Georgia Fintech Academy

Episode 26: Fintech Foundations, an overview of a Georgia Fintech Academy course with Dr. Jonathan Godbey and student Enrique Pujals

October 15, 2020 Georgia Fintech Academy Season 1 Episode 26
Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 26: Fintech Foundations, an overview of a Georgia Fintech Academy course with Dr. Jonathan Godbey and student Enrique Pujals
Chapters
Georgia Fintech Academy
Episode 26: Fintech Foundations, an overview of a Georgia Fintech Academy course with Dr. Jonathan Godbey and student Enrique Pujals
Oct 15, 2020 Season 1 Episode 26
Georgia Fintech Academy

Professor Jonathan Godbey is a key member of the Georgia Fintech Academy faculty and teaches 'Fintech Foundations.' In this episode Dr. Godbey is joined by Georgia State student Enrique Pujals to discuss the modules in this Fintech Academy course and more.

Show Notes Transcript

Professor Jonathan Godbey is a key member of the Georgia Fintech Academy faculty and teaches 'Fintech Foundations.' In this episode Dr. Godbey is joined by Georgia State student Enrique Pujals to discuss the modules in this Fintech Academy course and more.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast. The Georgia FinTech Academy is a collaboration between Georgia's FinTech industry and the university system of Georgia. This talent development initiative addresses a massive demand for FinTech professionals and give learners the specialized education experiences needed to enter the fintechs .

Speaker 2:

Bonnie. This is Tommy Marshall , the executive director of the Georgia FinTech Academy. And this is episode 26 of the Georgia FinTech Academy podcast. Today's show we're going to , we're going to tell you a bit more about the Georgia FinTech Academy courses. Uh, we've had , uh , a great, obviously 25 episodes to date. We've had some wonderful executive guests from the industry come on and talk with students. Um, and we thought it was high time that we took a moment to talk a bit more about the Georgia FinTech Academy courses, who better to do that. Then Dr. Jonathan Godbee , who is one of the founding professors of the Georgia FinTech Academy. And he's joined today by on Rica , uh, poo jealous . Who's also a Georgia state student. Welcome to you both.

Speaker 3:

Hello , thanks for having us, Tommy . Thank you,

Speaker 2:

John . Then talk to us about yourself and your career and how you discovered this wonderful world of FinTech.

Speaker 3:

All right . So I went to Alabama for undergrad and then went in the real world . Work working for Arestin young for a few years, decided to go get my PhD at university of Georgia thinking I would go to wall street and live the wall street life and different events happened . And I decided to go into academia and was teaching in quantitative finance or sometimes call it financial engineering. So I've always had kind of an engineering mindset and worked some with cybersecurity. And several years ago, when Bitcoin first kind of came out, taking a look at blockchain, what Bitcoin was is really fascinating. And then I guess it was a few years ago when they were first talking about starting the FinTech Academy. My department head came to me and said, Hey, would you like to teach in the FinTech courses in the development ? I mean, I've had a lot of fun learning the science of learning and how to teach concepts and develop courses. So it was really attractive , um, invitation for me. And then Tommy that's when you and I met, I went to a FinTech conference.

Speaker 2:

We were lost you and I were last together at the Carter center, trying to our , uh, our meeting , uh, just started chatting that fate fate brought us together.

Speaker 3:

