FinTech: Picking Up Momentum

By John Mason for Seeking Alpha


  • FinTech is in the process of changing the financial industry and its regulation and its intrusion into the industry is speeding up.
  • One example of this is that major universities like MIT are offering online certificates for studying FinTech.
  • Learning more about FinTech is crucial not only for people that are managing financial institutions, but it is also important for those that are thinking of investing in them.

I have been writing about how information technology was creeping into the financial world for several years now. Before, we did not have any terminology to define the general field that was being talked about. Now, we do: the general area we are discussing is called FinTech, and its presence is accelerating as we speak.

My last post on FinTech commented on how fast things were moving in this area and how the field was drawing more and more prominent players. Today, I would like to bring to your attention two new sources of information on FinTech that I would recommend you investigating.

The first of these is an online course being offered by MIT: It is an MIT FinTech certificate course. Information on the course can be found here.

I know that there are probably other quality universities that have such programs, but with a university of the quality and cutting-edge knowledge of MIT getting into the process one can only say that FinTech has really arrived and the banking system, the financial system, in my mind, has reached the tipping point and is really going to change.

The MIT program starts out with the following modules,

  • Module 1: Introduction to FinTech
  • Module 2: Framing and pitching your idea
  • Module 3: Disruptive business solutions
  • Module 4: Competitive dynamics
  • Module 5: Financial, economic and regulatory frameworks
  • Module 6: Selling your idea to inspire action

And includes a lot of student interaction and practical cases. And, not only do the facilitators have knowledge and experience, but the course is filled with practitioners from the field to provide their leadership and expertise. MIT has a course starting June 6, but enrollment closes today. But there will be another class starting September 5.

If you are interested in what is happening or going to happen in the financial area in the next five years or so, you should really consider taking advantage of some of the information and contacts that are now surfacing.

The second thing has to do with a brand new book, just released on the subject. The book is titled “The FinTech Book,” written by Susanne Chishti and Janos Barberis and published by Wiley. This book brings together experts from all over the world, experts from large financial institutions as well as from startups. And, surprisingly, it has remarkably good coverage of the subject and at a depth that can really provide the reader with a good immersion into the subject.

One thing to note on this: One can make the argument that the United States is not the leader in the world on what is going on in FinTech. I mentioned in the post cited above that FinTech even has appeared on the TV news program, 60 minutes. Surprise, the coverage of FinTech began in Nigeria and examined what was happening in other areas in the world!

The United States, in many respects, is trailing much of the world in the movement into FinTech. Large, stodgy financial institutions and heavy regulatory burdens have tended to delay the movement of FinTech into United States institutions.

The bet is now, however, that this lagging effort is behind us and the future is going to see more and more things happening and more and more disruption of the financial scene. I mention these two sources of information on FinTech because FinTech is here and it is going to play bigger role in financial services in the future than ever before.

Technology like this comes in slowly and then accelerates… and then accelerates again… and again. This is important, not only for people that manage banks and have the responsibility for creating the future.

It is also vital information for investors. You invest in a bank or you have invested in a bank. What is that bank doing with respect to FinTech. If FinTech is going to make such a difference in the future then it is important for you to know what the banks you have invested in, or are considering to invest in, are doing.

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) may be the best run bank amongst the largest banks in the country, but what have they done, what are they planning to do, to meet the challenges of the technological revolution. It’s a whole new management ballgame.

Think about the MIT FinTech certificate course. If you are considering taking it in the fall, you might see me there.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.