When FinTech is mentioned, the e-Wallet or e-Pay icon comes to mind for some. However, this new industry involves much more than financial transactions or services. FinTech, or financial technology, will move beyond simply being a function provided by financial institutions as it can be presented across all sectors, applying cloud-based technologies that combine open source software and blockchain technologies.
Within the Southeast Asian region, the prospect for FinTech reach within society is high. A report undertaken by online lending platform Robocash and Deloitte, which was published in December 2018, confirmed the appeal of the ASEAN market for the FinTech sector. It is anticipated that Fintech investments in Southeast Asia will increase by more than 20 to 30 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017.
Taylor’s University, recognising the impact that FinTech will have on the economy, has been engaging with industry representatives to equip our students with skill sets and capabilities to meet the needs of the country. The Taylor’s School of Finance and Economics, in collaboration with Taylor’s School of Computing and IT, are collaborating to introduce an innovative learning environment combining a new trading room and several modules which will enable our students to acquire skills and tools that will allow them to gain insight into the digital economy, blockchain economy, crypto-currencies and cyber-securities among others.
While the top five countries for FinTech include Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand; there is much to be tapped into for Malaysian players. A 2017 World Bank report projected that Malaysia will have a strong continuous growth (12.5%) in the FinTech industry until 2023. Financial institutions have been the first to embrace this, with 66 per cent of Malaysian banks aiming to transform their approach to becoming more digital-focused by 2020. This finding, published in a report by accounting firm the EY Global Banking Report, also noted that this is in keeping with aspirations to other markets in the region and the world.
The one thing that holds true for the industry is that working in FinTech requires a subtle combination of technical, entrepreneurial and strategic skills as well as a background in a few specialisations such as Minor and Postgraduate in FinTech and Digital Finance for instance.
Recently, with the publication of the Michael Page Malaysia Salary Benchmark 2019, May Wah Chan; Director at Michael Page Malaysia; said that Malaysia’s digital economy is on the fast track for 2019, which has led to the spike in demand for professionals within Big Data, data science, consumer insights and data warehousing.
As the country moves to be digital in nature, there is a demand for individuals who possess the skillsets to facilitate the transition and assist with making Malaysia’s name synonymous with FinTech.
We look forward to further increasing the capabilities of our students as well as collaborating with industry representatives in order to ensure that Malaysia grows in repute as a country with a thriving digital economy.
Professor Dr. Christophe Schinckus
Head of the School of Accounting and Finance
Faculty of Business and Law
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