Fintech, short for financial technology, refers to the use of technology to improve and automate financial services. This includes a wide range of products and services, such as mobile banking, online lending, digital payments, and investment platforms. Fintech companies often use data and analytics, artificial intelligence, and other digital tools to provide financial services in a more efficient and user-friendly way.
Finance, on the other hand, refers to the management of money and other assets. This includes a wide range of activities such as banking, investing, budgeting, and financial planning. Finance is the broader field that encompasses the various financial products and services offered by banks, investment firms, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.
Before applying to the Master in Fintech and Business Analytics I was unsure which field to study. Both seemed relevant and interesting. Finance is present in every organisation and therefore of critical need. Fintech, on the other hand, seemed like an exciting new range of technologies that could change most markets upside down. The other questions I had were, how will financial positions exist in the future? Will they be more data driven and automatized? I’m already enrolled in the Fintech course so it is clear that I’ve made my decision. However, many students are still unsure on which path to follow and I just hope this article can be of some help in taking the decision. (Spoiler: there is no right answer, both fields are of great use and relevance and the decision is subject to one’s own preferences.)
In order to shed some light on this, I decided to ask my fellow classmates about their motivations for enrolling in the Msc in Fintech. Moreover, I was particularly interested in those with a strong background in finance (some of them with a Msc in Finance already!) on why they decided to pursue a master in Fintech.
Selim Abaab (Belgium) holds a Msc in Finance. When asked about his main motivation for taking the Master in FinTech & Business Analytics, he said that he saw fintech as “the next step of finance”: “I have a background in traditional finance, so of course it’s natural to go for Fintech. For me, Fintech is like finance v2.0.” He views Fintech more as an evolutionary state of finance than a separate subject, as I had often regarded it.
Delfina Trentin (Argentina) also held a Master’s degree in Finance before staring the programme. According to Delfina, the right programme depends on your career goals: “In my view, it really depends on what you want to work on or achieve with what you have learned in the master. I chose Fintech because it will allow me to automate financial processes by applying the new tech with the basics of finance. I believe it is necessary to understand the tech world more easily and how to apply it to finance successfully.”
Next, I spoke to my classmate Chris Hayes (Ireland), who holds the CFA level 3. “Technology is profoundly impacting the future of Finance,” he says. “This master enables us to develop a deeper understanding of the key drivers propelling rapid growth in the Fintech sector.”
Junaid Minhas (Pakistan) has extensive experience in the financial sector, specifically in investment banking, and he opted for Fintech for other reasons. “I have always wanted to work in the Fintech sector, specifically in the stream of project management, enabling me to bring about a change and inclusiveness within the current un-served potential target market and allowing me to be able to make decisions positively affecting the potential clients in terms of inclusivity and user-experience.” After the Master in Fintech & Business Analytics, Junaid feels he will be able to “analyse and implement ready-made solutions in terms of research”.
For Junaid, the databases that he has access to as an EADA student are what make the difference. “I have access to top tier markets and research data and information hubs free of charge, which normally cost thousands of dollars for corporations and SMEs.” His long-term goal includes a career change to a more tech and impact-oriented role.
Junaid is no exception: the same applies to many of my classmates, including myself. In a way, Fintech provides a common ground between finance and tech people, enabling smoother career shifts. In fact, Junaid’s latest observation on the use of databases is something that distinguishes this Fintech & Business Analytics programme from the Master in Finance.
While the Finance programme may be more demanding in terms of financial modelling, Fintech is more oriented towards looking into the right data and tools to make the best analysis. This is something many companies are looking into more now than ever.
I am already in the second trimester of the Fintech programme, and I’m surprised by the amount of tech resources that I had no idea I could use to nurture my understanding of markets and make better decisions, from trading bots to data analytics tools. These resources allow you to generate change from inside the organisation by integrating and upgrading tools, creating a more data-driven decision-making process, and incorporating cutting edge technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and blockchain. This is the future not just of finance, but of most industries and companies, from SME to large corporations striving to stay competitive in ever-changing markets.
In conclusion, it all comes down to what your real interests are. If you are more of a traditional finance person looking to apply a mathematical models to analysis of the financial viability of projects and businesses, or if you aspire to work in sectors such as Asset Management, Capital Markets, or Investment Banking, the Master in Finance might be your best choice.
On the other hand, if you want to know how current tech tools can make companies across sectors more efficient by using automation and data analytics tools for decision making, it might be better to pursue the Master in Fintech & Business Analytics. (For instance, the first paragraph of this article was done on ChatGPT, a language model based on AI which is changing the way we generate content and scripts).
Either way, one thing is for sure: both programmes will provide you with the skills and connections to develop a successful career either in a startup or a corporation or even the public sector.
Participant of Master in Fintech & Business Analytics, class of 2023
Juan Arambarri was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He studied economics and later a specialization in management of social ventures. He has worked in several companies such as Accenture, PwC and Xerox Corp. He also founded a non-profit microfinance organization in 2015 that served people from undeserved zones in Buenos Aires with flexible financing. He is currently working at his startup MainSuite, a SaaS that aims at empowering professional service businesses by improving work productivity and communication.