31 May 2021, Geneva, Switzerland - New technologies are profoundly changing the financial industry. The demand for digital solutions is surging, and both private and public institutions are heavily investing in R&D, especially in the field of digital currencies. Big tech companies are more and more involved in supplying financial services as they provide payments solutions, stablecoins and even banking products. Similarly, central banks are actively researching digital money, and many of them are planning to launch their own digital currency in the future. 

To respond to the growing demand for digital solutions, UNITAR is launching a new course titled Economics of Fintech: Foundations, Applications & Impact. The course analyses recent fintech developments to provide a comprehensive overview of the underlying forces. The intended audience includes professionals working for government agencies, such as ministries of finance or central banks, as well as for the private sector, like commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies, multinational corporations, accountancy firms, and consultancy firms.

At the end of the course, participants are expected to acquire a broad set of skills that will allow them to fully grasp the economic mechanisms behind different fintech innovations. Specifically, they will be able to identify which are the core features that make a fintech venture successful. Furthermore, participants will be able to analyze and independently evaluate the institutional settings that favor fintech innovation to arise. The course will also focus on the advantages and disadvantages associated to different fintech projects. Finally, students will be able to pragmatically apply these notions in their work. 

The course is structured in five modules that cover a wide range of topics. The first module deals with the fundamental principles of money and banking, and relates them to the features of popular innovations (e.g., tokenization, DLT, smart contracts). Its prime focus is on private currencies such as Bitcoin, Diem/Libra and the like. The second module analyzes the core features of successful fintech business models. Specifically, it analyses the importance of data as collateral, platform eco-systems, and their impacts on society in terms of financial literacy and inclusion. The third module goes through plenty of historical examples of financial innovation. Having a sound knowledge of what happened in the past is essential to truly understand where new fintech innovation lies and what might be disruptive. The fourth module is about the economics of central bank digital currencies. It studies the general equilibrium effects of different currency designs and discusses the challenges and opportunities for developing countries (e.g., financial literacy and inclusion). The fifth and last module is dedicated to students’ presentations on different topics assigned during the course. The main objective of this final lecture is stimulating discussion among students, to further enhance their learning experience and to let them network with their peers.

This training programme will be offered online, and every week the recording of the lecture will be uploaded to facilitate the learning experience, while accommodating individual schedules and time zones. Moreover, the lecturer will provide multiple discussion topics and case questions at the end of each module. The final assessment will be designed according to the number of participants and their interests.

For More Information

Economics of Fintech: Foundations, Applications & Impact
Course starting date:  October 11, 2021 to November 19, 2021 (6 weeks, fully delivered online, Expert-moderated)
Course information and registration here.


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