Article: These challenges drive innovation, growth, and collaboration in fintech: Fiserv HR-VP Kanisha Raina

Talent Management

These challenges drive innovation, growth, and collaboration in fintech: Fiserv HR-VP Kanisha Raina

Kanisha Raina, VP of Human Resources, Global Services at Fiserv discusses the challenges and opportunities shaping the the fintech industry in 2024.
These challenges drive innovation, growth, and collaboration in fintech: Fiserv HR-VP Kanisha Raina

From talent acquisition and workforce development to fostering innovation and diversity, Kanisha Raina provides insights into how Fiserv navigates the ever-evolving industry to drive positive change and growth.  Raina who comes with more than 19 years of industry experience uncovers the top five challenges shaping the Fintech Industry in 2024 and how her organisation is tackling the talent and workforce challenges in the competitive market.

The fintech landscape in India is experiencing both growth and challenges. What are the top five challenges of the evolving industry in 2024?

The Indian fintech landscape has experienced significant transformation over the last three years. Worldwide, users are interacting digitally with their financial institutions, and a fundamental shift in consumer behavior towards contactless/touchless transactions has been a catalyst in the fintech landscape. This journey highlights opportunities for user experience enhancement, addressable market expansion, workforce upskilling to cater to customer demands, and strengthening operational excellence – giving way to new trends in the payment domain. In essence, the challenges are driving positive change and innovation within the fintech industry, thus driving growth and collaboration.

Competitive market situation: Intensifying competition in the marketplace is encouraging organisations to leverage technology innovations to create unique and meaningful experiences for users to boost loyalty and stickiness. Fintechs are focusing on differentiating themselves in the crowded industry to attract and retain customers.

Elevating customer experience: As digital acceleration propels changing user behavior, fintech firms are innovating to deliver personalised experiences. Understanding customer needs and tailoring services becomes imperative, enhancing satisfaction amidst evolving expectations.

Securing user transactions: As collection and storage of data from consumers grows as transaction volumes increase, fintechs are expected to utilise robust cybersecurity measures to ensure that all transactions are secure.

Fostering skill development: Given the evolving demands of clients, skilled professionals are crucial in fintech. Therefore, training programs have become mission-critical, empowering individuals to effectively address these evolving needs. It is essential to develop a workforce that’s technically proficient with advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning, and so on.

Bringing Innovation to centre stage: With newer trends in payments, such as Embedded Finance, gaining traction, it is easier than ever to integrate financial services into non-financial platforms to improve ease of use, and to access Robotic Process Automation to improve operational efficiencies.

What are the key talent and workforce challenges specific to the fintech industry, and how does your HR strategy address these challenges? Do you have any sustainable talent pipeline initiative in place?

Navigating the fintech industry's dynamic landscape presents unique talent requirements, notably due to rapid technological evolution, a highly competitive job market, and growing demand for specialised skills. The fintech sector is characterised by its fast-paced and innovative nature, requiring a workforce that is not only tech-savvy but also proficient in behavioral skills such as problem-solving, adaptability, and collaborative teamwork.

The cornerstone of our talent development approach is centered on fostering a diverse, inclusive, and skilled workforce, achieved through strategic talent acquisition, comprehensive upskilling, and internal mobility.

  • The fintech industry's rapid technological advances necessitate a workforce that is continually evolving and adapting. Central to our talent management approach is an unwavering emphasis on upskilling and continuous learning with a focus on building capabilities related to product development, data science, cloud computing, intelligent automation, and more. Our comprehensive Learning & Development framework includes personalised learning paths, blended learning opportunities, and access to a wealth of resources through platforms like Udemy and is supported by specialised academies. Our skill development strategy not only enhances current role performance but also enables associates to pursue vertical and horizontal role-based learning.
  • Innovation thrives on diversity, and we attract talent from a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We focus on diversifying our talent pool through our programs and partnerships with specialised vendors, hiring from diverse communities such as veterans, LGBTQ+, PWD (Persons with Disabilities), young professionals, and women on a career break. For instance, our Technology Analyst Program is focused on attracting fresh talent from the best engineering institutes, and our Forward for Her initiative engages women returning to work after a career break, offering specialised support to women throughout the hiring process and their career journeys. Further, our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) help connect associates and allow them to share perspectives and support each other to drive holistic development.
  • We understand our associates have growth aspirations and we support those aspirations through internal mobility opportunities, encouraging associates to explore growth within the organisation. Our internal talent mobility program, Find Your Next, offers associates varied options to explore, learn and achieve their potential through advancement in their careers.
  • The younger generation is very conscious of the purpose their employers exhibit and the opportunities they have to contribute to society. Fiserv Gives Back, our corporate social responsibility program, is a proof point of how we engage our people, give back to our communities, and move the world forward.

