Hi Lili and Sandra! You work as Engineer managers and directors at Klarna. Tell us more about Klarna – what do you do?
We work within the financial department of Klarna, a unicorn fintech company, to digitise the financial functionalities – our main focus is engineering. And yes, there are a lot of engineering innovations ongoing within the financial department and the company all the time!
But what does fintech really mean?
Fintech, by its Wikipedia definition, is ‘the technology and innovation that aims to compete with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services.’ There are so many different financial services powered by technology out there nowadays and we want our audiences to do a bit of their research online as well learning about how technology can make changes to every corner of our life including finance.
What is so special about this industry?
Let’s face it, technology is everywhere today. Some people might take a cautious approach to technology, and others might embrace it easily, but technology-powered services are deeply rooted within our day to day life – so why shouldn’t financial services be the same? Traditional banking procedures are usually lengthy and hard to get by for consumers and the people who might need a loan for a small amount, support finding a cheaper and faster insurance service or any other short-term financial support.
Fintech companies are also focusing on providing easily adaptable solutions for younger generations. The delivery of the services is more related to the customers’ real needs, empowered by new technical platforms like smartphones and the internet – they don’t want to have to visit a branch or an office to get a simple transaction sorted. So when fintech companies start playing in the financial servicing industry, it is easily accepted by customers. It is exciting to see the progress of a young and passionate industry booming, but the business model is fairly new compared to the very mature banking industry, so different regulatory supervisions are still being developed for the protection of our end users.
What opportunities are there within Klarna?
If you would like to add a new feature to a checkout process – like Klarna checkout on your mobile phone – how would you do it if you were working for Klarna? This question sounds like something for a software developer with experience in frontend designing, language or application, at first thought. But is that enough?
An idea doesn’t just get transformed into production by a programmer – it also needs the architecture skills which make sure this product will be regulatory compliant, operable, sustainable and even environment friendly, and its knowledge will eventually be retained as a company asset, to be well streamlined to be kept on file and reported to the authorities. The market response to this new feature will also determine if the feature will stay or be taken away – the revenue generated will be monitored and the customer feedback will be reviewed to help us understand if this is a great feature or just a redundant piece.
This is just a small example of transforming an idea into a product offering – where do you see yourself in this example?
Do you need certain skills to work within this industry?
On top of any specific skills, the open mind of developing yourself for different areas throughout your career and embracing the idea of lifelong learning might be the most important skill to adopt. Being an engineer might land you a job in a technical company or a fintech or a traditional finance serving company, but it might not be enough for you to get through your whole life.
Business model changes, production changes, technology changes and even our way of understanding this ever-changing world changes rapidly. A fintech company is like any other company that will need people who work in talent acquisition, in the finance department, as engineering support and in production development, etc.
As long as the skillset one person acquires fits the open position requirements, a job in a fintech company is no different from a job in any other type of company. But, once someone has joined a fintech company, she or he might notice that more opportunities are available for them to take on within the company.
Technology is something we can’t avoid today – we are exposed to more technological devices and tools every day than the entire human history has offered. Instead of thinking of being constrained with one type of skill, just keep being curious and try to think about how you can solve problems like an engineer – it will pay off.
Är du nyfiken på en roll inom fintech? Kika då in Klarnas karriärs-sida!