On June 28, a 46-year-old resident of Mumbai lost Rs 2 lakh to a cyber fraudster after he decided to close a loan account by making a one-time payment. This is just one instance among a series of growing instances of frauds where scammers make use of gaps and dupe the customers in different ways.
Hence, from government agencies to regulatory bodies to financial services companies, all are rethinking business processes and operating models, handled through cloud-enabled platforms. This has led to a multifold growth in demand for niche skills such as cybersecurity and cloud tech, according to an internal study by a leading ed-tech company.
Emerging technologies like Blockchain, IoT, and RPA (robotic process automation) have also found a lot of use cases for implementation in the financial services segment, according to a dataset shared exclusively to AllThingsTalent, by Great Learning, a global player in the professional and higher education segment.
The pandemic-led work from home, and the growing cybercrimes, have resulted in the emergence of newer skill segments. For example, a study completed in February 2020 by KPMG, commented, “Institutions across the spectrum noted the importance of Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning to make businesses more robust and ensure strategic planning. Therefore, a growing need exists for increased professionals with such niche skills.’’
The study found data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain and cloud to be the top hiring departments for fintech.
In the pre-Covid world, the focus was more on improving traditional banking using digital technologies with little or no focus on the scale. The adaptation to digitisation was slow and steady, but the pandemic accelerated the process as the world shut down. Pre Covid, some top digital skills are cloud, credit & risk management, and data analytics. The focus now is on cloud tech and cybersecurity.
Following the pandemic, now there is a shortage of quality skilled talent since these are new age as well as niche skills. However, with growing applications of these technologies and more use cases being implemented by more significant numbers of organisations, demand for these skills has gone up multifold. Hence, while the focus is to develop talent for these skills, these fall under the niche skills segment.
A major challenge in digitising the BFSI sector is the availability of talent with key skills in emerging technologies. Although BFSI is among the top 10 recruiters in the country and is looking to hire more than 3 lakh professionals this year, the workforce is not equipped with industry-relevant and contemporary digital skills.
The company recently announced that its enterprise arm, Great Learning for Business has partnered with the top 10 BFSI organisations in India including the Reserve Bank of India, Bajaj Finance, Bank of America, and Societe Generale amongst others, to upskill their employees.
According to Ritesh Malhotra, Head, Great Learning for Business, “These skills continue to be the top skills today as the BFSI sectors have primarily functioned using traditional technologies, resulting in lower efficiency and unsatisfactory customer experience. However, advancing technologies are paving the way for the industry to digitise through emerging skills like artificial intelligence, algorithms, and data sorting that help provides better customer insight’’.
While digitisation was already on the rise in all sectors, the pandemic accelerated the need, particularly in the BFSI sector since online transactions and net banking were the primarily targeted methods used as the world went into lockdown. “The shift from traditional banking to online banking is here to stay considering the security and easy accessibility it comes with’’, he explained.
Since the financial services sector is moving towards digitisation and digital transformation rapidly, there is a far greater need for cybersecurity and cloud technology for these precise reasons.
“With organisations adopting the hybrid models and moving away from “physical” offices – we see increased adoption across organisations. Blockchain is being used for implementing Letters of Credit (LCs), GST invoices, and e-way bills in the sector whereas IoT helps by providing customer data to banks and identifying their customers’ business needs and value chain. The use case implementation is increasing every day and hence these niche skills are becoming increasingly crucial for developing newer applications.’’
The firm also has a long-term partnership with one of the top-tier Indian private sector banks and has assisted them with digital transformation, skill gap analysis, and skill enhancement in areas of technology, IT, data, digital & cloud tech.
-Bajaj Finance upskilled over 300 freshers in Data Science via Financial Services Academy
-Reserve Bank of India conducted a 30 weeks training program for mid-senior staff in new-age technologies like AI, Analytics, Cloud Computing, and Cybersecurity
-Societe Generale trained 500 employees in Cloud tech and Java-based programming
“Digital transformations have paved the way for the BFSI sector to adopt emerging technologies. 45% of our enterprise learners base comes from the BFSI sector and we are focused on making them and their organisations adopt these technologies’’, said Ritesh Malhotra, Head, Great Learning for Business.
Through the Financial Services Academy, the company plans to cater to multiple BFSI companies by creating custom learning outcomes and journeys for their employees based on their business goals. This is to enable them to adopt digital technologies into their traditional methods and yield better business outcomes, the company said.
The pandemic has increased the need for employing technology to create more precise financial solutions and forced the BFSI industry to question the status quo. Equipped with the right mindset and tools such as assessment, it’s time for management to reinvent the work that their employees do in collaboration with smart technology and get ahead of competitors in building future skills.