The Financial Services Industry

The financial services industry provides many important things for consumers and businesses. It gives people access to loans for mortgages, cars, homes, education and other needs. It helps them save money for retirement and other goals. It safeguards their property and health through insurance policies. It also helps companies grow and expand by providing them with capital in the form of investments. The sector employs millions of people and contributes to a healthy economy in most countries around the world.

While many people think of banks, brokers and Wall Street when they hear the term “financial services,” it’s a much wider field than that. In addition to those three sectors, the industry includes credit card companies, credit unions, stock brokerage firms and insurers.

Using data and analytics, financial services workers can analyze customer behavior to predict what products or services would be most helpful to them at any given time in their lives. This allows them to deliver personalized offers that are highly relevant, which in turn increases the likelihood that customers will use those offerings and return to the brand for additional services.

Technology has made it easier for customers to manage their finances and interact with financial services providers. For example, mobile banking apps make it possible for customers to deposit checks from the comfort of their homes and even autofill forms with their most frequently used personal information like address, cell phone number and name. Such automation both enhances the customer experience and increases productivity for financial services workers.

While technology has greatly enhanced the ability for people to borrow, invest and manage their money, there are still challenges in the industry. One is the lack of basic understanding among consumers about debt, financial services and money management. Another is the fact that not everyone has access to quality financial services, especially in rural areas and certain underserved populations.

As the financial services industry continues to evolve, new opportunities are being created for workers. For instance, artificial intelligence and machine learning are allowing lenders to more quickly evaluate the risk of a person or business based on their financial transactions and behaviors. This reduces processing costs and the amount of time it takes to approve or deny a loan application.

When interviewing for a position within the financial services industry, it’s important to know what aspects of the career path interest you most. Then you can tailor your answers to demonstrate how your skills and interests align with the company and role. You might be asked, for example, why you chose to work in the financial industry and what specific skills or experiences make you a good fit for it. The answer to that question can have a direct impact on your chances of landing the job. So prepare for it carefully by thinking about your motives, passion and long-term goals when choosing a career in financial services. 2019 Fortune Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.