FA596 Digital Payment Technologies and Trends

Course Catalog Description


This course introduces students to the up-to-date payment systems and innovative financial technologies (FinTech) in the payment systems. Common payment systems such as checking, ACH, cards, cash, wire transfer are discussed. Students learn the mechanisms of FinTech innovations, including the Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Students also learn how to set up digital wallets and interact with the blockchain.
Prerequisite: FA 591 and [FE520 Python, or FE515 R, or FE516 Matlab], or instructor permission

Campus Fall Spring Summer
On Campus X X
Online X X


Professor Email Office
Jingrui Li
jli264@stevens.edu Kidde 219 C

More Information

Course Objectives

This course prepares student in familiarizing them with the up-to-date digital payment systems both domestic and cross border. Students learn hands-on skills of using blockchain technology as an innovative form of digital payments. Students also learn the mechanisms of recent FinTech innovations, including Smart Contracts and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). The course also trains students' blockchain coding skills, including interpreting and writing smart contract codes.

Course Outcomes

  1. Evaluate the common payment systems both domestic and cross border.
  2. Analyze topics in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
  3. Create digital wallets and interact with blockchain.
  4. Apply the innovations in digital payment systems.
  5. Assess misconceptions about payment systems and misuses of cryptocurrencies.

Course Resources


  1. Benson, Carol Coye, Scott Loftesness, and Russ Jones. "Payments Systems in the US A Guide for the Payments Professional." (2017).
  2. Chishti, Susanne, Tony Craddock, Robert Courtneidge, and Markos Zachariadis, eds. The PAYTECH Book: The Payment Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs, and FinTech Visionaries. John Wiley & Sons, 2020.


Grading Policies

HW 20%
Mid-term 25%
Final 25%
Projects 20%
Attendance & Participation 10%

Lecture Outline

Week Topics Readings HW
1 Introduction to digital payment systems
Time value of money
Capital budgeting
Risk and return
Risk management
Instructor's Materials
2 Valuation basics
Discount rates and WACC
Instructor's Materials
3 Portfolio theory
Portfolio optimization
Introductory empirical asset pricing
Factor models
Instructor's Materials HW1 due
4 Payment systems overview Book [1] - Chapter 2
5 Core Systems: Checking
Core Systems: ACH
Book [1] - Chapter 3
Book [1] - Chapter 4
6 Core Systems: CARDS Book [1] - Chapter 5 HW2 due
7 Core Systems: CASH
Book [1] - Chapter 6
Book [1] - Chapter 7
Mid-term Exam
8 An overview of P2P payment networks: Apple Cash, Zelle, Google Pay, Cash App, and Venmo
Payment Evolutions and PAYTECH Introduction
Article Readings
Book [2] - Chapter 1 and 2
9 Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies: Review Book [2] - Chapter 4
10 Setting up digital wallets Instructor's Materials and Students Practice in Class HW3 due
11 Interacting with blockchain Instructor's Materials and Students Practice in Class
12 NFT creation and transacting on blockchain Instructor's Materials and Students Practice in Class
13 Payment Systems Regulations and Compliance Book [2] - Chapter 3 and 4 HW4 due
14 Blueprint for Change Book [2] - Chapter 6
15 Final Exam