When you think about financial services, you probably envision banks, mortgage lenders and stock brokers. But the industry goes far beyond that and encompasses many more sectors. Some of these include credit card companies, asset management firms and global payment networks like Visa and Mastercard. This vast sector also includes insurance agencies, investment advisors and Wall Street. Financial services provide individuals, small businesses, large corporations and even nonprofits with money-related products and services.
In order to offer the best possible customer service, financial services providers must have a deep understanding of their clients and their needs. They must be able to anticipate what products and services will be needed at key moments in the client’s lifecycle, such as when they get married or purchase a home. To do this, they must analyze data about the client’s habits and behavior. This information is then used to create a personalized product offering.
To stay competitive, financial services providers must continually improve their products and services. This is especially true with technology, which is changing the way the industry operates. For example, mobile apps are making it easier for consumers to check their bank accounts from anywhere at any time. Additionally, digital gig work is allowing workers to take on freelance jobs outside of traditional brick-and-mortar offices.
The biggest sector of the financial services industry is banking. This includes traditional banking services, such as deposit-taking, lending of all types (personal, business and mortgage), financial leasing, payment and money transmission services, currency exchange services, credit card network services and debt resolution. It also includes other auxiliary financial services, such as asset management and pension fund management.
Most people are familiar with insurance, which is considered a type of financial service. Insurance is an important part of any person’s finances because it helps them cover costs for unexpected events. There are many different kinds of insurance, including health, auto and home insurance. Other types of financial services include securities trading, which involves buying and selling stocks, bonds and other financial instruments; underwriting – writing debt or equity for public and private entities in exchange for a fee; and financial advisory services, which involve providing expertise in the areas of mergers, acquisitions and other strategic initiatives.
While it may seem daunting to break into the vast and varied world of financial services, it is possible to start off in a entry-level position and work your way up. However, it’s important to have a strong network in this industry, as the more connections you have, the better your chances of landing a job. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit can also try starting their own financial services company. The possibilities for careers in this sector are truly endless. For more on the different options available, check out our article on How to Start a Career in Financial Services.