Payments and cards giant, Visa, is backing Singapore’s ascension as a key regional fintech hub with it’s latest collaboration, giving the global payments company first-mover access to the city-state’s combined polytechnical talent pool.
The partnership, announced this week, will see Visa run a series of engagements with the five domestic polytechnics - Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Nanyang Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.
The collaboration comes eight weeks after Singapore’s influential polytechnics signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Singapore Fintech Association.
Visa, working closely with the Singapore Fintech Association, will be aiming to identify and nurture the fintech leader’s future talent through a series of “engagements” with students from all of the five polytechnics in Singapore.
The rapid rise of fintech in Singapore and the city-state’s determination to become an entrepreneurial financial hub, has created a booming demand for talent with the relevant experience and skill-set to deploy innovative and disruptive technologies that can transform business ideation.
The joint initiative aims to build a steady pipeline of talent in the fintech space to cope with this demand and provide a gateway for students to make their first foray into the industry. The partnership is also in line with Singapore’s SkillsFuture and STEM movement, aimed at equipping Singaporeans with the necessary skillsets for the digital economy.
The move continues Visa’s growing interest and commitment to building fintech capabilities around the world.
Only last week, the global payments technology company announced the launch of its ‘European Everywhere Initiative’, a fintech conceptual challenge that invites startups from 19 European markets to submit ideas focused on improving payments in the local community.
According to Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa’s country manager for Singapore and Brunei, the creation of a corporate partnership programme drilling down into the future of Singapore fintech is designed to build a diverse STEM talent pipeline.
“We have reached out to various schools in the Polytechnics such as School of InfoComm Technology, which are predominantly male-centric, to increase female representation in this industry,” Tyng said.
According to Visa, the initiative will see students attending learning sessions run by Visa representatives and participate in business case challenges. Tyng added that Visa is looking to kick-start young talent to join the fintech community.
As part of the tie-up, students will have the opportunity to visit the card giant's innovation labs, engage with payments experts from Visa and puzzle out if they see a future in the payments landscape.
A number of Visa employees will be assigned as mentors to these students to monitor potential and engage in two-way interactive learning. Sessions on fintech and the payments industry will be conducted at Visa’s learning centre - Visa University.
The latest commitment will be music to the ears of the rapidly growing Singapore Fintech Association. According to Hock Lai Chia, SFA president, the commitment from Visa’s supports the SFA’s strategic efforts to nurture home-grown talents in FinTech.
"The (SFA) Innovation Lab visits help students to experience technology in real-life use cases, improving the delivery of financial products and services. The mentorship provided by the payment practitioners from Visa will be invaluable to the students in their pursuit of fintech skillsets.”