Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Finance

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/11)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Suggested background knowledge

None, in particular. Although it is suggested that students have attended a basic course in financial markets and institutions in order to fully exploit the value of the course.

Mission & Content Summary


The banking industry is changing widely and consistently. Technology is playing an increasing role in the financial services industry, offering new opportunities to make new competitors - namely FinTechs and BigTechs - enter the financial services market, empowering existing players and threatening the way incumbents’ business models are changing. The mission of the course is to expose students to this fast-growing intersection between technology and finance, under a double perspective: disruption versus evolution. Also covering the juncture of modern technology and banking.


The curriculum is organized by vertical-product areas that are the spectrum of concepts driving innovations of the principal financial intermediation functions.  They are also those that are most active and most prone to innovation through start-ups: money and payments, lending, saving, and investment. For each area, we start by analyzing the marketplace, the incumbents, the new business cases, and strategies of the incoming technology-driven players with an emphasis on the underlying economics, technology applied, and the way competition is changing its features.

Students develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the forces transforming the banking and financial services industry at an international level.

To reach this goal, the course is going to be both interactive and interdisciplinary in order to deepen students understanding of the economics of FinTech and encourage their critical thinking, as well as a creative entrepreneurial spirit.

In the course, we begin exploring the reasons why FinTech companies enter the market and move forward to know how they are transforming the industry and the market competition. 

  • The whole course is supported by examples, case studies, and discussions on the main topics.
  • Guest speakers also augment the discussion by offering their perspective on future trends in each of the knowledge areas of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Understand the kind of innovation which is undertaking the banking and financial landscape.
  • Summarize the domains of FinTech and their main drivers.
  • Describe the FinTech market and make arguments for what in the sector is emerging.
  • Outline the financial technologies, and how they are transforming the market.


The course is structured in four modules aimed at:

  1. Understanding the banking business and the status of the FinTech landscape (industry drivers, different product areas - such as money and payments, lending, and investment -, and future trends).
  2. Developing a deep knowledge of the market structure and its digital transformation (supply-demand value chain, incumbents and new competitors, business models in banks and FinTech companies).
  3. Getting to know real examples of financial technology and how companies are changing the customer's banking experience.
  4. Developing a forward-looking perspective to understand the new banking reality.


The digital transformation is radically rewriting the rules of competition in the financial service industries.

In this course, we are exploring the forces shaping the new competitive dynamics: product and service digitization, and changing customer demands. Together, these forces give rise to completely new market structures that force organizations to compete in new ways.


  • By the time you finish this course, you will learn how to approach all aspects of FinTech innovation with a special focus on the transformation of the industry essence.
  • You also have mastered important concepts needed to understand the transformation, learned from best practices in digital industries, and seen how firms in financial services are embracing the new rules of competition.
  • Students gain knowledge and a critical thinking perspective on the following areas:
    • Identify the main forces of financial transformation.
    • Explain the origins and drivers of the FinTech phenomenon and its hype.
    • Explains the main features of the banking industry and its transformation.
    • Discuss the impact of FinTech in the financial market.
    • Understand the unique features of banks and FinTech development.
    • Explain the consistency of the FinTech companies’ business models.
    • Reflect upon the role of digital platforms in the FinTech revolution and the evolving of ecosystems.
    • Compare different perspectives on the idea of FinTech leading the banking industry versus incumbents.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe and understand the changes that influence the ways the financial sector is changing and the many ways it is undertaking.
  • Evaluate the impact of the main environmental forces of change on the strategies and performance of FinTech companies.
  • Appraise the role of FinTech companies in modern society.
  • Compare different business models in the same business area by recognizing the differentiator factors.
  • Conduct an independent search and review of specialized academic and non-academic literature on banking, identify and evaluate relevant information.

By the time students finish this course, they have mastered the transformational forces of digitalization and the new competitive dynamics it gives rise to, and learned from leading financial companies the many and different managerial and entrepreneurial challenges.

Teaching methods

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


The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, case discussions, group works, real examples and interactions with guest speakers from companies that are coping with these issues.

  • Face-to-face lectures (cases, 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. Active participation in class also is considered for the overall students’ assessment. The use of cases and external speakers aim at better connecting the knowledge covered in the course with real life examples. The interaction between the instructor and students during the case discussions and the presentations helps students understand how to handle managerial decisions both in banks and in FinTech companies.
  • Guest speakers: we have a number of sessions with outside experts including consultants, founders of early-stage start-ups, managers from technology companies, and executives in financial services, and venture capitalists.
  • Group projects: there are different formula of group projects, which will be explained in detail during the first lesson. They are an opportunity to apply the knowledge and tools covered in the course. They are always presented to the class.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)
  • Peer evaluation


In order to evaluate the acquisition of the aforementioned learning outcomes, the assessment of attending students is based on four main components:

  • Active class participation (10% of the final grade) is aimed at testing the student's ability to interact in a multicultural environment, and think critically through contribution given to the class discussion. This participation is measured by assessing an active reading session where students are asked to read a paper/article/report and prepare an analysis and a brief presentation to present to the class also engaging a discussion on each one.
  • Two group assignments (40% of the final grade). They are two different projects and differently graded, as will be detailed in class. They are both designed for the purpose of verifying the student ability to:
    • Identify and analyze the main issues related to a given business model.
    • Apply the appropriate tools and methodologies learnt in class.
    • Work on a team and organize and present effectively the relevant outcomes.
  • Final written exam (50% of the final grade), based on a mix of open questions related to the reference book, which aims to assess the student’s learning level, and a set of questioning comments required on a set of articles/papers/reports selected, and to use a clear communication style.


General final written exam (100% of the final grade) based on a mix of open-ended questions and a set of requested comments on selected readings related to the program.

They are both to test basic knowledge of the course material, the understanding of key concepts presented in the course readings, and the ability to summarize narrative interpretations from the course readings and to use a clear communication style.

Teaching materials


  • Book: Omarini A., 2019, Banks and Banking: Digital Transformation and the Hype of Fintech. Business impacts, new frameworks and managerial implications, McGraw-Hill publisher


There is available both a paper and an ebook version.


Selected Chapters (please see the Syllabus)


  • Other relevant materials (articles, cases, class notes, news articles, slides) are posted on the Bboard.



  • Book: Omarini A., 2019, Banks and Banking: Digital Transformation and the Hype of Fintech. Business impacts, new frameworks and managerial implications, McGraw-Hill publisher


There is available both a paper and an ebook version.


Selected Chapters (please see the Syllabus)


  • Other relevant materials (articles, cases, class notes, news articles, slides) are posted on the Bboard.
Last change 22/12/2021 15:40