Sunday, May 26, 2024

“The Payments Industry Is Expected To Grow At Breakneck Speed And Bring In A Lot Of Novelty”

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Zarin Bhathena-2This week we take a look into the payment processing industry, in an interview with Zarin Bhathena, Senior VP and Head –  HR, Wordline – South Asia and Middle East

Q: What is the current scenario of payment processing industry in India for Job Seekers?

As recruiters, we see that a lot of jobseekers today do know about the business and what it entails, in terms of operations, relationships, banking systems etc. In fact, a study by Moody’s Analytics states that migration to electronic payments helped India create 1.4 million additional jobs, the second highest increase seen globally.

For the past couple of years, the payments industry has been full of news. It has transformed from a boring B2B industry to a thriving, exciting one, full of opportunities. Since payments are going digital, the industry reaches out to end consumers directly. Especially with the advent of innovations like electronic wallets and other digital payment methods for customers, there is a high level of interest in the sector.

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Also, any industry benefits when the government and regulator back it entirely and currently, making India a cashless or less-cash economy is part of the vision. This has certainly put it in the spotlight for people seeking jobs in an environment that makes use of technical knowledge and gives them scope for expansion, in both personal and professional skills.

Q: How do you perceive the growth of this sector in the next 5 years?

I am highly optimistic about the growth opportunities that the sector of electronic payments holds. In India, with so many positive developments, this sunrise industry deserves and is getting a lot of attention on various fronts, be it the regulator, industry members, investors, customers or even jobseekers.

In the next few years, the payments industry is expected to grow at breakneck speed and bring in a lot of novelty with first cashless and then contactless payment methods of payment. Hence, I expect that we will create and will demand more specialists in all payment-related fields, who not just have working knowledge of transactions and processes, but will focus on payment technologies, global level innovation and cross-channel expertise.

Today the customers we serve, whether banks or end users, are all mobile, yet the desktop itself is far from dead. So whatever products and services are developed now onwards will have to be able to take on different form factors and adapt to changing business needs.

Q: What are the roles this sector is currently hiring for? Where is the demand for freshers?

The payments industry, like I mentioned, is thriving with opportunities and fortunately these openings are across the board. There is a lot of hiring happening for entry level and middle management positions.

For the entry level, there is in fact a high demand for freshers and young professionals, particularly from a technology background. Programming, product design and management, app development and mobility are all areas where freshers are sought. Also, with payment companies going global or being funded by venture capitalists, there is a growing demand for management professionals as well. They are recruited as management trainees and groomed to grow in the function they are hired for. Hence, organizations are not just hiring but creating a well-charted career path for recruits, knowing well that the earlier they build an affinity with the company, the more motivated they are towards productive work.

When it comes to senior management positions, the industry seeks highly experienced professionals, not necessarily from the same domain. Someone from outside the industry can bring in a whole new way of working that can take the organization’s ambitions higher.

Q: What skills are must to get hired and succeed in this sector?

Anyone who is interested in making a career in this sector must be highly driven and motivated on a personal level. Since there is so much to experiment with and create, he should be the type of person that goes beyond his job description and is not afraid of taking risks to create or implement something new.

Secondly, though a technical background is not mandatory, someone who wants to succeed here should understand technology and payments and the potential of the synergy between the two. This industry marries a strong need for technology with a vision for creating convenience and ease for the customer. Irrespective of whether you are into technology, operations or marketing, this sector has opened a number of doors for aspirants.

Thirdly, due to the expanding nature of business, it is important for the jobseeker to be adaptable to different work cultures, people etc. and have an open mind towards ideas and work.

Q: Where does this sector stand as far as gender diversity is concerned? What are the popular/common roles for women workers in this sector?

Whether in payments or any other sector, one will see a gap between the male and female workforces in terms of numbers. There are very few where we see a large number of females vis-à-vis males. World Bank data suggests that if women participated in the formal sector at equal rates as men, there would be an additional 217 million women working in India. This discrepancy shows the need for more qualified women to join the Indian workforce and add to the talent pool. Having said that, now there is a consistent focus and deliberate effort to recruit more women and provide equal opportunities of employment.

The payments industry is not inclined towards any one gender and provides equality to job aspirants at all levels. No role is particularly designed for men or women and especially in startups, people encourage enthusiasm and the willingness to work hard, irrespective of where it comes from. In my experience, I have seen women participate in and excel in various roles. Worldline itself has women strong in business development as well as handling operations with equal ease. We recruit a lot of women on the technology side as well.


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