In an era of exponential growth in the FinTech sector, it’s evident that this disruptive industry is maturing. As financial services increasingly pivot toward app-based solutions powered by artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain, FinTech has undoubtedly gone mainstream. However, amidst this apparent success, concerns of a potential bubble are looming large. Valuations are soaring, competition is fierce, and traditional financial players are staging a comeback. So, what’s the key to ensuring FinTech’s long-term sustainability?
The future of FinTech hinges on nurturing a larger pool of highly skilled technologists, engineers, and coders. These skills are paramount for securing the future of FinTech, not just in Bahrain but across the region. If education is the answer to FinTech’s long-term health, what can governments and companies do to promote skills and education?
First and foremost, collaboration is essential. Bahrain has a distinct advantage in this regard, boasting a thriving ecosystem that encompasses startups, multinational corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions, all working collaboratively to foster the growth of FinTech within the country.
This collaborative spirit is exemplified by Bahrain FinTech Bay, the region’s first and largest FinTech hub, which, in partnership with Bahrain’s Labour Fund Tamkeen, has joined forces with Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business to launch a pioneering FinTech program. This program is specifically designed to enhance the skill sets of Bahraini professionals, contributing significantly to the local FinTech workforce.
Industry experts highlight the importance of this collaboration as, “an advantage because of the ever-growing ecosystem of startups, multinationals, government agencies and education establishments that collaborate for the greater cause of the establishment of FinTechs within the country.”
However, collaboration alone is not sufficient. Local talent needs to be not just inspired but also confident that a career in FinTech offers long-term sustainability and growth opportunities. This credibility can be achieved through two crucial avenues:
Firstly, building trust in the robustness of government and academic programs. Bahrain has made significant strides in this regard, with training courses offered by Bahrain FinTech Bay and Bahrain Polytechnic attracting participants from around the world. This global interest underscores the credibility and effectiveness of these courses. Moreover, international institutions like Amazon Web Services and the University of California, Berkeley have chosen Bahrain as a hub for training in data science and launching specialized FinTech courses, further enhancing the kingdom’s reputation.
Lastly, the effectiveness of skills and education in FinTech hinges on concrete outcomes. While training opportunities may abound and enjoy credibility, it’s crucial that these acquired skills can be readily applied in an innovation-friendly environment. After all, why invest time and effort in learning these skills if they can’t be put to practical use? Bahrain excels in this aspect, not only attracting highly skilled workers due to its reputable FinTech education but also because of its high quality of life, cost-competitive business environment, and exceptional connectivity. This holistic approach ensures that Bahrain’s FinTech ecosystem offers both education and tangible opportunities.
If education is indeed the future of FinTech, then the three factors of its success are collaboration, credibility, and the achievement of concrete outcomes. Without these elements, the growth of FinTech will remain superficial, resting on unstable foundations, and ultimately falling short of its potential, especially in regions like the Middle East, where the transformative potential of disruptive technologies can bring about significant benefits.