What are you doing to help the workforce adapt to the rapidly changing industry landscape? Can you please elaborate more on the culture at Fiserv and how it aligns with the current developments in the industry?

At Fiserv, we help our workforce adapt to the rapidly changing industry and have a deep-rooted culture of engineering excellence, client centricity, and innovation.

  • We prioritise targeted innovation, digital enablement, and elevating the end-user experience with deep insights into the entire customer journey. Our Business Innovation Group works as an incubator to curate ideation journeys that help teams develop solutions mapped to real-world market opportunities. It offers a collaborative space for our associates to brainstorm, develop, and launch new fintech solutions mapped to real-world use cases, reflecting our belief that innovation is essential for both organisational and personal growth. Building a culture where engineering excellence and innovation thrive, our ideation leaderboard celebrates not only the work done but also the individuals and teams.
  • Recognising the critical role of continuous learning in career advancement, we have established extensive skilling programs to ensure our employees remain at the forefront of technology and industry practices. This includes access to advanced learning platforms, empowering our team members to develop and refine their expertise continually.
  • Our culture at Fiserv is also deeply ingrained with DE&I principles, recognising that a diverse and inclusive workforce is the bedrock of innovative thinking and problem-solving. Our Women Impact Network ERG; Unity, our LGBTQ+ ERG; Thrive, Disability Leadership Council; and YoPro, our Young Professional Council India Chapter lead exciting programs to raise awareness, connect associates, and deliver learning and networking opportunities.  These ERGs are more than just support networks; they play a key role in driving the Fiserv DE&I agenda, facilitating mentorship, networking, and professional development opportunities that enrich our workplace and enhance our competitiveness in the fintech arena.

What strategies do you employ for attracting and retaining top talent in a highly competitive market? What differentiates Fiserv from other competitors in the industry?

At Fiserv, we build and reward a high-performing and engaged workforce that thrives in an inclusive and innovation-focused culture. Our approach to talent attraction and retention is comprehensive, underpinned by our commitment to offering competitive and inclusive benefits, alongside ample opportunities for continuous learning, development, and career growth.

A rewarding career offers growth opportunities, exposure to exciting and innovative work, and the ability for an individual to make an impact on the rapidly evolving fintech industry. We are a diverse melting pot of intellects, personalities, backgrounds, and experiences – each of which adds to our collective strength.

Our commitment to associate care is visible in everything we do for our associates – benefits, culture, growth, learning, wellness, and engagement. To support the total well-being of our associates, we take a holistic approach to benefits, which includes physical, financial, emotional, and social well-being.

Our comprehensive and competitive benefits program supports our associates in meeting their overall well-being goals. We offer a comprehensive benefits package that provides a variety of options, such as medical and life insurance, an Employee Assistance Program focusing on psychological wellbeing, and onsite paramedics staff at all offices. Partnerships with fitness centers provide discounts to our associates and can free them up for collaboration. A key part of our benefits offerings is our robust rewards and recognition program, Living Proof, which recognises and celebrates the efforts of our associates.

As an equal-opportunity employer, we promote inclusivity at the workplace through voluntary networks so people connect, share perspectives, exchange ideas, and support each other to facilitate a vibrant culture where we can all learn, grow, and reach our full potential.

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Topics: Talent Management, Skilling

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