Over the past decade, technological innovation has transformed the financial services industry at an accelerated pace, and further disruption in the near future is almost a certainty. The new generation of Financial Technology (“FinTech”) start-ups is tackling many realms of consumer financial services, including mobile payments, crypto-currencies, foreign exchange, marketplace (online) lending, saving and investing, financial advice (robo-advisers), and health and life insurance.
Our goal in this course is to understand the economic and technological forces driving this change and to learn how to harness them in a responsible way. The curriculum is organized by product areas, focusing on those that are most active and most prone to innovation through start-ups: i) payments, ii) consumer credit, iii) wealth management, and iv) insurance. For each area, we will focus on the underlying economics, the technology, the public policy issues, the competition, and the potential for collaboration between start-ups and the incumbents. We will also cover various methods and techniques for idea validation, lean user research, iterative and rapid prototyping, and user testing as applicable to new idea development and deployment.
We have designed this course to be interactive. We want to deepen your understanding of the economics of FinTech and also encourage your creative and entrepreneurial spirit. A key component of the course is a collaborative team student project: each team will either propose and develop a prototype for a new venture or analyze an existing early-stage venture. At the end of the semester, each team will present its project to the class.
R.A. Farrokhnia, a recipient of the Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence, is an Executive Director at the Dean's Office of "Advanced Projects and Applied Research in Fintech." He also teaches courses at Schools of Business and Engineering; in addition, he is a lecturer and Board Member of the Knight-Bagehot Program at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism...
Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Economics and Public Policy
Stephen P. Zeldes is the Frank R. Lautenberg Professor of Economics and Public Policy at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business. He served as chair of the school’s Finance and Economics division from 2014-17.
In his research, Professor Zeldes has examined a wide range of applied issues in both macroeconomics and household finance, including saving...