Fintech Lab: How Georgia State Will Help Advance Atlanta’s Spot In Financial Technology
Financial technology, or fintech, labs are spaces for cutting-edge business data innovations that are upending traditional financial processes. Georgia State University is leading with the first business school-based fintech lab in Georgia.
The new fintech lab in the J. Mack Robinson College of Business spans data analytics, finance, real estate, and risk management and insurance.
Critical advances such as data analytics, machine learning and blockchain technology will be important parts of the lab’s portfolio. Collaborators at the lab will work explore how these three tools can help develop the smart contracts and smart markets of finance in this century.
“This new lab is the next step in the strategy Robinson has been executing over the past two years of integrating computer science and related disciplines into the core activities of the business school to better prepare our students for the business environment of tomorrow,” said Richard Phillips, dean of the Robinson College of Business.
Georgia State’s fintech lab is a natural fit for an Atlanta university. Atlanta has emerged as a national leader of an industry using new technologies to eliminate intermediaries in the way that payments are processed, lower costs and shorten financial transaction times.
Fintech is also important to the local job market. The Technology Association of Georgia reports the state’s fintech companies employ more than 30,000 professionals in the state, with annual revenues of more than $72 billion, behind only New York and California.
Georgia State’s lab integrates well with the future of fintech. Industry estimates indicate it could potentially affect or disrupt up to $4.7 trillion in financial services revenues in the coming years.
The lab’s use will vary by specialty.
Finance users will gain an understanding of the different layers of decentralized markets and obtain practical experience with the design and development of smart contracts in the new markets and economies based on blockchains.
Private cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, pose new challenges to finance. With the fintech lab, users will trade and settle virtual assets using these types of currencies on secure blockchains linked to real data sets. They also will design and implement financial models on real events using decentralized applications.
In real estate, the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) is where properties are listed for agents, brokers and others in the industry. Real estate lab users will simulate buying and selling residential real estate assets with real-time MLS feeds. They also will learn how to value, negotiate, finance, settle, refinance, invest and operate their assets in the absence of third parties, with the lab simulating the roles of a central banker, tax collector and settlement agency.
Risk management and insurance lab users will apply blockchain technology to share insurance risks, settle insurance claims and apply machine-learning techniques in quantitative risk management.
The lab is the first step in a larger initiative that will include undergraduate and graduate courses. A master’s level fintech course will be offered in spring 2018. The fintech lab will be housed in Robinson’s Institute for Insight at Georgia State’s Buckhead Center.
To read more about the fintech lab at Georgia State’s Robinson College, visit the Institute for Insight at http://robinson.gsu.edu/academic-departments/insight/what-we-do/fintech-lab/.