S. FinTech Innovation & the Transformation of Financial Services: Business Models, Regulatory Structures & Policy Issues

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
Commercial Law and Transactions, Corporate Law and Transactions, International and Comparative Law

Section 001 Information


Section Description

This course will focus on the so-called "FinTech Revolution" which is transforming traditional banking and financial services.

FinTech generally refers to disruptive financial sector innovations involving technology-enabled (online and mobile device-based) business models. Independent FinTech businesses can facilitate disintermediation, create and deliver novel products and services, increase access and inclusivity, reduce costs and both create and address privacy, regulatory and law-enforcement challenges. FinTech can also refer to the increasingly technological approaches that both incumbents and entrepreneurial ventures take to the main financial intermediation functions, e.g., maturity transformation, payments, capital raising and remittances, and to "back end" data systems and regulatory compliance.

The goal of the course will be for students to understand the major categories of FinTech innovation in the U.S., the evolving business models and regulatory and legal structures that underlie these categories, and the opportunities and risks that emerging FinTech business models, including crypto currency and blockchain, pose for U.S. financial, legal and regulatory systems. Non-U.S. examples will be used to compare and contrast different approaches to key policy issues.

We will frequently have guests from the industry in class to participate in discussion.

There will be several group and individual assignments during the semester and a final longer assignment. The method of evalutation for the course will be as follows: Class participation: 30%. Class assignments: 30%. Final assignment: 40%

This course will be instructed by a Senior Fellow of the Richman Center for Business, Law & Public Policy, Todd H. Baker. https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/richman/todd-baker

School Year & Semester
Fall 2023
WJWH 416
Class meets on
  • Tuesday
1:20 pm - 3:10 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D Writing Credit?
Minor (automatic)
Major (only upon consultation)

Learning Outcomes

  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in a specific body of law, including major policy concerns
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in statutory and regulatory analysis, including close reading of statutes and regulations, and application to facts
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in use of other disciplines in the analysis of legal problems and institutions, e.g., philosophy; economics,other social sciences; and cultural studies
  • At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in comparative law analysis of legal institutions and the law

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Interest in financial services, consumer and capital markets, data/privacy, venture capital and business analysis a plus. Non-law students should not be concerned about lack of legal training.
Other Limitations
Permission required. Please submit request to [email protected] indicating reasons for interest in the course. Open to all upper level JD and LLM Law Students plus MBA students, SIPA students and other interested graduate students