Financial services are a wide array of markets and sectors within the finance industry that offer a multitude of products and solutions. This broad category encompasses everything from credit cards to investment banks, and even includes companies like credit reporting agencies and payment processors. Financial services also extend to consumer and business lending, as well as asset management.
The lines between different financial services sectors have begun to blur as a result of advances in technology and the growing need for these companies to cater to a wider range of consumer needs. In an attempt to keep up with demands, many traditional banks have started offering more services than in the past. For example, they now offer digital banking platforms where consumers can manage their money from a smartphone or tablet.
As a result, it’s important for job seekers interested in a career in the financial services industry to have a clear understanding of the full scope of the sector in order to determine what type of role would best fit their skills and interests. To help, here is an overview of some of the main categories that make up the financial services industry:
This section of the financial services sector involves banks and other institutions that handle consumer deposits and loans. It includes services such as money market and mutual fund accounts, checking and savings accounts, and credit card accounts. Additionally, it includes lending services such as mortgages and personal loans. Banking services can also include other specialized offerings such as foreign exchange and wire transfer services.
Securities and insurance services
This sector of the financial services industry involves trading in stocks, bonds, commodities, currencies, and other securities. It also includes insurance policies that protect against the loss or theft of assets, such as vehicles or homes. Additionally, it includes a variety of other services that support the financial markets, such as clearing houses and derivative and commodity exchanges.
Other financial services
This segment of the industry includes debt resolution services that can help people who are struggling with unmanageable debt to negotiate with their creditors to pay off what they owe, rather than file bankruptcy. It also includes payment service providers, which enable sellers to accept credit and debit card payments from their customers in exchange for a percentage of the transaction amount. It can also include venture capital and angel investors, who provide investment capital to small businesses and startups in exchange for ownership stakes or profit participation.
As new tools and innovations are introduced to the financial services industry seemingly daily, it’s important for professionals to stay abreast of these changes to remain competitive in their field. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this, including earning an associate degree from a community college or pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Moreover, many financial services companies encourage employees to participate in continuing education and provide on-the-job training to keep their skills up to date.