FIN 606: FinTech

This course covers recent technological innovations and the emergence of new players in the financial services industry that both fall under the umbrella term of FinTech. A special focus will be on blockchains and other relevant technologies and their application to decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies, and smart contracts. Other introduced innovations include alternative payment systems, crowd finance, artificial intelligence in finance, and robo advising, while also presenting associated risks and regulatory approaches.

Learning outcomes
After the completion of this course, students will have gained a thorough understanding of the FinTech industry. They will be able to describe its underlying technologies, analyze the industry’s recent developments, recognize associated risks, and explain its impact on the more traditional financial services industry.

Necessary prerequisites

Recommended prerequisites
Basic knowledge of finance (e.g. present value methods, portfolio theory, equilibrium models, derivatives, trading, banking), mathematics (analysis, optimization) and statistics (e.g. mean, variance, correlation, and multivariate regression).

Forms of teaching and learningContact hoursIndependent study time
Lecture2 SWS9 SWS
ECTS credits4
Graded yes
Form of assessmentWritten exam (60 min)
Restricted admissionno
Further information
Performing lecturer
Dr. Stefan Scharnowski
Dr. Stefan Scharnowski
Frequency of offeringFall semester
Duration of module 1 semester
Range of applicationM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. Bus. Edu., M.Sc. Econ., M.Sc. Bus. Inf., M.Sc. Bus. Math.
Preliminary course work
Program-specific Competency GoalsCG 1
LiteratureA detailed reading list will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Starting references:
  • Das, S. R. (2019). The future of fintech. Financial Management, 48(4), 981-1007.
  • Thakor, A. V. (2020). Fintech and banking: What do we know?. Journal of Financial Intermediation, 41, 100833.
  • Philippon, T. (2016). The fintech opportunity (No. w22476). National Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Special Issue of the Review of Financial Studies: To FinTech and Beyond. Volume 32, Issue 5, May 2019
  • Satoshi Nakamoto (2008). Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. Whitepaper.
Course outlineA detailed syllabus will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Preliminary outline:
  • What even is FinTech?
  • The Tech in FinTech
  • Payments, Banking, and Investing
  • Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies
  • Crowd Finance and Social Trading
  • Optional Topics
    • InsurTech
    • RegTech and Regulating FinTech