Right. And that was before you were the executive director. And one of the things I said I would love to have in the core executives from around the state in FinTech and have an interview style course for that. And you said, come by my office, came by your office a couple of weeks later and gave me a list of what felt like a thousand names. And they all, I said, Tommy Marshall wanted me to contact you and they all agreed to speak in my class. And so that's kind of the story of how the class got started.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's great. Um, that was fun. I remember that fondly , um, our meeting at the Carter center, that was a , uh, it was an Asia Pacific , um, I guess Hong Kong kind of FinTech because there was a group from a Hong Kong delegation that was in town and we were doing a program , um, around that , uh, that in specific to vendetta the , um, I'll, I'll mention that you are a , um , professor of finance at Georgia state and the Robinson school of business, which is an esteemed of course business school and then, you know, renowned finance program. Um, and I honestly just continued to be really blown away by the depth of talent and expertise in the Robinson school and in all in a variety of different disciplines. And , um, you, you know , you and I both were participated in the academic FinTech conference that was put on by , um, several of your colleagues back in February, which brought in, you know, really very impactful FinTech focus , academic work research that was profiled from really all over , um, all over the country , uh, which is really , um, you know, just also, there's just so many remarkable assets that we have to bring to bear , uh, to the industry from , um , from this perspective.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. One of our guys bells on yang is one of the leading academics in FinTech and one of the leading , uh, finance journals, we do a special conference and that's when you were referring to own FinTech and have a special issue on FinTech. So we really had the top guys from academia in the field, any of that conference and Georgia, state's one of the few schools that has the depth of researchers and cares about teaching. It's really a unique model and a lot of schools are , have great researchers and teaching is an afterthought and you have a glow schools are great teachers that never research. You have a , like I said, a very unique blend, I think

Speaker 4:

Henri . Okay . How's Georgia state been for you, Georgia. State's been fantastic. Um , thank you for having me on Tommy . Uh, once again , uh, hopefully people remember me being on a few weeks back , um, but just to go over who I am and why I'm on the, on the podcast , uh, I'm an and finance major

Speaker 5:

At Georgia state university minoring in international business. Um, and I haven't taken any of the courses yet, but hopefully I will be able to , uh , in the near future. Um, I know Tommy has put a lot of work into those and they seem like they're very, very good , uh, very high quality and definitely relevant to today's , uh, market trends. So , uh, something that has interested me and FinTech recently , uh, has really been , uh , the concept of financial services moving to online platforms. Um, you know, you have like robot advisors and other things , um, really entering the market , uh, at a rapid pace. You have , uh, other industries like , uh , law, right? You have like robo advisors for that, like legal zoom. Um, and I think that's very interesting for me, at least , uh, not only because I'm an accountant, but also because there's a huge , um, marketing for online services , uh, which very much interests me. So I'm glad to be on the podcast again. And it's good to meet you. Uh, Dr. Godby ,

Speaker 2:

It has to be a train . Okay. Well, on Ray K , we're going to see if we can close the deal today and get you so pumped up about these FinTech Academy courses that you're going to have. You're going to feel like there's really no excuse for not enrolling as soon as the enrollment window opens with two weeks . All right . All right . Um, so let's get into that. I mean, we really do want to talk about , um, the courses that are offered and then of course we can go in great depth on, on your course, Dr. Godby , uh, foundations of FinTech. Um, but , uh , I guess to recap, there's , um, there's five courses that we've initially built , um, that are part of the FinTech Academy offering and the, and the focus is on undergraduate students today. Um, and those five courses are your course, Dr. Gobbi foundations of FinTech , um, uh, financial technologies, which is co taught by John Martin, Dr. John Morton , um, financial data analytics taught by Russia Osheroff , uh, banking and FinTech taught by rich Findler . And then lastly is , um, information security in FinTech taught by Kurt Carver. Um, and there was a lot of work that went in to deciding what should be the first five courses , uh, for the FinTech Academy. There was multiple discussions with different industry partners , uh, asking them directly, you know, what would you like to see students learning about related to different aspects of financial services technology? What would, if, if students were taking this course, what courses could students take that would make them ever more attractive to these financial services technology providers? Um, as, as employees , uh , was an important question that we got a lot of input on. Uh, and when we distilled that down, we came to these , um, choosing these five courses there's in , in the work continues. Um, there are additional undergraduate credit courses that are in development right now. Um, there's a series we're gonna offer in the starting in the fall , uh, related to digital payments that we're all very excited about and, and look forward to , um, bringing forward onto the FinTech Academy platform. And then we just started development , um, very recently on another two to two or three courses that will relate to artificial intelligence and FinTech. Um, so you can see that, you know , as w w we're not, we haven't stopped at five, we're continuing to add , uh , developing an ad , um, to, to the platform. Um , but Jonathan, I I'm really interested to hear your perspective , um, as you've been on this journey from the beginning , um, and , uh , maybe overall, you know, those, those five courses, and then certainly , um, what's, what's it been like developing the foundations of FinTech course that you teach?

