11 April 2023 |

Fintech Companies Hiring, Financial Literacy For Kids, & Apple Pay Later


As mass layoffs (about 131,000 people laid off this year to be exact) have swept the tech and fintech space, I wanted to share some insights into who is hiring in fintech and what hiring managers are looking for in candidates during a more selective hiring cycle. 

I published the full article on Forbes (read it here). My research led me to connecting and interviewing some of the most brilliant women in fintech recruiting. 

Women like Nadia Edwards-Dashti who co-founded the Harrington Starr Group in 2010, which has grown into the leading fintech recruiter based in London & New York. She’s also the author of this incredible book where she discusses moving the needle for workplace gender equity in fintech. 

I also spoke to Lauren Combs, a recruiter at Web3 platform developer Alchemy, Sonya Barlow, founder and CEO of Like Minded Females Network, Nikita Gupta, co-founder of Careerflow, and Katie Hamm, head of recruitment at Highnote. 

Here’s what I learned.

Are Fintech Companies Hiring?

Yes! Fintech companies are actually hiring, even during these tough times. 

The only problem is that some people think fintech jobs require the same skills as traditional tech or bank jobs, but that’s not always true. In fact, fintech companies have more of a start-up culture, so they’re looking for people who have great interpersonal skills, not just technical ones. 

According to Katie Hamm, who works in recruiting at a fintech company called Highnote (which is actively recruiting), hiring managers want people who are gritty and can adapt quickly to change. 

The fintech industry is always evolving, so workers from big tech companies or traditional banking that want to enter fintech might need to shift their mindset a bit and be open to new opportunities in fintech (like Web3). 

As I checked the industry via Twitter by asking who is hiring, I found that companies like Alloy, Fintech Sandbox, Seismic, and Zeta, among many others, are actively recruiting. For more, here’s a job board filled with fintech companies hiring.

All in all, we as an industry need to debunk the myth that you need to have a tech or finance background to work in fintech. A lot of fintech companies are actually looking for people with a range of skills, not just techies. By demystifying the space, we also open the doors to more diverse candidates to see themselves working in fintech. 

Of course, knowing stuff like data analysis and financial tech tools can help, but it’s also important to have soft skills like being able to communicate well, being empathetic, and flexible. 

Having experience with data is a plus, but even if you don’t have that, it’s cool to be open to working with financial data especially if you showcase your interpersonal skills. 

Not surprising, these high-in-demand skills traditionally associated with women, like effective communication, are 80% more likely to be in the top five skills for the roles that the fintech industry is looking for. The bottom line is that fintech can be a great gig for tech-savvy people and those who aren’t, as long as you’ve got the right skills to show off.

Does Fintech For Kids Work? 

Fintech for kids may seem like a daunting task, but some companies are making strides in creating engaging and trustworthy financial education tools for young people. 

Acorns acquired GoHenry, a child and teen-focused digital banking startup, to expand into Europe and also launched Acorns Early, an investment account for kids. 

Step is another fintech company that provides financial education and services to kids aged 14-24 through an app-based and boots-on-the-ground approach, while also working on creating a financial literacy curriculum for schools nationwide.

Step stands out because it offers a secured credit card instead of a debit card, which requires users to make an upfront deposit to use as collateral. The app also helps young people better understand their financial habits, encourages them to save money and pay bills, and even involves parents in investment decisions. 

Step also speaks to Gen Zers through influencers like Charlie D’Amelio and by hosting their music festival, Step Fest, which offers a $10K scholarship for financial literacy month (Peep the Plain White T’s in the show lineup – now you have Hey There Delilah stuck in your head). 

My future kids are in for a treat because they’re getting an earful from their fintech nerd mom who’s more than happy to spend time discussing financial psychology decisions before signing them up for any fintech app.

Actual parent and CEO of Step CJ McDonald and I talked about the challenges and opportunities of building a fintech app for saving, spending, and investing catered to kids. You can hear all about that here

Is Apple Pay Later Financial Inclusion? 

Not really.

As much as we love Apple and its products, their “Buy Now Pay Later” (BNPL) platform, Apple Pay Later, is not exactly a solution to financial inclusion. While Apple may pitch it as a way to provide financial access, it’s really just another credit option for consumers. 

BNPL platforms, such as Afterpay and Affirm, offer quick access to credit for retail purchases without a hard credit check. However, there are some risks involved. According to surveys, 70% of users report spending more with BNPL than they would otherwise, and 42% have missed payments. Additionally, 25% signed up for BNPL to avoid a hard inquiry, which can impact their credit score.

Instead of just throwing another product at consumers, we should be using financial technology to help people become financially independent and knowledgeable. The root of the problem is financial education, and we need to focus on that. People don’t know how to build an emergency fund but will BNPL. That’s backwards, y’all. 

It’s important to note that younger and less financially healthy households are more likely to use BNPL, and nearly a quarter of financially vulnerable BNPL users report challenges with payments.

While fintech has the potential to improve our lives and make us happier and better off, we need to be aware of the risks and work towards actual financial inclusion through education and access to resources.