Fintech, The Pioneering Industry for The Modern Globalising Graduate

Published by Afterschool.my on Feb 15, 2024, 03:37 pm

Over the last decade, financial technology (fintech) has emerged as a driving force for growth in major global economies including China, the United States and the United Kingdom.

As Malaysia initiates its own digital transformation, it begs the question: what is stopping Malaysia from achieving the same?

Local banks such as Maybank are currently feeling the pressure to optimise their digital banking services to gain an edge over competitors. According to the 2023 Hays Asia Salary Guide, Malaysia’s demand for talent with expertise in both the finance and technology sectors is at an all-time high.

Despite the lucrative potential of this emerging industry, the Malaysian fintech sector still faces a shortage of eligible candidates. In a talent-starved environment, fierce competition between established financial entities and startups for up-and-coming fintech professionals is the norm.

However, that challenge also comes with better benefits as local fintech businesses are more willing to offer highly competitive wages and progression opportunities for their professionals.

For the ambitious, the fintech industry presents a golden opportunity for young graduates to find fulfilling and well-compensated work that thrives on innovation and creativity.

Transforming lives through commerce

The implementation of fintech in everyday life dates as early as 2008 in various countries. Notable examples include Monzo’s mobile-based financial hub and Wechat’s integrated payment gateway.

Following in their footsteps, Malaysia, in collaboration with Bank Negara and various banks, launched DuitNow Transfer and QR Pay in 2018. This was an effort to commonise digital payments among the general public.

 As Malaysia transitions towards a cashless society, fintech specialists will play an essential role in ensuring smooth and secure operations.

Fortunately, the initiative was an outstanding success, and its widespread adoption was an inevitable outcome. Before long, Malaysians were able to seamlessly transfer money to retailers and individuals by scanning personalised QR codes that are widely accepted by major Malaysian banks and e-wallets.

Contactless payment methods are a great example of financial institutions pushing for technological innovation that end up benefiting society, by gradually making aspects of our lives easier and safer.

Adversity breeds innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst in pushing financial institutions towards adopting and optimising digital banking systems as cashless sales and purchases were promoted to minimise the risk of infections.

While the pandemic itself has since subsided, the demand for fintech innovation has only continued to grow. According to a 2021 survey conducted by HELP University professors, 90.9% of respondents strongly agreed or agreed to continue using fintech services for the foreseeable future.

To meet these demands, local financial institutions such as Maybank have gone above and beyond and made remarkable fintech innovations and optimisations over the last two years.

With the launch of Maybank’s MAE by Maybank2U, customers are given full access to their savings accounts, pay bills and transfer funds through online banking. Furthermore, it also offered newer fintech solutions such as expense monitoring, in-app virtual debit cards and the aforementioned DuitNow QR Pay.

Each iteration of MAE was met with insightful feedback from customers, fueling further innovation and optimisation. As consumers crave better financial products and user experience, this cycle will continue for the foreseeable future.

Starting out as a fintech specialist

To excel in the world of fintech, a unique blend of financial and programming knowledge is an essential element. To upskill themselves, both current and prospecting fintech talent have turned to the rich resources offered by online courses to further expand their expertise.

There are a host of both free and premium online courses available on platforms such as Coursera, LinkedIn and Skillshare that include specialised fintech courses as well as individual finance and programming classes – serving as an excellent pathway towards becoming a fintech specialist.

 The rise of curated online courses has broken down barriers to education, allowing ambitious individuals to upskill themselves and excel in the fintech industry.

Many local universities such as UCSI and University Tunku Abdul Rahman, have also begun incorporating opportunities for finance and IT students to diversify their skillsets. 

Certain institutions have chosen to integrate fintech into their curriculum through electives while others have opted to offer fintech as its own dedicated Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, such as APU’s Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Information Technology with a Specialism in Financial Technology (FinTech).

The finance industry is known for its stable career paths, while the tech industry is prominent for its start-up and rapid career growth. As a combination of the two, the fintech industry offers the best of both worlds – a career path that holds the potential for stable and exponential growth that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Latest News

Need help?