Speaker 3:

So it's very different. So for example, Enrique , you're now in the intro finance course, which I've taught for many years, I've taught different universities. It really hasn't changed since I took it in 1990. I mean, it's been tweaked here and there it's the same course, basically at every university in the country, very little differences, very little change, but this course is all five of these. We changed them almost constantly. So we are meeting with industry partners, the different professors in these five courses, having individual meetings with industry partners this next week saying, here's what we've done. How would you tweak it? And we've already , uh , as Tommy said earlier, we already went to the , well, what do we need in there now? So we're constantly updating and changing cause FinTech update and change . And one of the most exciting things that we do is the partnerships that we have with different companies that come in and do projects together. So this is a real, here's the pitch, right? You should be in the course we've had in the semesters, I've taught it. We've had Elvanto financial Wells Fargo Toyota financial services, FIS Mitch do projects with my students, real projects, whether they want real answers to, you're not some Haskell research paper that you do the night before. So you're interacting with those guys. You're learning the rhythm of corporate life. Um, and they're just fascinating projects to do. And at the end, we had some really cool stuff, particularly in the summer that we came up with.

Speaker 5:

Okay. That sounds like a good, a pretty good pitch. Um, something that I would say that really sells me on the idea of taking one of these courses, as you mentioned, is really getting to know those industry partners and coming up with real world solutions. Sometimes it's difficult to apply what you learned in the classroom , uh, to real world examples. And having that in embedded in the class , uh , curriculum is really important. And I think that's really, really cool. So

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it says real world, as we can get, even to the point of there's confidentiality agreements that we talk about , um, you're meeting with the industry partners, the corporate people, and, you know, we're having to do it on zoom. I'm having to teach to it's like, here's Microsoft teams, here's zoom, here's WebEx, whichever one these guys want to use. And it's really beyond just the FinTech. And one of the things with our foundations of FinTech , there's so much, there's, you're not getting it all in one semester and we are giving you kind of a flavor. And then particularly with John Martins, financial technologies, class enrich feelers banking, and the tech FinTech class, the three of us are meeting next week, along with Tommy to look back at our courses again, this is not the first time we've done it and say, what can we change? How do we deliver this better? What do we do? Because there's some chicken and egg problem. We need to show this concept before that concept. So unlike most courses where it's just one and done fire and forget is constantly being updated and changed. And there's a lot of coordination. And one more thing like with the projects this semester, the banking and FinTech course is doing a project with the same company that my foundations course is. So the foundation's kids will present to the banking and FinTech kids, and I'm now old enough to call them kids, you know , which is sad. Um, so the banking FinTech students will present to the foundation. So , so they will learn kind of both projects at once. You're doing one you're teaching the other, and you as a student Enrique would give feedback to other students before they're really doing the presentation before the C suite level or the, you know, the leadership team of the different companies. So we've spent some time making sure it's polished,

Speaker 5:

But , uh, Jonathan, I just pulled up the , um, kind of high-level syllabus that I have from, from your course. And I just wanted to read out these eight, the modules ,

Speaker 2:

