Above photo: Ngee Ann Polytechnic student giving a project presentation/ Credit: Ngee Ann Polytechnic
The five local polytechnics have partnered with Fidor, the leading digital banking group, to launch a FinTech education curriculum that costs close to S$800,000 (about €500,000) to develop and an additional yearly sum of about S$160,000 (€100,000) to run. This is the first time Fidor has introduced such a programme in the APAC region, with the aim to help boost Singapore’s growth as a FinTech Hub in this region.
Supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Fidor Student Academy Singapore programme will be incorporated into the curricula of banking or IT-related diploma courses offered by the five polytechnics, starting with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
At NP, a pilot run of this programme has commenced with 38 final-year students from the Diploma in Financial Informatics. They are learning to develop innovative applications for the financial industry using Fidor API (application programming interface). For example, students will acquire the knowledge that may help them develop digital banking services such as banking through messaging apps and e-wallets. With access to the Fidor sandbox, students will also be able to test out their own applications using the state-of-the-art fidorOS digital banking platform. In its full rollout, the programme stands to benefit some 500 students across the five polytechnics.
The partnership with Fidor will boost polytechnic students’ capabilities to enter and contribute to the fast-evolving FinTech scene. To further supplement the students’ real-life experience, Fidor will also offer selected students the opportunity to take part in an internship at one of their global locations, such as Munich. For example, Fidor is collaborating with Republic Polytechnic to provide internship opportunities to students from its School of Infocomm.
“We are excited about what our students can learn and experience through the inclusion of Fidor’s API banking programme into our curriculum. The Fidor partnership will provide real-life practice for them and hone their skills and knowledge in digital banking to prepare them for the future marketplace,” said Mr. Clarence Ti, Principal, Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
Mr. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer of MAS, added: “We are happy to welcome Fidor to Singapore and have their support towards our Smart Financial Centre initiative. FinTech celebrates the spirit of collaboration, and the polytechnics’ partnership with Fidor will no doubt further develop the FinTech ecosystem in Singapore through knowledge sharing. MAS looks forward to a high level of interest for this programme, and the benefits it will provide to the tertiary institutions.”
The initial outlay of S$800,000 (€500,000) for the Fidor’s Student Academy Singapore programme shows the commitment of young Fidor to the students and the academy, and essentially covers the on-going design and development of the Amazon Cloud hosted Sandbox, associated training materials and project controls. Besides this education initiative, Fidor has also chosen Singapore to be the destination for its new APAC office, with the intent to be closer to its partners and to accelerate its growth in the region. The partnership will also lend support to Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative by strengthening local technology skills where education and knowledge sharing are essential in driving and boosting innovation, talents and FinTech developments.
Earlier in February this year, the five local polytechnics signed an MOU with the Singapore Fintech Association (SFA), a first for SFA and the plans for 2017 include Innovation Web Crawls, final-year internships and industry workshops.