Over the past decade, technological innovation has transformed the financial services industry, 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, foreign exchange, marketplace (online) lending, saving and investing, financial advice (robo-advisers), and health and life insurance.
The goal of 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 within consumer financial services, 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’ll cover the underlying economics, the technology, the public policy issues, the competition, and the potential for collaboration between start-ups and the incumbents.
This course is designed to be interactive, and is aimed to deepen your understanding of the economics of FinTech and 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.
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 serves as co-director of the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy at Columbia University. He served as chair of the school’s Finance and Economics division from 2014-17.
In his research, Professor...