You can now study fintech at the Open University


TransferWise founders


TransferWise is perhaps the best known fintech firm in the UK. Founders Taavet Hinrikus, left, and Kristo Käärmann are pictured here.

Trade body Innovate Finance has teamed up with the Open University to offer an online course on financial technology, or fintech, pitched at executives.


Topics covered in "Fintech 101" include the blockchain software that underpins bitcoin, the evolution of payment systems, digital banking, and cyber security.

Members of Innovate Finance including online small business lender iwoca, peer-to-peer lender RateSetter, and social trading platform eToro all helped shape the course. More traditional names like Lloyds and MasterCard also contributed to the programme.

The course aims to educate executives on the new wave of financial innovation that has sprung up in the wake of the financial crisis.

A combination of lowered technology costs, distrust of banks in the wake of the financial crisis, and lay-offs at banks after 2008 has led to a surge of innovation in finance.


Startups are reinventing everything from borrowing to payments through things like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain payments. There are an estimated 135,000 people now employed in fintech in the UK, according to trade body Innovate Finance.

The new £695 online course will take 50 hours to complete and is aimed at "senior level executives, managers, associates and analysts who wish to understand how FinTech impacts economies and societies through disruption and innovation," according to the prospectus.

Innovate Finance CEO Lawrence Wintermeyer told Business Insider over email: "This new FinTech landscape needs to be understood to fully appreciate its impact to economies and societies."

"We are therefore thrilled that Open University, one of the world's most exciting and advanced centres of study, is offering a comprehensive course on this subject."

Liz Moody, senior lecturer at the Open University, says in the course's prospectus: "The brief for this course was to demystify a new era of financial services unfolding in the UK."


"Traditional banking models and financial systems face uncertain futures and startup founders seeking a foothold in the marketplace will be encouraged to think critically about the implications and opportunities of changes happening in the FinTech ecosystem."

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