Activity Idea: What is Financial Innovation?

The pace of financial innovation has quickened which makes it all the more imperative that we teach students how to assess the new products being launched everyday.   I like to ask my college-aged nieces and nephews what they are using since young adults tend to be the early adopters for such services.  That is how I found out about Venmo, which is a mobile payment system which my nephew was raving about.

What better way to engage students in this topic then to have them conduct research on financial innovation by doing a “deep-dive” on a new financial product that is relevant to them.  This deep-dive can include online research, using the app (if the innovation is indeed an app), student/parent surveys, interviews with company management…you get the idea.  The end product will be a five minute presentation that:  1)  Introduces the product  2)  Highlights its product features  3)  Identifies its benefits  4)  Identifies its shortcomings/concerns 5)  Thumbs up/down on the product:  would they recommend to a friend.

So, where to turn for examples of financial innovation?  Here are a few articles that should be helpful in giving students some ideas about the “hottest” financial innovations today: