Insegnamento a.a. 2018-2019


Department of Finance

Course taught in English

Supported by Banca Mediolanum

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEFIN-FINANCE (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza


None, in particular. Although it is suggested that students have attended the basic course in Financial Markets and Institutions in order to fully exploit the value of the course.

Mission & Content Summary


The Fintech revolution is rapidly transforming the financial industry. In this process, new entrants, such as financial technology firms (Fintech) and Internet giants, as well as existing incumbent financial institutions apply digital technologies to gain or keep competitive edge towards rivals. The Fintech phenomenon has evolved from startups that want to take on and beat incumbents, to a broader ecosystem of different businesses looking in many cases also for partnerships with financial institutions. The use of advanced technologies, such as Open-API, and algorithms, is not new to the financial sector that has been using state of the art technologies since the 1960s when bank accounts were made electronic and this continued in the 70s with electronic stock markets. The new wave of tech transformation is in the use of digital technologies, and the consequences of them in transforming the industry in terms of its regime and structure. Many market positions are put into question as the conditions for successful business are changing. The role of finance has changed from being a provider of financial products and services to an “enabler” for them (such as robo-adviser, peer to peer lending, peer to peer payment, etc.). This course develop an in-depth examination of the Fintech revolution and how digitalization is transforming the market conditions in the financial industries. The aim of the course is to provide an adequate representation of strategies, actions, tools.


The setting of the course is interdisciplinary, to take account of the different profiles relevant to managing both the banks and the Fintech companies as business services. Given that the course is focused on providing professional knowledge and effective tools, and in order to pursue these goals, we assume a dual perspective of analysis, namely:

  • Those working within banks (especially retail banks) and FinTech companies.
  • Those who, for various reasons, are called to collaborate with banks as external partners (consultants, venture capitalists, technology vendors, and others).

The course is developed over four parallel strands:

  • The first analyzing the Fintech revolution, its drivers (technology, regulation, customers’ attitudes, and competitive advantages) and business models according the product areas (money and payments, investment and wealth management, consumers credit, and lending).
  • The second understanding the market structure and its digital transformation (supply-demand value chain, platforms and ecosystems in the financial industries).
  • The third focusing on build, buy, and partner Fintech innovation (competition versus collaboration).
  • The fourth looking for the new banking reality (new layers of banking, new types of banks, new winning business models, the differentiation between players, etc.) and in consequence its regulatory framework.

The whole course is supported by examples, case studies and discussions on the main topics.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Students will learn how to approach all aspects of Fintech innovation with special focus on the transformation of the industry essence and its revenue sharing mechanism: from transactions (distribution channel of products) to services driven approach. This perspective is also useful to understand how to digitize a financial institution focusing on a real client centricity focus, which requires an interdisciplinary approach.

They will gain knowledge and a critical thinking perspective in three important areas of banking and in its innovation process:

  • Technology transformation and business models.
  • Finance and banking core competences.
  • Regulation.

Students will also develop theoretical and practical understanding of the main forces which are transforming financial services globally, and the many and different managerial and entrepreneurial challenges.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Evaluate the impact of the main environment forces of change on the strategies and performance of both banks and Fintech companies.
  • Evaluate critically the empirical evidence related to the industrial structure of banking and efficiency.
  • Appraise the role of banks and Fintech companies in a modern society (customer relationships and risks assessment).
  • Understand why banks and banking need regulation and assess the regulatory response in light of the changing scenario.
  • Conduct an independent search and review of specialized academic and non-academic literature on banking, identify and evaluate relevant information.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


In order to propose a close link between theory and practice, exposure to fundamental theoretical concepts are supported by examples, business cases and class discussions thanks to the presence of professionals from different institutions, such as banks, Fintech companies, consulting firms and supervisory authorities. Each of them brings their own particular perspective to the course.

  • Face-to face interactive lessons (case studies, incidents, readings, and assignments). The class time is overall used to explain syllabus topics, discuss them and outline practical examples. Because we have designed this course to be interactive, you are expected and encouraged to take part in class discussions. We want to deepen your understanding of the economics of Fintech, and also encourage your creative and entrepreneurial spirit. Therefore, students are expected to read, whenever required, the materials before class.
  • Guest speakers' talks. We have a number of sessions with outside experts including consultants, founders of early-stage start-ups, and executives in financial services, and venture capitalists.
  • Individual assignment. This assignment of maximum 1000 words is on 1 out of 3 questions which are handout in class. It is designed for verifying the student ability to:
    • Identify and analyze the main issues related to a given Fintech business model.
    • Apply the appropriate tools and methodologies learnt in class.
    • Use and evaluate the relevant impact of changes in the financial industry.
    • Work individually. The individual assignment is due as a partial evaluation step.
  • Group project. Each team either proposes and develop a prototype for a new venture or analyze an existing early-stage venture. At the end of the semester, each team presents its project to the class.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Oral individual exam
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Students can choice the attending status, and this option can offer different course experience and a partially different valuation process. The final evaluation takes into account:

  • Active class participation (20% of the final grade) aimed at testing the student ability to interact in a multicultural environment, and think critically trough contribution given to the class discussion. This requires a regular attendance at lectures (36 out of 48 hours).
  • Group project (20% of the final grade), which is due few days before the end of the teaching semester.
  • One individual assignment (20% of the final grade), which is due as a mid term evaluation step.
  • Oral exam (40% of the final grade). The contents refer to the textbook and the material made available on the Course website (technical notes, readings and slides), in addition to the evidence from the guest speakers, which are an integral part of the Course and therefore the final exam.


The exam is written (100% of the final grade). The contents refer to the textbook and the material made available on the Course website (technical notes, readings, and slides). The final evaluation is exclusively by written examination and it is not possible to integrate marks obtained in group work, individual assessments, which can only be carried out by attending students.

Teaching materials


Relevant materials (articles, cases, class notes, news articles, slides) are posted on the Bboard and/or handed out in class. At the beginning of the semester students receive a detailed information about the teaching materials.


Relevant materials (articles, cases, class notes, news articles, slides) are posted on the Bboard . At the beginning of the semester students receive a detailed information about the teaching materials.

Last change 27/06/2018 12:10