With financial technology changing the way the world does business, Singapore has positioned itself as a major industry player. The rapid growth of FinTech in Singapore has driven the nation to become Southeast Asia’s hub for this flourishing sector, with over 40% of the market share being held in the region.
Singapore’s FinTech landscape is set to thrive even after the pandemic has settled, meaning there will be an abundance of opportunities for professionals looking to join the industry.
But how do you go about making the move from finance to FinTech?
What Is FinTech?
FinTech – short for financial technology – is an economic industry that is primarily about using tech innovatively in order to improve and automate the delivery of financial services, making processes for business owners, companies and consumers easier and less bulky. Some popular FinTech apps in Singapore right now include PayLah, GrabPay, PayNow and PayPal.
The Rise Of FinTech In Singapore
Over recent years, Singapore has well and truly established itself as a FinTech leader. The island country was ranked 1st place for networked readiness in the 2016 World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report, and it is also the world’s 6th largest financial centre. Currently, there are over 1,000 FinTech start-ups in Singapore mainly focusing on lending, payments, investments and personal finance.
The rise of FinTech in Singapore is largely the result of the continuous support of its government policies and regulatory bodies, such as the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). In August 2020, MAS committed to investing $250 million under the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) scheme to boost Singapore’s FinTech ecosystem over the next three years.
As well as Singapore’s government backing, the industry has the robust support of the Singapore FinTech Association, a non-profit organisation which promotes partnerships amongst all parties in the sector.
What It Takes To Transition Into The Industry
The boom in FinTech is expected to continue, and this bodes well for professionals who are keen to move into the space. The industries fast-paced growth makes starting from scratch a much easier process, and you can never be ‘too late’ to join.
From a technology perspective, if you’re able to reskill yourself and tune into trending technologies, you’ll be able to enter the industry with much greater ease. Those who have excellent logical and critical thinking capabilities are also well placed to transition into FinTech; for instance, into areas which are logic-based such as programming and coding. It’s also important to recognise that FinTech is a constantly changing industry, and therefore FinTech professionals must be agile and adaptable in order to deal with the industries rapid evolution.
Transitioning From Finance To FinTech
With banks and other established financial institutions progressively automating their processes and using artificial intelligence to increase efficiency, many professionals in the industry are turning to the FinTech sector for career opportunities. But, with FinTech being technology-focused, how do you go about transitioning into the industry? The following are a few tips for helping you seamlessly move between finance and FinTech.
Identify Your Transferrable Skills
Whether you’re technologically inclined or not, your experience in the finance sector will be invaluable for identifying opportunities that a technology specialist may overlook. You are equipped with regulatory knowledge, meaning you have valuable insight into the possibilities and limitations posed by standards, a skill which is extremely useful when designing financial technology.
FinTech companies are also very data-driven, meaning you’ll continue to be required to use data and numbers to make business decisions. Soft-skills picked up from your finance experience such as communication, problem solving and possibly management are also extremely transferrable.
Aim For The Right Roles And Companies
You need to consider your strengths and weaknesses in order to narrow down which roles and companies will be a good fit for you. For example, if your technological background is very minimal, you can focus on looking for roles at FinTech’s in the areas of financial analysis, accounting, credit risk analysis, risk management and compliance.
You also need to consider where it is you want to apply. The speed of FinTech’s expansion means that there are an ample amount of companies you could get involved with, however, it’s important to consider the difference between joining a start-up company versus an established one. A start-up FinTech can present lots of opportunities and autonomy, however, if you are someone who is risk-averse, be aware that startups are more likely to fail.
If you’re looking for a position with more job security, established financial institutions are also looking to remain competitive by increasing their FinTech focus. But of course, even the biggest of FinTech firms can’t be guaranteed success.
Networking is especially useful if you’re considering changing from a career in finance to FinTech. FinTech is an extremely fast-moving sector, so by attending events such as new app launches and roundtables, you’ll have a better idea of the structure of the industry, the upcoming trends, and the kind of roles available that might suit your experience.
The buzz around FinTech means that there are many people who are thinking about transitioning, so consider building relationships with fellow job-hunters in the space through social media. If they find their way into FinTech, they’ll be in a position to share tips and recommend companies to you.
For more on the FinTech space in Singapore, take a look at a piece we produced a few weeks ago on why Singapore is an emerging FinTech powerhouse. If you are looking to hire FinTech talent and are based in the APAC region, get in touch. Our team of recruitment experts based in the Central Business District can help you find technically skilled candidates that will bring incredible experience to your team.