these and more areas, a proactive talent attraction and retention strategy will be critical if the industry is to achieve its ambitious plans for 2020 and beyond.
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Headcount recruitment is committed to attracting talent for the payments and fintech industry. Interested to discuss how we can support your recruitment goals? Contact us today