The US tech giant quietly plucking people from Singapore banks

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PayPal may lack the glamour factor of Amazon, Facebook and Google, but like the three other US tech firms, it’s been busy hiring from the Singapore banking sector recently.

Its latest recruit is Mirabel Tay, who previously worked for Standard Chartered for about seven years, latterly as a director in loan syndications, according to her LinkedIn profile. Tay joined last month as a manager in APAC new enterprise underwriting within PayPal’s Braintree division, which specialises in mobile payment systems for e-commerce companies.

Tay finds herself in good company. There are ex-banking professionals throughout PayPal in Singapore – and not just in the obvious functions of technology or business development. Ahmed Tazi, head of Southeast Asia seller risk at PayPal, was a risk manager at UBS until 2017, for example.

Some of PayPal’s banking hires have already worked their way up the ranks, according to LinkedIn. Among them is Singapore country manager Abhinav Kumar, who joined from BNP Paribas’ private bank in 2011 and held five other senior jobs before landing his latest promotion last year.

PayPal has stepped up its recruiting from banks over the past 18 months, and Standard Chartered is a prime headhunting ground, say recruiters. In 2018, Richard Samar, a manager in group strategy at Stan Chart, came on board in a senior APAC strategy operations role. There are also former Stan Chart tech professionals in PayPal’s Singapore ranks, including Wee Pheng Koh, who once ran Stan Chart’s shared-services technology in China and is now a director in charge of PayPal’s transaction orchestration, planning and financial instrument platforms.

Worryingly for banks, PayPal is hiring from them in the sought-after function of data analysis. Earlier this year, for example, Antsa Razafintsalama moved to PayPal as a FX data analyst, following stints at firms such as Credit Agricole, Natixis and BNP Paribas.

If you want to join the growing cohort of ex-bank employees at PayPal in Singapore, the firm’s jobs website currently has 33 vacancies, about a third of which are engineering or data roles. To apply for a payments software engineer job, for example, you’ll have “extensively used Java, Junit, Jmeter, Maven, Git, Fortify and Sonar in development in the last three years” and you’ll have also maintained a C++ codebase.

Meanwhile, PayPal wants to hire more female tech professionals in Singapore. Its women luminaries programme, launched last month, offers scholarships to three female students at local universities, while giving them access to PayPal mentors and internships at the firm.

Away from engineering, PayPal’s senior openings include a head of APAC risk and compliance, and a head of global digital process design and innovation.

PayPal isn’t the only payments company that’s expanding in Singapore – the whole sector is experiencing a hiring boom. As we noted in April, GrabPay hired Chun Han Quah as head of regional schemes and financial institution partnerships, while just last week Yeo Tiong Ann joined Nets as head of product management. Both of them came from UOB.

This trend is only set to gain pace this year as new players enter the payments market and existing ones increase their hiring. One of the latest companies to launch an e-wallet in the Republic is local gaming firm Razer. UK company Revolut announced plans in February to create new jobs at its APAC headquarters in Singapore.

Image credit: loveguli, Getty

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