The scale of technology adoption in Singapore has never been more evident than now. The implementation of circuit breaker measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 depicted how heavily reliant we are on adopting technology in this digital age - right from collaboration platform to cloud-based services and cybersecurity solutions. Many career opportunities and incentives were made available to jobseekers looking to join the booming FinTech sector.  

In a webinar hosted by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) on 7 December, the panelists shared their insights on job demand and work processes and trends in the FinTech sector, as well as the key skill sets that FinTech employers are actively looking in various job functions and roles. 

The panelists included Mr. Chionh Chye Kit, CEO and Co-Founder, Cynopsis, alongside CIO Technology Strategy & aXess, Standard Chartered, Dr. Sebastian Wedeniwski, and Ms. Rachie Hui, COO and Head of Standards IBF who moderated the panel session. 


Impact of Covid-19 on technology adoption

Mr. Chionh shared how when Cynopsis was first set-up in 2014, it was a challenge to help businesses automate their manual Know-Your-Customer (KYC) processes. This was in spite of the launch of Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative in the same year. The different technology sectors such as RegTech, InsurTech and MedTech were still in the budding stage and not many businesses were willing to digitise their work processes yet.  Until recent years where the government had pushed through more initiatives and with more players entering, did Cynopsis see an exponential growth in this sector.

Towards the end of 2019, the emergence of Covid-19 caused a massive acceleration on Singapore’s digitisation journey up to the point where it was almost mandatory to adopt any form of digital technology for all businesses.

Dr. Sebastian added, due to the pandemic outbreak, consumers' behaviour are evolving and therefore, their business processes and products have to constantly change to stay relevant - by modifying the way they create services, clouds and APIs. Synchronisation of the various frameworks and technologies would then be crucial for them in order to create an efficient, seamless and secure banking platform for their customers.  

Another observation was that many of the smaller firms had begun to adopt digital technology where they purchased softwares to improve on their business processes while larger firms were shifting from on-premise deployment to cloud services.

Mr. Chionh agreed that there is a huge demand for cloud services during the Covid-19 outbreak, and we can definitely expect to see an increasing demand moving forward.  He shared that many software provides like Cynopsis have built products on cloud infrastructure, and that it is critical to implement high security levels, so as to protect customers’ data. 

Which job functions and skill sets are more in demand? 

Wearing multiple hats as an educator, a partner at a local tertiary institution, a Chairman of the RegTech Sub-Committee of Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) as well as a FinTech employer, Mr. Chionh shared four perspectives based on his vast experiences. 

Speaking from the first two perspectives, he commented that the institutions are trying to create an environment that cultivates continuous learning. In addition, tertiary institutions are also embedding innovation and technology-related modules into students’ curriculum. Expressing his third standpoint, Mr. Chionh also advocated FinTech Talent conversion programs for mid-career job seekers to transit. 

Lastly, both Mr. Chionh and Dr. Sebastian shared the same sentiment where they expect their teams to be well-versed in both product and technology processes as they strongly believe that both are interrelated. 

With that in mind, Mr. Chionh shared about Cynopsis's own in-house Product Immersion Programme (for technology team to understand product) and a Technology Immersion Programme (for business team to understand technology processes) to foster such culture.

Mindset matters too

To conclude the entire panel session, both Mr. Chionh and Dr. Sebastian  agreed that apart from possessing hard skills and soft skills, many FinTech employers also look for relevant experiences. While it is not always the case where candidates with the best technical skills get the job role, more often than not it is how the candidates contextualise their experiences and skill sets into the job role that seal the deal. 

A key takeaway from Mr. Chionh is that it is our mindset and capability that determines our own career and future, and we set our own career path.