How to quit banking and join Alipay as it steps up its Hong Kong hiring

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If you want to quit the banking sector in Hong Kong, but you don’t want to take a punt on a startup virtual bank or fintech firm, Alipay is emerging as a viable alternative.

While many of Alipay’s vacancies are, of course, based in its headquarters in Shanghai’s Pudong district, the Chinese mobile payments giant – whose parent company is Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial Services – is also stepping up its recruitment in Hong Kong.

Alipay, which has only been operating in Hong Kong for just over two years, is currently recruiting for roles that would suit both tech and front-office staff from banks.

In technology, for example, Alipay wants a Hong Kong-based lead UX/UI designer to be “responsible for the interaction design of AlipayHK products on both web and mobile platforms”. The company also suggests that it’s very open to hiring someone from a bank. Five years of design experience in mobile products or financial products is required, while knowledge of Hong Kong markets is preferred, according to Alipay’s careers website.

Expect to be generously rewarded if you land this job, because talent demand in UX/UI is surging, according to IT recruiters. Alipay is competing for talent against the likes of Standard Chartered, Citi, HSBC and other large banks in Hong Kong, which are all hiring designers to develop their own payments apps. As we reported earlier this year, HSBC has been expanding the Hong Kong team working on its PayMe e-wallet, which was only launched in February 2017 but already has about 1.5m users in the city.

On the front-office side, Alipay has several Hong Kong vacancies that demand strategy and business development skills – almost all of which appear to invite applications from banks. There’s even a business development manager job that focuses specifically on financial institutions. You’ll be working with banks in fields such as fund settlement, FX, financial services, liquidity management and cross border solutions.

Banking professionals in Hong Kong might also like to apply to one of the ‘growth manager’ openings at Alibaba, which involve working on local operations strategy and product development. Experience in a sector such as commerce or banking is required.

Beware that strong language skills are needed for most Alipay jobs in Hong Kong. English, Cantonese and Mandarin are often all mandatory.

Tech recruiters in Hong Kong say banking-sector candidates are typically attracted to Alipay because of its cutting-edge tech (there are no legacy systems to overhaul) and because the scale of its user base gives staff the potential to work on a variety of projects as their careers advance. Alipay has more than 600m users and partners with about 200 financial institutions globally.

Image credit: Getty

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