Financial services are a vast and diverse group of industries and professionals, from credit card companies to banks to insurance agencies. It’s important to understand the role of each in the broader financial ecosystem and your personal financial health.
In the most general sense, financial services include banking (deposit products like savings accounts and checking accounts), investing, insurance, and the redistribution of risk. Banks are the main providers of deposit products and lending services, while non-banking financial services institutions offer investment services and insurance. In addition, payment systems providers are a type of financial service. They enable individuals and businesses to transfer money securely, by establishing and managing electronic funds transfers, issuing credit and debit cards, and other services.
In recent years, great strides have been made toward financial inclusion. The number of adults with access to a formal financial account has increased significantly worldwide. This has facilitated the growth of digital financial services, including mobile money and payments platforms that connect people to their money at any time and place. Those working in these digital environments are often highly skilled and are compensated well, with opportunities for career advancement and additional benefits. The nature of this work is also flexible, allowing individuals to choose between full-time employment or working as a digital gig worker from home or another location. Unlike some other industries, a bachelor’s degree is not necessarily needed for a job in this sector. Many employers provide extensive on-the-job training and a clear path for career progression.