PayPal Study: Good Financial Health Is Key To Helping Singaporeans Prepare For The Future of Work
Singapore-specific research findings reveal the implications of financial health on Singaporeans’ preparedness for the future of work
Singapore, 17 March 2020 – The rapid adoption of newer technologies and transformation of socio-demographic trends has changed the landscape of work fundamentally. Singaporeans are not only highly aware of the impending changes to their careers, but they are welcoming of opportunities brought about by automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other emerging technologies.
- 77% believe that their jobs will be highly impacted by new or changing technology in the next five years. This is seven percentage points more than the global average of 70%.
- 89% of Singaporeans believe that automation is good for the Singaporean economy.
- 79% of Singaporeans whose jobs are at high risk of automation are aware of this fact; the average global awareness is only 68%.
- 77% of all Singaporeans and 81% of those most at risk of job displacement due to automation have taken measures to upgrade their skills or learn new ones to prepare for these changes.
These are some of the findings in a report launched by PayPal today titled, “Financial Health for the Future of Work in Singapore”, building on the global focused whitepaper that explores how the way people work in the future impacts the way the financial services industry needs to serve them. The report combines an analysis of a survey administered to 1,000 Singaporeans, extensive literature reviews, and more than 100 interviews with experts from all over the world, including several Singapore experts.
However, the Singaporean workforce still has a long way to go in preparing financially for automation and allied changes, noted the report. Workers in jobs that are at high risk of automation exhibit more signs of financial distress, and younger Singaporeans are also voicing their concerns regarding their long-term financial health and ability to retire in comfort. While Singaporean entrepreneurs are, in general, financially healthier than their global counterparts, more can be done to support the enterprises that are financially-distressed. Statistics show that:
- 54% of workers in jobs at high risk of automation have paid a bill late and incurred additional fees or interest in the last year, while only 34% of those in jobs at low risk of automation had done so.
- 34% of workers in highly automatable jobs would be unable to cover three months of expenses with their savings if they lost their main source of income – amongst those in jobs with low risk of automation, only 23% expressed difficulty covering three months of expenses with their savings.
- 54% of the millennials surveyed expressed a lack of faith in their ability to retire at their desired age. With elderly employment on the rise, financial services will have many opportunities to step in to serve the needs of this growing segment of the population.
- 57% of all small business owners had paid a bill late and incurred additional fees or interest as a result in the past year, and nearly half (49%) of all entrepreneurs expressed interest in a product that would enable them to manage their cash flow with changes in income.
Overall, the report reinforces the need for financial services supporting Singaporeans through the changes in their future of work, and calls for financial service providers to better serve the needs of a changing workforce and to build up the financial health of their customers.
Elaborating on why financial health is important in increasing Singaporeans’ preparedness for the future of work, Steven Chan, Senior Director and Regional Head of Government Relations, PayPal, Asia Pacific said, “Financial services are instrumental in enabling people to manage changes during their working lives. Well-designed financial services enable people to stay on top of, and worry less about payments, spending, and saving. People rely on financial products to manage their financial wellness, especially in times of income uncertainty and job transitions.
“In the face of global economic instability or financial health and income uncertainty, individuals are often unable to summon the resources required to build up their skills and to prepare for a changing workforce landscape. Sound financial health, however, can empower individuals to make confident and optimistic professional choices even in tumultuous times.” Mr. Chan explained.
He also noted that planning for the financial health of Singaporeans require a concerted effort and enhanced public-private partnerships between universities, businesses, and policymakers. More findings in the report showcased how the financial services industry is well-positioned to innovate with more relevant financial products, based on the changing financial needs of the Singaporean population, and an in-depth understanding of their psyche when faced with a new Future of Work. To learn more, visit www.paypal.com/FutureofWorkSG.
 Financial Health for the Future of Work, January 2019, a collaboration between PayPal Inc., the Center for Social Sector Leadership, University of California at Berkeley, and the Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. (Source)