Um, to give folks a sense of the content that's in the course. Um, so there's, and the way often folks will say to me, or students will call me up and they're like, Tommy , what you know of these five? You know, where should I start? I love that . I love all these topic areas and often I'll steer them directly to , to your course, foundations of FinTech. Um, initially, and I often will characterize it as you know, it's a really nice sort of one Oh one summary of the FinTech landscape. And the reason I say that is like, as I look at the modules, there's, there's a , there's a blockchain focused , uh , module where you're unpacking different aspects of , um, your distributed ledger technology and how it's being applied in a financial services. The most predominant use case of the last 10 years with blockchain technology has been the Bitcoin Bitcoin cryptocurrency. There's other cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin, certainly the oldest over 11 years now. Um, then there's a module on payments of course, critical, and many would say the , uh , that area of financial services that is , um, kind of been the, the most involved with the , the quote unquote topic of been cap FinTech , uh, from the outset. Um, then there's alternative lending and raising capital. Um, lending often is used as a phrase to , um, apply to those types of , uh , non-bank financial Institute, financial engaged , uh, companies that are providing , uh , resource lending resources. Um, so cabbage , uh , that was recently sold to American express , uh, is an example of an alt lender, took the small business segment. Um, wealth management is a module, a digital banking and InsureTech is a module. And so as I'm reading these out, you all get a sense that we're covering a lot of landscape , uh, in financial services and, and thinking about this idea of financial services technology and how it's relevant , uh, to all these different areas. How'd I do

Speaker 3:

Perfect. So each one of those modules could be a course in and of itself. And for example, what the cabbage, the cabbage founders came and or recorded the interview for the class, or you're learning from them, how did they do this? What were their thought process? And also for the students in each executive interview, I ended it with give advice to the students. What would you, if you could go back to college senior year, what would you do differently? And what are you looking for from, you know , a recent college grad? So I can get you where you don't really know alternative lending. You don't really know digital banking, but you know enough to know how to learn from there. So I'm trying to teach you to think critically, here's the information, here's the framework for this module. Now you can go and be light years ahead of someone who's not had the course. So if you just have my two weeks of payments and you go interview with a payments company, you're light years ahead of anyone else, but then if you go and take John Martins , financial technologies course on top of that, you've really gone deep, same thing with our banking module, you know, enough that you understand what's going on and you can really impress someone in an interview and you can really start to learn what's going on in the space, but then you take Fiddler's banking and FinTech course, and you can tell them at the same time, you get a lot more depth. Some of the generalist I'm like the utility player and the other guys are the specialist

Speaker 2:

Enrique. We catch it off .

Speaker 4:

No, no worries. Um, I, I heard that you and a few of the other professors , um, got together and had to make changes to some of the course curriculum , uh, every, what is it a couple of months or something like that?

Speaker 3:

Not quite that frequently, but very frequently

Speaker 2:

Way . I mean, I've believe it or not. I'm about to celebrate my one-year anniversary in my role as the executive director. And , um, I was kind of with you and the professors, I know really early on Jonathan , and in certainly coming from 25 years in this industry, I was like, man, this it's changing so frequently. Um, let me see how AI could add in some programmatic elements to the FinTech Academy that would help you all as professors try to stay as close as possible to different , uh , developments and trends and whatnot , um, and also provide additional opportunities to students that , um, have yet to take a course that are interested in this area of FinTech in general and give you some opportunities to come in and , uh , start to learn more and really get involved with some of the key topics. So what we did , uh , and we've been very successful this fall semester in particular is created an events program. Whereas now we offer an event , uh , every week and in some, in , throughout the fall semester. And in some cases we're doing two a week. Um, so for instance, tonight , uh , and today is the 15th of October. Uh, we'll have , um, three , um, senior venture capitalists that invest only in FinTech. Uh, it really throughout the country, these venture capitalists happened to be based here in Atlanta. They're going to come on and speak for an hour, hour and a half about venture capital. What is venture capital? How do they think about making , uh, investments? Uh, what are the portfolio companies that they have invested in, in FinTech , um, and then have direct Q and a with the students, which is, you know, if you step back from that for a minute, that's remarkable. They're not, there are very, very few opportunities for students, honestly, anywhere in the United States of America to have an opportunity, to have a direct forum , um, with really esteem , uh, finance ears in this part of our, in this financial services technology industry. Um, and then of course, we'll, then we of course, you know, record those sessions and then I give those sessions to like you Jonathan , and then you, you have that to work with in terms of incorporation into your course , as you see fit. Um, and it becomes, it's becoming, I should say a virtuous cycle where we're having students get engaged in the events. We're collecting some meaningful content that Jonathan you can take care of or take advantage of you. Of course, we're inviting your students, that you do have to participate in these events as well. So we're just amplifying the entire educational experience , uh, in a , in a multiple, multiple different ways.

