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Q: You majored in computer science. Why did you choose to join the banking industry?
A: I enjoyed programming but was also interested in the operation of banks. Upon graduation in 2013, I learned of the two-year management associate programme from the HSBC website. I was lucky enough to have been recruited to join HSBC Operations Services & Technology (HOST), a department that is responsible for operations and information technology support and aims at enhancing customer service quality.
During my time in HOST, I worked in various divisions such as operations, IT and procurement, and I was seconded to Singapore and Shanghai for half a year. I have the opportunity to participate in the local projects including the first phase of the establishment of Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) in Mainland China. During the process, I had to communicate with Chinese officials. The techniques required in communicating with people from different regions with different cultures are not taught in the textbooks. It cannot be learned in Hong Kong office either. The whole management associate programme was a great experience to me.
In the short run, I hope I can become a subject matter expert in the commercial banking sector; In the long run, I aim to understand the entire operation of HSBC in the Asia-Pacific region that I can become a comprehensive professional.
Q: What do you think of the development of fintech?
A: Technology such as Cardless Payment or mobile phone apps that provide various banking services brings convenience to the society and is widely accepted by the society. In HSBC, the amount of daily transaction made by commercial banking customers exceeds US$100 billion.
I believe technology can drive business. Fintech can strategically change the financial infrastructure in the long run. For example, HSBC is now working with Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore to research into the application of blockchain on paper-intensive Letter of Credit transactions. Furthermore, over 40 financial institutions, including HSBC, have joined R3 consortium to explore the application of blockchain.
Q: What is your daily work like?
A: After completing the management associate programme, I became a project manager in commercial banking business. I have been assigned to various projects, and am responsible for definition, execution, change in transition and post project implementation. I need to communicate with many departments and deliver high-quality results within an agreed timeline and budget.
Q: What are the challenges you have at work?
A: There was a two-year national payment processing platform migration for the Mainland China business. We had to ensure the new functions would be compatible with the internal system, software and hardware, as well as staff training. You can imagine the whole project involved a lot of testing, modification, communication and internal monitoring.
I came in when there was one year left, yet the project itself was very complicated. I even queried if it could be completed on time. However, the unity and the passion of the team helped us solve all the problems and the entire platform was successfully launched in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2013
Management Associate Programme, HSBC, 2015