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Digital finance offers a transformational solution for financial inclusion. Powered by the mobile phone, new data and technological innovations, it has become affordable and convenient for unbanked customers to access and use formal banking services. While new technological developments and financial players bring tremendous opportunities, the emerging landscape is also becoming more complex and is putting increasing pressure on traditional providers to go digital.

In our new online course on Digital Finance you will learn about the emerging digital landscape as well as the new market participants and products that have disrupted the market. By taking the course, you will be enabled to successfully deploy digital technologies in your institution and leverage digital financial services (DFS) in your target markets.

What Do We Offer?

  • Seven units including video lectures, a PDF script laying the theoretical foundation, examples, practical exercises, online tests and case studies.
  • A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with peers, tutors and the FSDF e-Campus team.
  • Personalized support from your e-Campus.
  • The option to obtain a Frankfurt School Certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course.
  • An international network of institutions hosting our final exam all over the world.

Tuition fees

Registration Date Fee
Before July 15, 2018 EUR 1,100
After July 15, 2018 EUR 1,300

Final exam fee: 50 EUR (to be paid directly to the final exam host).

Certificate fee: After passing the final exam you will receive a digital certificate. Should you wish to receive a hard copy of your certificate as well, an administrative fee of EUR 50 will be charged.  

Discounts

  • 10% group discount (for 5 or more participants working for the same instutiton)
  • 10% for FS Alumni

Payment Options

  • Bank Transfer (bank fees to be covered by the participants)
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

Payment in instalments is unfortunately not possible.

Target Audience

Microfinance practictioners, MFI managers, consultants, donors, MNO's, Retail and SME banks, Fintechs, Regulators and supervisors.

Workload

The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 5-7 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 5 mandatory units which build upon each other. You will take the units in sequence and will  need to pass an online multiple choice test before accessing the next unit.

Some of the units include an assignment to be solved by a fixed deadline.

You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.

Registration

Register here for the next course intake starting on September 3rd. If you register before July 15, 2018 you will benefit from EUR 200 early bird discount.

Course Details

Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course, participants will have a thorough understanding of principal concepts and theories in Digital finance, i.e. they will be able to:

  • understand the underlying technologies behind Digital Finance
  • understand the current trends in Digital Finance from all over the globe
  • differentiate between the different products available in digital finance
  • understand the regulatory landscape for digital finance services
  • build a customer centric product

Suggestions & Recommendations

This course gives you the flexibility to decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience. However we will provide you with recommendations for you to take as much as possible from this course.

Your schedule: We will provide you a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as a guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you complete the programme within the given time frame.

Exercises: Even though the exercises in the script are not mandatory we strongly advise that you use them as an opportunity to check your knowledge and to prepare for the final exam.

Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself to your peer participants and to start interesting discussions.

Unit 1: The Digital Finance Ecosystem

The first unit will give you a general introduction to digital finance for financial inclusion. You will learn about the development of finance and technology in recent history, major technological trends and stakeholders in the ecosystem.  The unit also covers critical success factors for DFS to tap their full potential for financial inclusion. What’s more, it explains the role of the regulator in guiding and supervising the digital ecosystem

Unit 3: Digital Payments and Remittances

Digital payments are an essential vehicle on the road to financial inclusion. They can occur through various channels, such as debit cards, ATMs or the internet. Yet, the mobile phone presents the greatest opportunity to reach the unbanked population. Mobile payments, mobile money and agent banking models are reaching millions of unbanked people providing them with tools to grow their business with financial services.

In this unit, you will learn about the concept of digital payments, its infrastructure, different payment models and technologies involved. You will deal with various forms of digital payments, including innovative payments solutions that helps to tackle some the most pressing challenges in development, such as access to energy.

Unit 5: Strategic Management of Digital Financial Services

The financial inclusion landscape is changing rapidly, with new technologies, players and business models emerging at an incredible pace. Traditional players, like microfinance institutions, can no longer afford to watch and wait. They have to leverage into the future and select the right digitization strategy in order to increase their client outreach and deliver a wide range of financial services via new channels. 

The unit takes you through the process of selecting and implementing the right strategy to go digital, from product development and technology selection through to applying the right distribution and marketing strategy. You will also learn about the risks related to digital financial services and how to address them adequately.

