Activity Idea: What is Financial Innovation?

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Nov 25, 2014
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Activity, Question of the Day, Lesson Idea, New Products, Current Events

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:

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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