Funding Circle senior staff member Alex Allen has predicted that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will propel the growth of the peer-to-peer lending sector.
Speaking at UK Fintech Week, Alex Allen, commercial, strategy and change director at Funding Circle, said the sector has grown since the last crisis and with machine learning and AI and other technological innovations it will continue doing so.
“It’s an incredibly exciting place to be and for me fintech is just coming of age,” Allen said.
“If you look at the role of fintech in the last 12 months we’ve shown a step change from the last crisis. In 2008, 2009 everything was about the banks and in 2020 there was a vast contribution made by fintechs.
“We were the third largest coronavirus business interruption loan scheme provider. Our tech application was giving loan applications in six minutes and decisions in nine seconds, just compare that to the weeks it takes from a bank and for small business owners that takes away the stress and improves their lives.
“If you go into business with the right culture you can genuinely improve life for people.
“With AI and machine learning and technological innovation I think the next 10 years will continue to evolve and will be rapidly different and you need to ask yourself if that’s something you want to get involved in.”
Allen agreed with the assessment from Laura Atterwill, talent and operations partner at Fidelity, that fintech employers are increasingly looking at behaviours and mindsets more than skills and qualifications and this is expected to be a continuing trend in the future.
He said fintechs are businesses with departments covering sales, marketing, operations, analytics and risks and the skills for these roles are often very similar to non-fintech businesses. He pointed out that many people have joined Funding Circle in these roles and then learned the technical side of fintechs and transitioned over onto that.
“Get experience from industry, try and meet people, you can move to different companies and you don’t have to get it right the first time but make sure you’re learning and developing and not standing still,” Allen said.
“I’ve been through five different careers and took that through to where I am today.”