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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Financial Technology and Innovation
Module Code EF5177A
School DCUBS
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Mahdavi Ardekani Seyed Aref
Semester 2: Mahdavi Ardekani Seyed Aref
Autumn: Mahdavi Ardekani Seyed Aref
Module TeachersMahdavi Ardekani Seyed Aref
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 7.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Financial technology and innovation provides an introduction to FinTech such as cryptocurrencies, blockchain, crowdfunding, and recent innovations on the payments system. Students are expected to develop a broad understanding of the recent development on financial technology and innovation and its impact in the financial industries. The main objectives of this course are to (1) deepen Lerners’ knowledge of the FinTech landscape and resulting innovation in financial services, (2) encourage learners to think critically across a range of finance and technology contexts and interfaces, and (3) discern the challenges and complex issues pertaining to this rapidly evolving space. Drawing on both academic literature and industry practice, the course will allow learners to make an evidence-based appraisal of FinTech trends and modern financial innovation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Acquire a practical understanding of the FinTech landscape and modern financial innovation.
2. Synthesise theory and practice to assess the interaction of finance and technology in various contexts.
3. Appraise how the financial services industry is innovating through the adoption and application of new technologies.
4. Critically evaluate the emerging academic evidence pertaining to the dynamics and efficacy of new FinTech based markets and products.
5. Develop and defend coherent and persuasive arguments for the adoption and application of innovative technologies to support financial services activities.
6. Evaluate the competitive and collaborative opportunities that exist for established financial institutions and start-up FinTech firms, which should lead to a superior customer journey for consumers of financial services.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture36No Description
Independent Study60Preparing for weekly lectures
Directed learning50The Lecturer will provide information on various sources (like journal articles, reports, textbooks, URLs etc.. ) that are required by students to read/watch and learn from.
Independent Study41.5Preparing and studying various concepts; Working on Assignments and group project work
Total Workload: 187.5

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to FinTech and Financial Innovation
This section introduces the concepts we will cover plus recent FinTech developments, Major areas in FinTech, Future prospects and potential issues with FinTech. This first course provides an introduction to the key topics of focus in respect of FinTech and innovation in the financial services industry, spanning the areas of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending; blockchain and cryptocurrencies; and banking and payments. We cover introductory topics for each area that will be explored in greater detail in the subsequent topics. We consider how FinTech offers new opportunities to enhance existing financial products and services, as well as offering entirely new products and services. The ethical perspective on these new technologies is at the forefront of our discussion of this emergent area.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
This section explores the underlying properties of distributed ledger technologies, such as blockchain, and their applications in finance. We specifically discuss the use of blockchain technologies for cryptocurrencies and novel funding methods for businesses, such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs). We cover the underlying properties of blockchain technology, and how this technology solves critical problems in finance. Among cryptocurrencies, we focus on Bitcoin and we explore Cryptography and Cryptocurrencies, Nakamoto consensus, Bitcoin's protocols, Bitcoin applications & security, and Bitcoin mining mechanics.

Crowdfunding Technology
This section introduces all different type of crowdfunding platforms including Equity-based crowdfunding, Lending-based crowdfunding or P2P lending, reward-based crowdfunding and Donation-based crowdfunding. We discuss the factors that have facilitated the growth observed in such markets, while we examine the platform-based business models deployed in the finance context. We consider these new forms of finance relative to traditional channels of funding from the perspective of the platform, funder and beneficiary. We consider the role of information and disclosure in informing funding decisions and managing successful funding campaigns. Regulatory issues and approaches from across the globe are critiqued. We end with a discussion of future trends in crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

Banking & Payments
This section gives an explanation of how FinTech can improve banking and payments both for the banking industry and the wider economy. We begin with a brief introduction of payment systems and then a comparison of the FinTech and traditional banking models. We then map out the FinTech payments landscape, and discuss the role of mobile devices in payments. We leverage this discussion to present the details of the Payment Services Directive II regulations of the EU, designed to increase competition and improve payments services for customers. This section also discusses new innovations in credit risk and credit modelling.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentLiterature Synthesis. Students required to conduct a synthesis of the academic literature to articulate if and how traditional theories of finance are being challenged through technology based financial innovation.40%Week 8
AssignmentCase Study. Students required to conduct primary and/or secondary research on a chosen FinTech company and leverage discussions on technology based business models to appraise the specific business model adopted by the company and funding channels persued.60%Week 12
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Lynn,T., Mooney,J., Rosati,P., Cummins, M: 2019, Disrupting Finance - Fintech and Strategy in the 21st Century, Palgrave,
  • Narayanan, A., Bonneau, J., Felten, E., Miller, A., & Goldfeder, S.: 2016, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technologies: a comprehensive introduction, Princeton University Press,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MFCMMSc in Finance
MFCMJMSc in Finance

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