Adapt to digital disruptions in FinTech with UNSW Online

Adapt to digital disruptions in FinTech with UNSW Online

University of New South Wales (UNSW) is equipping finance and IT professionals with the capabilities to adapt to digital disruptions and seize growing opportunities within the financial services landscape with its 100% online Master of Financial Technology.

According to a new update to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Blockchain Spending Guide, organisations are forecast to spend nearly US$6.6 billion (A$8.5 billion) on blockchain solutions this year, an increase of more than 50% compared to 2020.

Adjunct Lecturer at UNSW Business School, Sachin Devalia, said the increasing uptake of blockchain solutions is providing many organisations with significant opportunities to innovate and diversify their financial services, while consequently increasing the demand for professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of decentralised finance.

“Decentralised finance (DeFi) is the future of finance. The permissionless and open-source nature of DeFi allows for rapid prototyping and innovation, and we are currently witnessing the emergence of an alternate financial system,” he said.

“There is currently over $US50bn in value locked in DeFi applications but we’re still very early. This new paradigm offers an opportunity to completely reinvent finance as we know it,” Devalia said.

In addition to DeFi impacting the future of finance, the annual Global Payments Report from FIS has predicted the Australian economy will be 98% cashless by 2024. With global trends in digital commerce accelerating during the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers around the world have begun to prefer digital payment methods and are leading countries like Australia towards a predominantly cashless future. Also increasing the need for skilled professionals within the payments sector.

UNSW Senior Lecturer at the School of Banking and Finance, Dr Thomas Ruf, said the course he leads within the Master of Financial Technology program will equip students with the knowledge and the analytical skills to be successful in understanding and developing financial innovations in this space.

“In the Tech Disruptions in Payments and Transfers course that I teach, students develop a solid understanding of existing payment systems that underpin all commerce in this world, and dive into emerging technologies at all levels that build on or aim to replace incumbent solutions,” Dr Ruf said.

“We discuss major trends including digital wallets, entirely new finance ecosystems, the move towards mobile solutions, and point of sale innovations; as well as evaluate payment innovations by discussing existing inefficiencies, roadblocks to market acceptance, desirable characteristics and the underlying business models.

“Students are given multiple opportunities throughout the program to apply theory in practice so that they can and graduate with the confidence and skills to seize opportunities and build innovative products that will influence the future of finance,” Dr Ruf said.

The 100% online Master of Financial Technology offered by UNSW is designed for ambitious finance and IT professionals who are looking to build upon their technical programming skills and develop key capabilities to build innovative products and seize opportunities in the growing FinTech sector.

Dr Thomas Ruf said payment systems are the backbone of the economy, and without them, no commercial transaction can take place. It’s obvious that we are in the midst of a tidal shift from cash to digital payment methods and mobile-centric solutions, and the pandemic has only served to accelerate this transition.

“It is entirely unclear at this point what the payment landscape of the future will look like, but no matter what emerges from these years of disruption, it will have far-reaching consequences well beyond the gadget you will be using to pay for your coffee in the morning,” Dr Ruf said.

“What used to be a boring space where big banks dominated, we now have hundreds or thousands of new entrants competing for acceptance in the payments market place. From small niche players to entire eco-systems, everything is up for grabs and it has the potential to affect other parts of our lives too,” Dr Ruf said.

Delivered by UNSW’s highly regarded School of Banking and Finance, the program has been co-designed with industry to provide students with the sought-after competencies and skills to become a leader at the forefront of financial technology.

The online program is designed to seamlessly fit in with full-time work commitments and allow students to graduate in as little as two years.

Study intakes are offered every two months, with the Master of Financial Technology currently open for enrolments into its upcoming study period commencing in July 2021.

Learn more about how you can develop the in-demand skills to respond to the technological revolution in finance with UNSW Online here.