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University of Waikato offers NZ’s first fintech degree

The University of Waikato has introduced New Zealand’s first Bachelor of Banking, Finance & Technology in response to an industry need for graduates with skills in the fast-growing fintech sector.

In a 2022 fintech insights report that sampled 200 New Zealand tech companies, it was revealed that they generated a combined export revenue of $1.8 billion.

More than ever, the need and demand for fintech is growing with advent of cashless currencies, says Matt Bolger, Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Waikato Management School.

“The world of finance runs on digital technology. From investment platforms and digital currencies to the way we make payments, nothing happens without digital. Yet no undergraduate degree in New Zealand currently recognises the need for these dual competencies,” says Bolger.

“The BBFinTech will fill this critical skills gap. Graduates will help businesses continue to innovate and evolve – whether they are a local Kiwi champion or a Silicon Valley start-up.”

Read more: Bringing the digital wallet to New Zealand

Fintech in New Zealand is a growing industry, with the likes of Dosh quickly gaining popularity and seeing strong uptake among Kiwis.

Shane Marsh, Founder of Dosh, says the area is only expected to “snowball” and will require more people with these skills for the future.

“There is a real need for people with fintech skills who can help shape the future of financial services. We need people who understand how open banking, digital currencies and emerging technology will define the future solutions we want in New Zealand and overseas,” says Marsh.

“There is huge growth potential in this sector, so for students interested in tech who are interested in a career in an exciting sector, this is definitely a path to consider.”

Bolger says the degree will prepare students with expertise in the financial markets, investment platforms, digital platforms, banking operations, automated trading, blockchains, cryptocurrencies, cyber security and more.

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