Big data and analytics among skills in demand for MY's banking industry

Big data analytics and UI and analytics specialists are among the skills in demand in Malaysia's banking and financial services industry. According to Hays Malaysia, banks have been keen on creating internal tech teams that include big data, user interface and analytics experts to digitalise both product offerings and internal processes.

The recruitment firm also listed infrastructure applications experts and network systems project specialists as the two other positions in demand for the sector. Natasha Ishak, senior manager, banking and financial services at Hays Malaysia, said that the number of financial products and services that have moved online in just the last few years is "monumental". She added that this trend is impacting "every aspect" of the banking and financial services sector in the country from product development to contact centres and compliance departments.

“While monitoring performance based on data derived from manual research is a thing of the past, now it is almost second nature that functions across the board must include digital and consumer analytics,” she said.

The growing demand for such skills can also be attributed to the rise in e-wallets. Malaysia was ranked ninth out of 10 countries that dominated overseas spending on Alipay last summer, with the average spending per Alipay user in Malaysia being approximately RM921.50. This was a 106% average increase in spending per Alipay user, and a 511% total increase in spending compared to the same period in 2017.

Ishak said that although the e-wallets are still at the infancy stage, many initiatives have been launched to educate the masses, such as traditional marketing and in-app incentives. Among the list of companies that have jumped on the cashless payments hype include Touch 'n Go, AEON, Petron and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. This Ramadan, Touch 'n Go doubled down on its marketing efforts for its e-wallet by organising a cashless bazaar in Kampong Bharu. Meanwhile, AEON unveiled its AEON Wallet mobile app and AEON Member Plus Visa Card last year, in line with the government's aim of turning Malaysia into a cashless society.

“To address talent shortages, hiring managers have therefore been more open to recruiting candidates who do not necessarily have the full set of skills required for the position," she said. She added that to stay ahead of the curve and compete with firms looking to "unbundle" financial services, bankers are encouraged to do more so they can target niche areas and lure away banking customers.

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