Speaker 3:

So I want to go back to two things. Tell me, first of all, you said, you're going to record it tonight. You make sure you do record that button because

Speaker 2:

There have been times I've forgotten to hit record

Speaker 3:

And I'm unable to attend. And I , this is one of the top ones I want to see, but this is what you described is not normal. I was at another university where we were able to build a quantitative finance program that sends students to Goldman Sachs, Chris , we , and we took a lot of time and a lot of effort to build the caliber student. So these, the Goldman Sachs partner came flowy , flew into our university, but we weren't at this level where they have so much opportunity, not only to interact with the projects, but interact in these environments. So in like the changing of the course, I don't know what's going to be in the course because I don't know what's going to happen in the different events you're going to have next semester. We don't know the project that's going to happen next semester. So I don't know exactly where the focus will be. And one of the good things about having a generalist foundations course, because we can kind of choose this semester. We're going to focus on a blockchain project this semester. We're going to focus on a banking project this semester on a payments project. We don't all of those. And it's just really, it's fun because for me, I don't, like I said, I don't know what's going to happen. I know what's going to happen in an Excel course from now, the next 10 years it's already in my intro course. It's just changed the dates every semester. So it is very, very fun . The students really need to realize it's not normal to have this much access to the caliber of people that we have. Right, right. DECA gotta be just a little bit of a followup question to that.

Speaker 2:

Um, FinTech is relatively new.

Speaker 5:

Um, and the space is really, really growing like fast. So when there are innovations in the field, do you guys make changes to the course based on those innovations sometimes, or how have you sort of , um, played around with, with those innovations and new technologies?

Speaker 3:

It's a great question. And I'm going to tell you that FinTech is not new . And here's an example in the early 18 hundreds, there was a stock market in New York on wall street where it currently is. And also one in Philadelphia, there was no smartphone. There was no telegram. You couldn't communicate between the two. So if a stock was selling for $80 in Philly and a hundred in New York there's opportunity to make money, right? So these guys got simple, poor flags, like you would signal with a Navy ship on tops of buildings and hilltops. And they sent price signals between Philly and New York. It took 45 minutes. That was FinTech because he was the financial principle . You can't have the same thing selling for two different prices. There was a technology. The crude has a simple four flag and there was an economic benefit. The guys who did it made a bunch of money. And then August of 2019, Goldman Sachs says, we're spending thing was a hundred million dollars to shave milliseconds off trading time, exact same thing, right? There's no difference. It's just a different, better technology. And more time, less time. How do we do that? How we, how we put that in is there will be things that we're going to talk about newsletter. So when a news events happens, I say, well, Hey guys, did you notice that cabbage got bought out , uh , MasterCard, he wants MasterCard, right? Amex, Amex . And I get those little details wrong. And this , I tell my students, I do that on purpose so they can catch me, correct me. I really don't. Um, so we'll talk about those things in class.

Speaker 2:

Uh , I love that you referred back in time like that, and I've got, there's a, there's a presentation that I created about , um, nine months ago called a quick history of FinTech that I've been meaning to share with you. I haven't shared with you, I'm going to , I'm going to do a special event around it, but I go back to , um, 1867 in this presentation and refer to the American Telegraph company and an engineer there that invented the stock kicker , which is a machine that you utilizing the Telegraph, you know, the beat , beat BBB to deliver stock price information. And , uh, I, and I wrote the beginnings of FinTech there in the, in the first stock ticker. Uh, that of course was critical to , uh, sharing information between , uh, traders around the United States that were looking to buy and sell a stock equities , um , in the market. So , uh, that's uh, that's my starting point for that conversation. Yeah .

