FinTech has arrived in Scotland: Investing in skills will make sure it stays

Article written by Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer, Renovite Technologies Inc.

Historically, among the many things Scotland is applauded for, financial services and innovation sit as two of its longest-standingand best-known accomplishments. This week’s visit from Ivan McKee MSP, the Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation, to several growing FinTech’s in Fife, including our own, demonstrates the extent to which this assertion continues to bear weight; confidence in the sector is high – and for good reason.

For us, Mr McKee’s visit signifies a flagship moment. It recognises Renovite Technologies as an important part of a growing FinTecheco-system that taken together is creating new opportunities for businesses and people up and down the country - whilst positioning Scotland as a central player in the global FinTech market.

New and emerging sectors like financial technology are essential when it comes to planning our economic future. As the Scottish Fiscal Commission’s latest economic forecast showed, we are potentially facing ‘subdued’ economic growth for at least the next five years.Yet, at the same time, it acknowledges that: “The past is an imperfect guide to the future in a rapidly changing global economic, social, political and technological environment.”

To buck this trend and make sure the past does not representthe future, it is imperative that we continue to invest growing sectors andparticularly, in skills and people. As Stephen Ingledew said last year: “In these fast-changingtimes,Scotland punches well above its weight in Fintech. Driven largely by world-renownedexpertisein the use of Data, Scotland is rapidly establishing itself as a significant Fintech hub.”

It is reasons like this – expertise - that we as a company that specialises in payments technology has chosen to invest in Scotland as a base for our operations. Giving people, whether it be through retraining initiatives like CodeClan or through specialist FinTechcourses, the right skills should be an absolute priority in the days ahead.

Today’s consumers continually push for new and innovative products in financial services. Scottish FinTechs have been able to satisfy that demand thanks to a highly skilled and experienced workforce - combined with a supportive business environment.
Remaining agile and responsive to these demands will ensure Scotland continues to enjoy such a strong reputation in the area and its businesses continueto grow.

Thanks to rising demand for better payments software from banks and money management companies, we have grown our team in Scotland by more than three times this year and anticipate tripling this figure again over the next 12-months.

We are only able to do this because we have access to some of the most skilled staff in the global labour market. For this to continue, we must look to grow and develop a workforce that is able to satisfy the market in the future, ensuring Scotland remains a magnet for technology-drivenfinancial services in the future.