What you will study
As the song goes, “Money makes the world go round”. While this may be debatable, there is no doubt that without money and the systems in place to create and circulate it, life would be extremely difficult. Public attention has been drawn to financial services in recent years and there has never been a better time to understand more about how these systems work, why they go wrong and what is changing about them.
In this e-learning course, developed in collaboration with Innovate Finance, an independent membership association that represents the FinTech sector across the UK, you will learn how the financial services sector is being shaped and transformed by digital technologies which are themselves constantly evolving. Innovate Finance brings together companies from sectors such as insurance, retail and investment banking, payments, crowdfunding, big data, and alternative finance to promote and accelerate growth for the evolution of financial services. Innovate Finance provides members with a single point of access to policymakers, regulators, partners, investors, customers, educators and talent.
By studying this course, you will understand what is driving the emergence of a new breed of businesses, what solutions have emerged to a range of customer and business challenges and the technologies that these are based upon.
To understand the future of financial services you also need to understand the overall context in which it operates which means knowing something of its history, the events leading up to the last financial crisis and the regulatory framework, policies and guidelines that surround it now. While you don’t need to be an economist, banker, historian, lawyer, programmer or an engineer to study this course, it is a “101” guide to Fintech, it has a blend of elements that spans these areas.
Several governments and major cities have placed Financial Services and technology at the heart of their economic development strategies. Entrepreneurs are being encouraged to form new companies and investment is being drawn into the sector. Add in the highly technology literate and connected customer base in the UK and their increasing requirement for more and better service, and a change in culture in our banks and institutions, and you have the ripe conditions for a flourishing Fintech ecosystem.
The predictions and growth expectations for the sector are extremely positive. As a potential source of employment, diversification, competitive advantage, revenue streams and return on investment, it is clearly of great importance to the UK. If you work in financial services, or hope to, you should gain a valuable insight into how the sector works as a whole, what the challenges and opportunities are. If you are a technology company, a programmer or engineer then again you will see how this capability is being applied in financial services. If you are a would-be entrepreneur you will gain valuable insight into how regulation and systems provide both constraints and advantages for start-up businesses and incumbents.
As a customer you will have a greater appreciation of the drivers and constraints that face providers, and also where these are presenting opportunities for technology to disrupt and improve upon old ways of working. A new type of business model is emerging that is more focused on empowering and improving services for customers and this is opening up access to fairer financial services and commerce for thousands of small businesses and millions of individuals who need it in this country and many developing economies. Many innovations are dependent upon the proliferation and use of big data. How this is being used to inform business decisions, personalise service and offers and some of the potential issues of security and privacy are covered in the course.
As a result of studying this course you will have a basic understanding of where the opportunities and challenges are in Fintech, know how to keep up to date with its changing face and be in a better position to understand where the future is heading for financial services.
The strong link between course learning and your work practice creates relevant, enduring and transferable outcomes. It requires no more than 50 hours of your time in total, over whatever period suits you. Register online today and start tomorrow – no need to wait!
The course features the distinctive strengths of The Open University (OU) from its years of expertise in work-based learning:
- The convenience of accessing its clearly presented and sequenced materials, activities and support whenever suits you and wherever you have access to the dedicated website – if you prefer, you can print key materials to work on them offline.
- The support of an expert learning adviser who can clarify study materials, answer questions and help you relate the course to your specific needs.
- A work-based activity helping you to connect the course to your individual and organisational context and needs. A learning adviser will review your work-based activity and provide personal feedback.
- Certification of completion from the OU for those who complete the course. You can use this to demonstrate your continuing professional development (CPD) activity to your employer and/or professional body. (NB The course does not carry academic credit points.)
You will learn
After completing this course you should be able to:
- demonstrate a broad understanding of how financial services has evolved and how it currently operates.
- explain how technology and regulation is impacting on financial services and the drivers behind this.
- be familiar with key financial, economic and technological terms and concepts and be able to communicate effectively about them.
- analyse and recognise the significance of trends and role of stakeholders in the Fintech environment and their impact on the future of Financial Services.
- contribute knowledge and skills to innovation and change programmes in your organisation.
Successful completion of the course enables us to recognise your achievement of the course learning by issuing an OU certificate that you can use to document your commitment to continuing professional development in your personal portfolio, or to provide evidence to employers or professional body.
Expert, confidential learner support is available when you need it from a learning adviser, who will respond to you direct within 24 hours. Other support is available via the course forum, library, StudentHome website and computing helpdesk.
The work-based activity for this course has been designed as an integrated ongoing activity that you submit at the end of your study. It will allow you to reflect on your learning and how to use it in your professional work.