Speaker 5:

Tommy, have you had , um, have you had a podcast dedicated to the history of FinTech? No, no. We need to do that. That would be great. That would probably be a good idea because , um, I know that a lot of people who listen to the podcast or think about FinTech at all , uh, probably associated like me , um, with apps that they can get on their phones, like Robin hood or acorns or other things like that, or , uh, payment processing companies, something like that. That's mostly digitally based or at least utilizes technology. That's fairly new. Um, but the systems that you're talking about are relatively old, right? So back to eight 18, what, 67 you said

Speaker 2:

Yes. Yeah. And that's a great point and that, and that is totally understandable. Um, I, and I will usually start when, when a student, like you Henriquez is asking me what is FinTech, you know, I will go immediately to like, well, have you ever used Venmo? Um, and, or do you know what Robin hood is? And then of course, you know, folks like, Oh yeah, of course. And I'm like, well, that's a very important financial services technology that is making finance your participation in financial services, extremely accessible on your phone, you know, as an app. Um, and that is , uh , I think a great place to start. And of course you understand that and you can relate to it immediately. Um, but then, you know, I think it's important that we begin to unpack that further and say, listen, there's fundamental aspects of how the entire financial services system work that are massively enabled by technology. And that two is FinTech. And that has, that's where we go. We're very far back in history and there's companies like Western union. It was founded in 1851 and did its first money transfer in like 1871. Um, there's companies like Pfizer that, you know, have meaningful funding , data processing that they were doing and , uh , early eighties , um, MasterCard and visa, those just those massive , those really relevant entities on their own , um, visa started in 1958 as part of bank of America , uh , MasterCard in 1966. Right? I mean, these companies have been with us for generations now and are, have been. And we talk about that rate of change. They've been in this non-stop kind of rate of , uh , really rapid change in evolution , uh, that just continues , uh, and enables some really remarkable , um, capabilities for all of us as consumers and businesses to take advantage of , uh , cancel services .

Speaker 3:

We can go back to the Mitsubishi family and Luca petroli, who came up with the double entry accounting and the Medici family started banking. Right ? Yeah know , like random things like the word bank comes from the Italian word for bench. Yeah. That was really, it goes back to, is there a technology that can do it? Is there a financial benefit and understand, is there an economic benefit and is there a science of finance that makes this something that should be done? And the other thing is trust that the today trust is needed just as much as it was at any point in human history. Just how is that changing with technology? Because all the issues are exactly the same, because sometimes it's easier to see them in an old set up rather than the technology. Cause you're not thinking about the technology as much with all the issues are the same. I would love to get a real historian cause I play amateur historian for my class. And I tell them what do not quote anything I say to a history professor, because it could be, we're not saying the dates. And I may say to them in the family in the 15th century, and I may say in the 12th century, I get those numbers wrong, but it's the principle that matters, right?

Speaker 5:

Yeah . It's basically you look back at the concepts behind FinTech and then you can trace those concepts back to different historical events that might've happened way before , um, any of the modern , uh, understandings of what FinTech might be. So , um , that's definitely interesting and I, I would definitely turn it into a podcast about the history of , uh , FinTech. So

Speaker 3:

Let me give you one other example, Lloyd's of London, there was a coffee shop that became an insurance company. Well, it just so happened that the right people develop probability theory at about the same time and reading about the guys that came over with probability theory is really fast name because they were all gamblers and drunks and womanizers. So it's not like it's not PG rated rating when you really come up with the things those guys were doing. And none of them live very long because they were all drunks and et cetera

Speaker 2:

