She explains why the two disciplines will change the way we bank.
As a driver of the digital revolution now taking place at the AmBank Group, Raja Teh Maimunah Raja Abdul Aziz, Chief Executive Officer of AmInvestment Bank Berhad and Managing Director of Ambank Group’s Wholesale Banking, is especially excited about working with a new generation of recruits who will bring sparkling innovation to customers and their industries.
“Science and tech grads are going to drive real change in banking,” she says, “so we’ll be hiring people strong in data analytics and software engineering. Our teams need science and technology, not only the social sciences of law and finance.”
Last year, Raja The together with the rest of the C-Suite members established a “digital garage” for the Bank. Located in the Kuala Lumpur suburb, techies aged 20 to 40 at the 100-strong lab come to work in casual attire and spend their days on beanbags.
The digitisation of banking, and other industries, has its roots in consumer behaviour. Impatient millenials changed the business landscape by demanding fast, paper-free and fuss-free services. Along came fintech, like Uber for taxis. Fintech companies tend to be smaller, more agile and cheaper for services like remittances and payments. They’ve enabled widespread cashless transactions, especially with smartphones.
“In the Nordic countries, we hardly see cash. Recently in China, I saw a bubble tea seller with a scanner but no cash register. Overall, I felt safer because cash makes you a target.”
The irony of this scenario is that globally, banks have for decades been running on and are among the biggest users of technology but didn’t make it a part of customer experience. For Raja Teh, opportunity lies in her area of expertise – wholesale banking, the scope of services by banks to large customers or organisations such as mortgage brokers, big companies and investors, international trade businesses, institutions like pension funds and government agencies.
It’s a great time to join us if you want to push boundaries
With artificial intelligence and cognitive computing already here, anything is possible. That’s why Raja Teh wants new recruits to sign on and reinvent the world of banking.
“I would say go beyond your comfort zone. Disruption is everywhere. There’s so much to learn and you need to be curious but what will take you places is tenacity. Keep going because new things take a long time to happen. Keep going because that’s how you build a career,” she advises.
Potential recruits have asked her if the AmBank Group is the right place for them. Her answer: “AmBank is a Malaysian brand with an iconic individual at the helm and a reputation for diversity. We intend to flourish in a new world. When we fall, we pick ourselves up and move forward. There’s new blood coming through, bringing new work culture and best practices. It’s a great time to join us if you want to push boundaries.”
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