Unit 2: New Technologies

New technologies are the driver of the digital finance revolution. The unit is designed to introduce you the main new technologies that create significant impact. From blockchain over biometrics to artificial intelligence you will learn about the concepts and functionality of those technologies. You will learn how these technologies are being used to provide services, how they work and where the opportunities and challenges are.

Unit 4: Digital Products beyond Payments / Savings, Credit and Insurance

DFS need to go beyond payments.  To reach sustainable financial inclusion other fields of financial demand need to be covered, too. The missing access to lending solutions is limiting MSMEs in their ability to run and grow their business properly. New financial service providers  not only reinvent the distribution channel for lending services, they also reinvent loan scoring and credit analysis.

Another field of demand is digital savings and investing. Without access to those services, it is impossible for the unbanked to manage savings for retirement or unexpected expenses. Here DFS provider reinvent how insurance services for particular problems can be designed in order to provide a useful digital product solution.

Last but not least the technology impact is significant for the investment management industry. Investment solutions become digital, more effective and less costly.

Unit 4 will introduce you to each business field and explain how new provider and technologies reinvent financial services in this new ecosystem.

Unit 6: Regulation and Supervision in Digital Finance (Elective)

Financial markets need regulation in order to achieve a trustable and stable financial system for the economy. Compliance with these regulations is key in order to succeed with new business models in Digital Finance. This unit will give you an introduction to different supervision models and risks involved in new business models. From consumer protection schemes to regulations on anti-money laundering you will learn how the regulatory framework is designed and what methods are available in order to achieve compliance. Regulators themselves also leverage new technologies for more efficient supervision. The impact of Regtech and regulatory sandboxes will be also covered.

Unit 7: Customer Centric Product Design (Elective)

The emergence of digital financial services has provided access to millions of hitherto unbanked customers. Yet, usage of these new products often remains low, due to one-size-fits-all solutions that customers struggle to understand and use. In order for DFS to tap the full potential for financial inclusion, products need to be customer-centric. Providers need to develop a deep understanding of their client’s needs, preferences and behaviour and build products based on that notion.

Unit 7 will facilitate that process. You will learn how to design digital financial services and be able to offer solutions that meet the actual needs of your target clients. The unit takes you through a systematic development process from generating customer insights, through to designing and implementing customer-centric digital products and services.

Lecturers

Christian Hecker

Emerging markets are the growth engines of our today´s global markets. Christian Hecker studied in Germany and at Zhejiang University in China. He was based in Singapore and China where he worked on strategic projects and opened a branch for German leading SME bank in China. After returning to Germany he took over responsibilities for emerging markets of Africa, Middle East and Latin America.

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He gained extensive market knowledge helping expanding SME´s to grow their business across borders. After 3 years of multinational banking in Germany Christian Hecker was sent again into Asia to coordinate a post merger cooperation with one of the largest banks in India.

In 2009 Christian Hecker got awarded as the keynote speaker of the Monetary Conference of Zhejiang University in China. Since then Christian contributed on conferences and with own executive trainings on Innovation in Banking and Finance, Digital Finance and SME Finance in various countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. Christian has strong practical and theoretical knowledge on disruptive technologies like Blockchain, Crypto Currencies, API and Open Banking, Biometrics, AI incl. Data analytics and cloud computing.

Constanze Lehmann

Constanze Lehmann is a Digital Finance Consultant with profound experience in both the fintech and financial inclusion space.

As a Business Development Manager at Mambu, a fintech company providing a cloud-based core banking system for financial institutions, Constanze gained an excellent overview of the ‘fintech for inclusion’ ecosystem.

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In her role, she was responsible for managing relationships with microfinance actors and raising awareness of industry trends in digital finance.

Prior to this, Constanze worked as Project Coordinator at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, where she acquired, planned and managed donor-funded microfinance projects around the world. In addition, Constanze has gained work experience in various development institutions over the past 7 years, including CGAP, GIZ and KfW Development Bank.

Constanze holds a master’s degree in International Economics (University of Potsdam) and is a Certified Expert in Microfinance, SME Finance and Microinsurance (Frankfurt School).

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