Piece that, that I really personally love about this CapEx FinTech is that , um, the way this has evolved it , you know, it happens of course in lockstep with major technological evolutions. Um, and so, you know, there's more, you've probably heard of Moore's law, which is this idea of kind of exponential growth and processing power. And that's, what's enabled things like the smartphone. We carry in our pockets now to perform at such a really amazingly blurred , uh , high level of compute speed to allow all these different kind of applications to be used by us. Um, including the FinTech applications in such a, in such an amazing way. I mean, and then like there's more recently there's concepts like the cloud you'll hear about Amazon web services being really kind of the originator of this cloud capability. Um, but these , uh, these new technologies and the pace of their adoption , um , is meaning that there are opportunities to create new financial services, technology, business models, companies, and the ease at which these new capabilities can be brought into the marketplace has also increased it's much easier than ever to the extent that students like yourself can explore creating FinTech companies. And that is actually happening. Um, we have , uh, for the first time ever, we had a student, a funded founded company, participate in our FinTech South innovation challenge, which we just held last week. And , um, these, these students who will happen to be Georgia state students, their company's called Ethiopia. It's a remittance payment remittance capability for Ethiopian members of the Ethiopian diaspora here in the United States to pay bills and send money back to Ethiopia. Um, and they've created this company, they're have capabilities they're offering and , um, they, they were able to , um, not only do that, which is remarkable , uh, but they, in the, in the Findex health innovation challenge, they had an opportunity to pitch their idea to a multiple venture capitalist from , uh, San Francisco and, and from New York. Uh, so it's really, it's just amazing what can be accomplished now , uh, for folks that , um, get are interested in this area. And so how have we done on, okay. Have we sold you on this?

Speaker 5:

Well, I think that , uh, it's pretty clear that I need to study up on FinTech history, but also , um, I think you guys have sold me on , um , the courses , uh, if, if they're, as in depth as this conversation has been so far , uh, then I think that it will be very insightful for me and for any other student who wants to take it. So I encourage everybody who's listening , uh, to go tell me , where can they find it

Speaker 2:

In tech academy.org. Okay . And there's like an enroll now button, and you click on that and it's going to take you to a further , um, readout of the various courses that are available , uh, to learn about them. Um , and then additionally, these courses are listed in your catalog at your institution. So , um, you can of course find them there, talk to your advisor about it , um, and , uh, you know, get your, get your advisor involved in. Um , and , uh, I'm talking to the advisors all the time as well. Uh , making sure they've got the right information , uh, so that they can guide guide you all as students , uh, appropriately. Well let's , um, let's begin to wrap up. And as we always do every week, talk about FinTech news. That's caught our eye and the last week I will start with you on reggae. What's, what's hit your radar.

Speaker 5:

Well , uh, Venmo is coming out with a new credit card actually , which is pretty exciting. Uh, they announced it , uh , last year. Uh, but basically they're , they just now came out with them as it just now came out with one, or let me see, hold up. Yeah. They just launched it. So , uh, basically it's going to offer about 3% cashback on eligible purchases and also offer personalized rewards and also tools to track and manage your own finances. So I think this is really interesting because Venmo originally is sort of just a, what would you call it? A conduit for a money transfer, right? Yeah . With the credit card it's I think it's going to really , uh , develop Venmo into something completely different. So I'm excited to see what exactly , uh , the success is of the card and , uh, where they, where they take the company. So, yeah,

Speaker 2:

Yeah, me too. There's a synchrony. Financial has a very meaningful presence here in Georgia. Um, up near Alpharetta's when their major office outside of Connecticut , uh, they're the ones that will actually issue the Venmo credit card. You won't, you'll see their name probably somewhere on the back of the plastic. Um, and then the other thing that's remarkable here is that Venmo has 60 million , um, users in the U S and that's remarkable. I mean, there's 300, roughly 360 380 million Americans. So think about that. Uh, you know, almost what one, one, a little less than a fifth, our games are our Venmo in the Venmo user population. So a really remarkable number of , uh, potential customers of those credit card, which of course is important to the credit card issuers.

