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Adapt or Die: 6 In Demand Skills for Singapore's Digital Banking Future

by BGC HR

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The future of banking in Singapore is digital. As a recruitment agency with a focus on both the banking and finance industry as well as the IT industry. We’re aware that this is an industry that’s currently booming in Singapore. Those looking to transition to the fintech industry can expect to apply for jobs related to programming, automation engineering, cybersecurity, and blockchain to name a few. 

 

What is digital banking and why should I care? 

Digital banks (a.k.a. virtual banks) refer to banks that operate digitally without a physical branch. Digital banks are able to reach a wider array of customers at lower costs (obviously). Because of this, customers of digital banks can expect real-time updates, quicker account approval types, and most importantly, personalization.

Interestingly, in Singapore, digital bank licenses will be given to smaller businesses. However, established banks in Singapore will not need to apply for a digital bank license in order to set up a digital bank. From what we know (a.k.a. Google), 5 digital banking licenses will be awarded to businesses in Singapore. Companies that have applied include Razer, Singtel, and Grab.

Learn more about Singapore’s digital banking licenses here

Now that you understand what digital banking is, here are 5 up and coming digital banking skills to take note of: 


1. Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence  


The digital bank’s need for personalized, quick responses also means that there is a need for artificial intelligence (AI). Additionally, AI will also be able to transform the face of banking by helping out with:
 

  • Fraud detection and risk management 

  • Credit risk assessment, pricing, and underwriting 

  • AI chatbots 

  • Customer engagement 

 

In Singapore, banks such as UOB (United Overseas Bank) are already utilizing artificial intelligence to help current customers better manage their finances. It also helps customers manage their budget appropriately. Machine learning (ML) is also becoming an increasingly sought after skill. Combining this with skills related to AI will make you a powerhouse employee for the fintech industry in Singapore. 

 

2. Big Data Analytics 

If you understand the banking industry, you’ll know that banks have a lot of data spread across multiple sources. This makes the data difficult to understand and analyse. Which is why big data is the main driver of innovation within the banking industry.

Big data analytics allows for better customer service experiences, improved service response time, and making crucial business decisions. They do this by tracking customers to calculate predicted risks, as well as create tailored investment offerings to meet diverse cutomer needs.

Click here to learn more about big data analytics and it’s use in the banking sector

 

3. Programming skills 

Without a doubt, programming skills are in demand within the growing banking and fintech sector. Of course as the banking sector gets more and more technologically advanced, there is a need to develop websites and mobile applications to reach more customers in the digital age.

According to CFTE (Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship), an individual with proficient coding skills, as well as expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning (a.k.a. “full stack quant”) are also in high demand.

Programming languages currently in demand include C++, Python, R, Java, and Kotlin to name a few. Additionally, knowledge in operating systems such as Windows and Linux might also be useful. Sample careers within the fintech industry for programmers include website developer (full stack), app development, app maintenance, and UI/UX designer to name a few. 

 

4. Blockchain Engineering

We’ve been hearing the term blockchain since 2018 now. Blockchain has been on the rise since 2018 and is allegedly very common amongst banks based in Asia. Blockchain (in layman terms) refers to the passing of information from point A to point B in a secure and automated way. The best part about blockchain? There’s little to no transaction fee charged.

Some skills crucial in blockchain engineering include: 

  • Web Development: The basics of web development is crucial to blockchain engineering. Web development refers to both front and back end development, often used to design dApps (decentralized applications).
     

  • Data Structure and Data Architecture: Deep understanding and extensive knowledge in data structures and data architecture is useful to the blockchain engineer. Most of blockchain focuses on data structures to help build systems. Whilst data architecture allows the engineer to understand, cryptography, distributed ledger technology, and hash functions.
     

  • Cryptography: Blockchain and cryptography go together like peas and carrots. You need to have an expertise in cryptography in order to create the code needed for blockchain.
     

As with all tech and IT related, taking up a blockchain course or certification is a good way to signal to employers that you have the skills and knowledge needed to successfully survive in blockchain.

Learn more about certifications crucial in Singapore’s IT and Tech industry here
 

5. Technical Banking Knowledge  


The unique thing about fintech is that employees in this field will need to understand how both banking and IT work. Which means that you’ll need to understand how banking and payments work, how ledgers are made, and what flow of funds mean (FoF) to name a few

Keep in mind that companies looking to dabble in the fintech industry are looking for a gem: an employee with knowledge in both the banking and finance industry as well as the tech industry. Perhaps it’s time to take up some finance related courses with those SkillsFuture credits of yours? 


6. Cybersecurity


When there’s money involved, you’ll always need someone to safeguard it. Cybersecurity is neccessity for fintech companies. Cybersecurity specialists and professionals are integral when it comes to sustaining the growth of the fintech industry.

What are some Fintech topics that you’d like to hear from BGC Group Singapore? Let us know in the comments section below!

Read More: Kickstart Your Career in Singapore's Tech Industry with These Courses

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