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Why should I learn about this?

What is fintech? Is it really something I need to know about? And how does Blockchain work anyway?

It may seem intimidating, but fintech is simply where technology meets finance, and it’s affecting everyone from the biggest banks to the people living in some of the remotest parts of the planet.

Fintech is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. In the UK alone it’s almost double the size of the world’s music industry!

In this course, put together by 42courses and Barclays’ fintech arm, Rise, you will hear from industry leaders such as TransferWise, The Bitcoin Foundation, Monzo, and Barclays’ own head of innovation, Michael Harte. You’ll learn the essentials of this exciting new industry in plain English.

Learn about payments, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, insurtech, mobile banking and much more, empowering you to outsmart your competition.

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The world of fintech has grown enormously in a short space of time. Understand what fintech is and why it is important.


This chapter explains the different categories of virtual currencies, why we have them and what they can do. We’ll also explore some of the popular cryptocurrencies.


Making payments has become easier and easier thanks to technology. Understand how mobile phones affect the financial world, what the prominent payment innovations are, and how money is transferred internationally.


This chapter explains how the world of lending and borrowing is being transformed by data, how individuals can take on the lending role of institutions, and how the definition of assets is being changed by crowds.


Technology is helping to bring significant changes to the way insurance works. Learn how these modern systems can benefit the conscientious individual and how technology can keep us safe.


Retail banking is changing. We look at how it’s becoming easier to open bank accounts, manage your money and ultimately save you the time. We'll also take a quick look at the way the trading of stocks and shares is evolving.


A look at the key emerging trends and future direction of the fintech industry.

Meet the

Thought leaders

Lubaina Manji

Having spent over 20 years in banking, Lubaina Manji recognised the need for digital integration in financial technology early on and and headed up the Barclays “Bank for Entrepreneurs” program in 2015 which evolved into Rise. Lubaina has an MBA from Cornell, was one of the five Barclays fellows chosen to attend the Forward Institute Responsible Leadership programme, is the mother of two teenagers and still handles her versatile career with flare.

Michael Harte

Michael Harte is the head of innovation at Barclays Bank and has helped to open the biggest fintech centre in Europe. He’s a New Zealander who hails from Australia where he was the Chief Information Officer at CommonWealth Bank of Australia and known as a “colourful character” - not easy to achieve as a banker!


Rise, created by Barclays, is the world’s leading physical and virtual global community for financial technology innovation. It provides fintech startups with space, partnerships and support from thought leaders around the globe.


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Magnus H.


If you want a shortcut to easily understand the fundamentals of fintech in plain english, then this is the perfect course for you. Thank you for putting this together!

James C.

United Kingdom

This is a great topline intro to the world of fintech. As an older person it's sometimes hard to keep up with the rapid change in technology that's going on all around us. Now that I'm drawing down my pension I'm interested to see, in particular, what this might mean for managing my finances moving forward. Some wonderful stories in there. Had no idea that one of the earliest currencies was cocoa beans used by the Aztecs!

Aiden C.


A great helicopter view of the world of fintech, easy to understand and has already helped me decide on some of the areas we will be investigating more deeply.

Graham K.


This course makes fintech as accessible as wifi in a hipster coffee shop. Concepts like blockchain, cryptocurrencies, mobile payments and others are explained simply but well enough that I could definitely win an argument on any of these topics. Great course.

Magda B.

United Kingdom

Found this really helpful, is a great overview of the main fundamentals behind the world of fintech. Really liked that it was easy to understand and even humorous in places :) thanks Rise and 42courses team, can now actually understand what techy people in my bank talk about all the time.

Andy V.

United States

A great explanation of an exciting new industry, covers the essentials really well and plenty of helpful links to resources for further reading. Was really interesting to hear from startups in the space, lot's of different points of view giving it a global unbiased perspective.

Eloise D.


I wanted to understand what fintech is about, and why everyone keeps talking about mining and bitcoin. Now I know that and much more and end up explaining it to friends so thank you. Was quick and easy to understand and enjoyable to read.

Nick S.

United Kingdom

Having recently joined a company in the fintech world this course enabled me to get a great overview of the industry and get up to speed. It even actually helped me find some new opportunities in the industry that we can maybe take advantage of.