Speaker 3:

So Enrique, every time I hear the word Jimbo, it reminds me of a guest speaker I had in class. And I won't mention his name, fantastic guy, cybersecurity expert, been in payment industry for a long time. And he was talking about Venmo to the students. And someone asked him if it was safe. He said, well, I don't know how safe it is. So I have a separate account tied to my Venmo, and I never put like a serious amount of money in there. I call it my funny, my account. I'll never have more than $50,000. It, so the whole class was like, wait a second. So $50,000 is just, if you lose it, you don't care. He wasn't trying to be arrogant. He just like a again, great guy. So that was on the test was the maximum amount of money you should have in a Venmo account is $50,000.

Speaker 2:

That's great

Speaker 3:

In the class, loved him. He was one of my favorite , um , speakers ever.

Speaker 2:

That's funny , Jonathan, how about you? News news. Any news caught your eye this week?

Speaker 3:

So Macy's is buying Klarna and this shows how FinTech can kind of help maybe save companies. Uh , I know Macy's is not most, retail's not doing that great, but Kleiner will allow people at checkout. Basically you buy now pay later. So they're going to take some of that financial risk off of Macy's information as they want to be able to sell more stuff. Right. And one of the things I find fascinating about the Darnell pay later, and I don't have any inside information that their data analytics people, and it's a little bit of an ad for the data analytics class as well. FICO score is not the end all be all. So just while your credit score, doesn't really reflect everything we need to know. There's a company , um , in Germany, I forget the name of it, but there's some research on them. And they found that when you log in to buy from us, they're like maybe like a German Wayfair, the same thing by me, I'll pay later. Did you do it online? Um , they figured out that the way you fill out the form, the email address, you have the time of day and all these other characteristics predicted your ability to pay back better than, you know , the FICO score. So that's the whole nother area on , I can go a lot deeper and provide value. If I can tell Macy's Tommy Marshall is going to pay you back because he has a Gmail address and Reiki is now because he has a Hotmail address, which actually having a Hotmail or Yahoo address makes you less likely to pay back , um , indicates that you're less likely to pay back. Yeah ,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. There's um, I think this is interesting and I've been following Klarna closely for awhile . Uh, and then I guess just as a point of clarification, Macy's is making a strategic investment and , um , versus an outright outright purchase, but it's a really remarkable coming in th in this buy now pay later trend is, is really exploded in the last , uh, 12 months. I mean, I think all major retailers are now either offering or planning to offer a buy now pay later option in their checkout. So it's going to be , um, another one to re continue to watch

Speaker 3:

Zero interest rate, right. Tommy for the bond.

Speaker 2:

That's , what's really, I think, particularly remarkable about , uh, about the offering. Um, the , the piece of news I'd add is , uh, there's a new digital bank that was announced last week , uh , called Greenwood. That is going to be entirely focused on black and Hispanic populations. Uh , and w this is , um , being started by , uh , some Atlanta entrepreneurs with , uh , support and endorsement from , uh , ambassador Andrew Young, who is on the, his name's on several of the buildings that are around downtown Atlanta. And , uh , I was really excited to see that announcement. I mean, this digital bank space just continues to receive a lot of investment and focus and , uh , it's growing of course, but to see that a bank is now coming forward to be really focused entirely on black and Latin X populations, I think is , um, very exciting. And , uh, um, I'm gonna know they're going to have some great success. Um, well, I'm gonna leave it there. Uh, it's been wonderful to have you both with us this week and to dig in a bit deeper on our FinTech Academy courses. Uh, and , um, it's just been a pleasure working with you, Dr. Gobbi over the last, almost year now, and then on Rica , um , just kind of , we're going to keep working on you to see if, how many of these FinTech Academy courses we can get you over

Speaker 5:

Is up in two weeks, correct? Yes. Awesome . I'll be pulling in one or at least at least one you'll be in the foundations course. Right. Uh , perfect. Yeah. That's, that's the , uh , foundation foundational course. Right. So that'll be it. Right . Cool. Great. Thanks so much. Thanks Tommy . Thank you. Tommy

Speaker 1:

Georgia FinTech Academy podcasts are available on iTunes and Spotify to obtain additional information about the Georgia FinTech Academy. Please visit our [email protected]