Infusing Financial Technology (Fintech) Subjects at Asia Pacific University (APU)
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THE Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0) is changing how we live, work and communicate. With this development that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation and real-time data, intelligent technologies are rapidly transforming almost every facet of our life.
Cash is no longer king, as banknotes are now being replaced by digital currencies, while e-wallets and digital payments are the new forms of payment. These transformations are spurred by the application of financial technology (FinTech) which embodies IR4.0 technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.
To prepare students to face the rapid technological transformation of jobs in the future, Asia Pacific University (APU) has launched Malaysia’s first Financial Technology (Fintech) degree programmes in the Banking & Finance and also Information Technology (IT) areas. The Fintech modules will include subjects on data mining, predictive analytics, digital currencies, blockchain technologies, crowdfunding and alternative lending, robo-advisory, and entrepreneurial finance.
- Bachelor in Banking and Finance (Hons) with a specialism in Financial Technology
- BSc (Hons) Information Technology with a specialism in Financial Technology – FinTech
In addition, Fintech subjects are infused into all of APU’s Accounting & Finance degree programmes.
- BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance
- BA (Hons) in Accounting and Finance with specialisms in:
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Banking & Finance Degree with Specialisation in Fintech in Malaysia at Asia Pacific University (APU)
FinTech has risen to challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic by delivering digital, secure, seamless user experiences.
Research conducted by the University of Oxford found that accountants have a 95% chance of being impacted by AI technologies.
This phenomenon also signifies that accounting and finance professionals have to embrace rapid transformation and adapt to technological advancements.
There is a need to be equipped with the strategic knowledge and technical skills for them to stay through new job roles such as FinTech specialists and business data analysts within the industry.
In the National Policy on Industry 4.0, FinTech is listed as one of the areas that require talents, and this need has been further fuelled by the Government’s plan to transform the country’s digital economy.
Apart from the Government encouraging the masses to use e-wallets through the e-Tunai Rakyat under Budget 2020, Bank Negara announced in 2018 its plans to issue up to five licences for the operations of digital banking within the country to encourage industry players of the financial sector to put innovative technologies into use.
Hence, the need for talents in FinTech who possess the essential financial fundamental knowledge as well as the ability to apply technological know-hows in traditional financial services has become even more critical.
The APU advantage – infusing IR4.0 into Programmes
As one of Malaysia’s highest rated Premier Digital Tech Universities that established its own IR4.0 strategy, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) has formed an ecosystem that facilitates the delivery of IR4.0-relevant programmes infusing the following technologies:
Under the IR4.0 strategy, APU has established an ecosystem that facilitates the delivery of IR4.0-relevant programmes infusing these technologies.
As part of this ecosystem, FinTech education is integrated into the accounting, banking and finance disciplines, powered by concepts and applications of blockchain technology, Robo advisory, FinTech governance and risk management, digital currencies and cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding.
All students under APU’s accounting, banking and finance programmes are exposed to the essentials of FinTech through specially-designed FinTech modules, to ensure that they are not alienated by the rapid transformation happening around the financial sector when they graduate.
At APU, FinTech education is integrated into the accounting, banking and finance disciplines, powered by concepts and applications of blockchain technology, Robo advisory, FinTech governance and risk management, digital currencies as well as cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding.
Thus, APU’s Bachelor in Banking and Finance (Hons) with a specialism in Financial Technology (one of the first industry-driven FinTech curriculum in Malaysia) will prepare the graduates to meet the needs of a rapidly disrupted Financial Services industry in Malaysia and internationally with the ability to develop innovative ideas and to employ state-of-the art technologies
APU is also working together with SuperCharger (the leading FinTech accelerator in Asia) to deliver high quality content in this area and to undertake out high impact research and development in FinTech.
APU Banking and Finance Degree programmes are accredited by Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers (AICB), upon completion of the programme, students with CGPA more than 3.0 will be awarded with Executive Banker certificate.
Pioneering FinTech programmes in Malaysia
For school leavers and future IT professionals, APU offers Malaysia’s first academic programme in FinTech – the Bachelor of Banking of Finance (Hons) with a specialism in Financial Technology, in addition to the BSc (Hons) Information Technology with a specialism in Financial Technology – FinTech.
At APU, accounting, banking and finance students are equipped with the necessary FinTech knowledge, in which they are taught the concepts and applications of technology in financial services.
With the recent launch of the Master of Finance with a specialism in FinTech postgraduate programme, career professionals can now stay relevant and keep up with cutting edge disruptive technologies, which are prevalent within the financial sector.
APU’s FinTech education was established together with the industry.
The first FinTech academic degree in Malaysia offered by APU was built in collaboration with SuperCharger, Asia’s leading FinTech accelerator through an memorandum of agreement inked in 2018. It was aimed to leverage on local opportunities as well as to address the talent needs of Malaysian FinTech and banktech institutions that are facing a talent shortage.
Career and Internship Opportunities in FinTech
APU also became the first and only university to sign a pact with the FinTech Association of Malaysia (FAOM) in March 2020.
This new partnership opens a whole window of opportunities as APU’s FinTech students are now exposed to career and internship opportunities with over 80 members of FAOM, which include leading banks, financial institutions and FinTech platforms.
Industry-focused FinTech activities are set to take place at APU in collaboration with the member companies of FAOM, providing students with relevant industry exposure even before they graduate from university.
Industry experts from FAOM will also provide inputs in enhancing the programme to comprise key areas of FinTech, namely digital currencies, blockchain technologies, crowdfunding, Robo-advisory and entrepreneurial finance.
According to the latest Annual Graduate Tracer Study by the Higher Education Ministry, 100% of APU graduates were employed upon graduation. This is a significant symbol of APU’s success and pride in nurturing professionals for global careers.
Asia Pacific University (APU) School of Accounting and Finance
APU’s School of Accounting and Finance is headed by Prof Dr Nafis Alam – the only one from Malaysia and one of six from the Asia Pacific region – to be featured in the top 100 social media influencers shaping the conversation in the FinTech.
Prof Nafis, who has recently published a book on FinTech and Islamic finance, has extensive engagement with the industry and FinTech circle which will further boost the delivery of the programme.
The fintech modules that will be offered include subjects on data mining, predictive analytics, digital currencies, blockchain technologies, crowdfunding and alternative lending, robo-advisory, and entrepreneurial finance—which were selected based on the size of their respective sectors and the influence they’ve had on the industry as observed by Supercharger.
FinTech Association of Malaysia (FAOM)
APU students who are undergoing the FinTech related programmes namely the Bachelor of Banking & Finance (Hons) with a specialism in FinTech and the Master of Finance (FinTech) will gain exposure to internship and career opportunities with FAOM’s member organisations.
This marks the first time a university in Malaysia is collaborating with the FinTech Association of Malaysia (FAOM).
Established in 2017, FAOM is the key enabler and a national platform to facilitate Malaysia to be the leading hub for Financial Technology (FinTech) innovation and investment in the region. FAOM has more than 100 member institutions to date which includes leading banks, financial institutions and FinTech platforms.
The collaboration is timely as recruitment agency, Randstad’s 2020 Outlook and Salary Snapshot indicated a shortage of skilled talents within the FinTech and BankTech scene.
Both APU and FAOM aim to nurture the graduates with industry relevant skills and shape them into competent FinTech talents who will contribute to Malaysia’s FinTech eco-system.
In addition to the potential internship and job opportunities for its students, APU will jointly develop professional courses, training and industry-focused FinTech conferences with FAOM that are specifically designed for working professionals. It is also anticipated that the university will invite industry experts from FAOM’s member organizations to deliver guest lectures and industry talks to its FinTech students.