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: