DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Financial Intermediation & Technology
Module Code EF5192
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

The FinTech industry is equipping banking institutions with tools that make them more efficient than ever before, like chatbots to enhance customer experience, mobile apps to give customers real-time views into their bank accounts and machine learning to secure against fraud. Advances in information and communications technologies are transforming how businesses operate and interact with their customers. Key enabling technologies, such as cloud computing, social media, mobile, big data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and blockchain, are disrupting all aspects of the finance value chain and facilitating unprecedented levels of innovation in financial services. In this dynamic environment, professionals need to be agile and informed in order to keep pace with the rapid development of financial technology (FinTech) and its adoption and application in the financial services industry. This course explores the interaction of finance and technology and its impact on the financial services and banking industry. The main objectives of this course are to (1) deepen learners’ practical 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. Students will also gain a practical understanding of the regulatory, compliance, and ethical context.

Learning Outcomes

1. Acquire a practical understanding of the international banking, 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
Lecture36Formal classes
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 Banking and Financial Intermediation
We introduce and discuss the main functions of banking and financial institutions. The financial system is complex, comprising many different types of private-sector financial institutions, including banks. We aim to provide an explanation for why financial intermediaries are so crucial to well-functioning financial markets.

Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending
Crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending have emerged as alternative sources of finance for individuals and small firms. 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. Topics include Platform based business model design in finance, towards convenience and cost-effectiveness in financial services delivery. The economics and performance of peer-to-peer lending, in addition to risks and mitigation strategies. Crowdfunding activities, spanning equity, donation and reward-based forms, and considerations around the marketing and management of successful crowdfunding campaigns. The role of regulation in building credibility, trust, and wider acceptance of these new funding marketplaces.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies
We examine 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 also explore other applications of blockchain technology in finance, across payments and remittance, credit and lending, trading and settlements, and compliance. Global approaches to regulation are considered from the perspective of cryptocurrencies specifically, and blockchain technology generally. We end with a discussion of potential future trends around blockchain technology adoption and application. TOPICS INCLUDE: The underlying properties of blockchain technology, and how this technology solves critical problems in finance. Cryptocurrencies in contrast to fiat currencies and digital money, and the cryptotoken economy as a new route to business finance. Suitability of blockchain technology for applications beyond cryptocurrencies and the cryptotoken economy. Regulatory requirements in respect of cryptocurrencies and cryptotokens, and blockchain technology.

Banking and payments
We examine the use of FinTech to improve banking and payments both for the banking industry and the wider economy. We begin with 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. We engage participants in the discourse and vision pertaining to open banking, making reference to technical and regulatory issues. We then progress the discussion and consider FinTech and mobile solutions that allow for financial access and inclusion in developing countries. We study a number of jurisdictions as case studies. We close with a discussion of future trends in respect of banking and payments, with particular discussion of the potential for technology and telecommunications firms. Topics include The FinTech bank and FinTech payments landscapes, credit risk and credit modeling, comparing and contrasting with traditional banking and payments services. The Payments Services Directive II (PSD2) regulations of the EU, with reference to Account Information Service Provider and Payment Initiation Service Provider opportunities. The potential for FinTech and mobile solutions in supporting financial inclusion and financial development in developing countries, with specific country case studies. Future trends in banking and payments, with particular focus on the potential for technology and telecommunications firms in respect of financial services provision.

Wealth Management
We explore the technology-based innovations and trends observed in the wealth management sector. We prime the discussion with a detailed review of extant theory and empirical evidence around wealth management, with a particular focus on common behavioral biases of investors in respect of investment decision-making and propensity to accept financial advice from human financial advisors. Against this backdrop, we will then critique the emergence of roboadvisors and automated investment decision making and financial advice. The portfolio management strategies that underlie roboadvisors will be appraised with reference to modern portfolio theory. We will articulate the benefits that roboadvisors offer investors in respect of diversification and risk-adjusted returns and the mitigation of behavioral biases. We will furthermore explore the interface between financial technology and sustainable finance, with a focus on the adaptation and adoption of roboadvisors to pursue socially responsible ESG and impact investing.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentLiterature Synthesis. Students are 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%n/a
AssignmentCase Study. Students are 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%n/a
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

    Other Resources

    Programme or List of Programmes
    MITBMSc in Investment, Treasury & Banking

    My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement