a veteran in the payments and settlements space
Back in 2005, Raphael Too was part of a team working on the development of Singapore’s payment and settlement infrastructure and exploring cross border opportunities. In the retail space, payment modes then were rather rudimentary, mainly focused around credit cards, cheques and cash. Fast forward to 2021, and the landscape has changed significantly. In today’s world, new payment modes such as contactless payments, digital wallets, cross border payment linkages and cryptocurrency have proliferated the market.
And Raphael is once again in the thick of the action. As Client Delivery Lead for Financial Services Industry at NCS, Singapore’s leading technology services and payment solutions provider, Raphael is now working with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on their key projects. In his current role, Raphael ensures quality delivery on all NCS’ projects with MAS and provides advice and guidance to MAS and other financial institutions (FIs) in Singapore, enabling them to achieve their goals through the use of technology.
advancing our client’s digital transformation journeys
“Some of the FIs have a significant technology footprint in Singapore and the region,” said Raphael. “We partner with clients to identify areas where our capabilities and innovative solutions can help them address their gaps or to help them achieve greater heights.” An example is the NEXT Shenzhen Innovation Centre that will specialise in developing 5G-enabled Internet of Things (IoT) applications, digital twin and blockchain solutions which will allow our clients to accelerate their digital transformation journeys. “We help the FIs by bringing what is at the forefront of technology and the right solutions to them by understanding what is out there that could benefit them the most and look to advance it even further.”
It is also about working with clients to navigate bumps in the road to ensure that projects succeed. Highlighting NCS’ reputation as a reliable tech partner for the financial services industry, he said, “All projects will have risks and issues, but it is about how you manage the whole process and make sure things are addressed the best way possible. And we are able to do that, as NCS has a vast delivery track record, having worked through a plethora of risks, mitigating actions and experienced and resolved a broad range of issues across many sectors.”
an innate belief in advancing customer and team success
When it comes to engaging with clients and finding solutions to meet their needs, Raphael is driven by a set of values that he learnt as a scout in his secondary school days. One of which is “to leave something better than the way you found it”.
“I always aim to try and exceed our client’s expectations in the projects that we deliver which is a big ask but we have to try, and from there making the parts of their ‘world’ that the project impacts and changes, a better place for it,” he said.
He applies the same principle when it comes to leading his team. “There will be ups and downs during the course of a project, but it is important to bring the people you work with across the finish line together and see that they learn, grow and are in better stead at the end of it,” he said.
To achieve this, he looks to engage in open dialogue and feedback with the people he works with. “They are going with you on a journey and they have to be heard. As a good mentor or leader, we should guide and give advice where we can in order to build up our people while hearing from them too so that we too can learn and grow”.
looking to take the right shots in work and life
Despite being a graduate in Accounting and Finance, Raphael’s passion lies in the arts, specifically photography. As he pursued his career, his passion took a back seat. But after a while, he found himself yearning to get back into photography and in 2010, he decided to take it up again. He was then also into watches, he recalled. “I took copious amounts of watch photos and did some writing for local lifestyle magazines on timepieces back then. I also spent a fair bit of coin (not bitcoin amounts) on camera gear over the years.”
Over time, his interest in watches dimmed somewhat, but the passion for photography still burns bright. He has moved to doing more people photography, realising that he preferred it over other genres. It was a photo from one of his portraiture shoots that won him a local ZEISS Award for Portrait Photography and he has won other awards since.