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Certified Expert in Digital Finance

Digital finance offers a transformational solution for financial inclusion. Powered by the mobile phone, new data and technological innovations, it has become affordable and convenient for unbanked customers to access and use formal banking services. While new technological developments and financial players bring tremendous opportunities, the emerging landscape is also becoming more complex and is putting increasing pressure on traditional providers to go digital.

In this course you will learn about the emerging digital landscape as well as the new market participants and products that have disrupted the market. By taking the course, you will be enabled to successfully deploy digital technologies in your institution and leverage digital financial services (DFS) in your target markets.

This course is also available in French

What Do We Offer?

  • Seven units including video lectures, a PDF script laying the theoretical foundation, examples, practical exercises, online tests and case studies.
  • A discussion forum for course related issues as well as for exchange of opinions and experiences with peers, tutors and the FSDF e-Campus team.
  • Personalized support from your e-Campus.
  • The option to obtain a Frankfurt School Certificate after passing the final exam or a confirmation of course completion after completing the course.

Tuition fees*

Registration Date Fee
Before July 15, 2021 EUR 1,350*
After July 15, 2021 EUR 1,550*

Final exam fee: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt


  • 10% group discount (for 2 or more participants working for the same instutiton, informed to us before by an email)
  • 10% for FS Alumni
  • For additional packages, please contact us

Payment Options

  • Bank Transfer (bank fees to be covered by the participants)
  • Credit Card
  • PayPal

Payment in instalments is not possible.

*Subject to change

Target Audience

Microfinance practictioners, MFI managers, consultants, donors, MNO's, Retail and SME banks, Fintechs, Regulators and supervisors.


The course takes approx. 6 months assuming 5-7 hours of self-study per week. It consists of 5 mandatory units which build upon each other. You will take the units in sequence and will  need to pass an online multiple choice test before accessing the next unit.

Some of the units include an assignment to be solved by a fixed deadline.

You are not sure if you manage to complete the course within 6 months? No worries! You can apply for a course extension (6 more months) against an administrative fee.


Course Start Course End Registration Early Bird
Sept. 1 Feb. 28 Jun. 1 - Sept. 1  By Jul. 15
Mar. 1 Aug. 31 Dec. 1 - Mar. 1 By Jan. 15

Course contributes to UN SDGs

All our courses contribute to the following SDGs


This course will enhance your knowledge in the following SDGs. The SWA offers professional and executive courses dedicated to the advancement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).



Registrations for the intake starting in March are open now. If you register before 15th January 2022, you will benefit from our Early Bird Discount.

Course Details*

Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course, participants will have a thorough understanding of principal concepts and theories in Digital finance, i.e. they will be able to:

  • understand the underlying technologies behind Digital Finance
  • understand the current trends in Digital Finance from all over the globe
  • differentiate between the different products available in digital finance
  • understand the regulatory landscape for digital finance services
  • build a customer centric product

Suggestions & Recommendations

This course gives you the flexibility to decide on the timing and pace of your learning experience. However we will provide you with recommendations for you to take as much as possible from this course.

Your schedule: We will provide you a course schedule including voluntary and mandatory deadlines. The course schedule serves as a guideline for your personal learning schedule and will help you to complete the programme within the given time frame.

Exercises: Even though the exercises in the script are not mandatory we strongly advise that you use them as an opportunity to check your knowledge and to prepare for the final exam.

Networking Opportunities: Use the forum to introduce yourself to your peer participants and to start interesting discussions.

Unit 1: The Digital Finance Ecosystem

The first unit will give you a general introduction to digital finance for financial inclusion. You will learn about the development of finance and technology in recent history, major technological trends and stakeholders in the ecosystem.  The unit also covers critical success factors for DFS to tap their full potential for financial inclusion. What’s more, it explains the role of the regulator in guiding and supervising the digital ecosystem

Unit 3: Digital Payments and Remittances

Digital payments are an essential vehicle on the road to financial inclusion. They can occur through various channels, such as debit cards, ATMs or the internet. Yet, the mobile phone presents the greatest opportunity to reach the unbanked population. Mobile payments, mobile money and agent banking models are reaching millions of unbanked people providing them with tools to grow their business with financial services.

In this unit, you will learn about the concept of digital payments, its infrastructure, different payment models and technologies involved. You will deal with various forms of digital payments, including innovative payment solutions that helps to tackle some the most pressing challenges in development, such as access to energy.

Unit 5: Strategic Management of Digital Financial Services

The financial inclusion landscape is changing rapidly, with new technologies, players and business models emerging at an incredible pace. Traditional players, like microfinance institutions, can no longer afford to watch and wait. They have to leverage into the future and select the right digitization strategy in order to increase their client outreach and deliver a wide range of financial services via new channels. 

The unit takes you through the process of selecting and implementing the right strategy to go digital, from product development and technology selection through to applying the right distribution and marketing strategy. You will also learn about the risks related to digital financial services and how to address them adequately.

Unit 2: New Technologies

New technologies are the driver of the digital finance revolution. The unit is designed to introduce you the main new technologies that create significant impact. From blockchain over biometrics to artificial intelligence you will learn about the concepts and functionality of those technologies. You will learn how these technologies are being used to provide services, how they work and where the opportunities and challenges are.

Unit 4: Digital Products beyond Payments / Savings, Credit and Insurance

DFS need to go beyond payments.  To reach sustainable financial inclusion other fields of financial demand need to be covered, too. The missing access to lending solutions is limiting MSMEs in their ability to run and grow their business properly. New financial service providers  not only reinvent the distribution channel for lending services, they also reinvent loan scoring and credit analysis.

Another field of demand is digital savings and investing. Without access to those services, it is impossible for the unbanked to manage savings for retirement or unexpected expenses. Here DFS provider reinvent how insurance services for particular problems can be designed in order to provide a useful digital product solution.

Last but not least the technology impact is significant for the investment management industry. Investment solutions become digital, more effective and less costly.

Unit 4 will introduce you to each business field and explain how new provider and technologies reinvent financial services in this new ecosystem.

Unit 6a: Regulation and Supervision in Digital Finance (Elective)

Financial markets need regulation in order to achieve a trustable and stable financial system for the economy. Compliance with these regulations is key in order to succeed with new business models in Digital Finance. This unit will give you an introduction to different supervision models and risks involved in new business models. From consumer protection schemes to regulations on anti-money laundering you will learn how the regulatory framework is designed and what methods are available in order to achieve compliance. Regulators themselves also leverage new technologies for more efficient supervision. The impact of Regtech and regulatory sandboxes will be also covered.

Unit 6b: Customer Centric Product Design (Elective)

The emergence of digital financial services has provided access to millions of hitherto unbanked customers. Yet, usage of these new products often remains low, due to one-size-fits-all solutions that customers struggle to understand and use. In order for DFS to tap the full potential for financial inclusion, products need to be customer-centric. Providers need to develop a deep understanding of their client’s needs, preferences and behaviour and build products based on that notion.

Unit 7 will facilitate that process. You will learn how to design digital financial services and be able to offer solutions that meet the actual needs of your target clients. The unit takes you through a systematic development process from generating customer insights to designing and implementing customer-centric digital products and services.

*Subject to change

Training Approach

The flexibility of our courses offers you the opportunity to follow you own schedule and to combine daily work with professional development.

The highest quality offered will immediately improve your daily job performance as well as the performance of your institution.

Training Material

Video Lectures

  • Introvideos: After viewing the lectures, participants will have a basic understanding of each topic and will be able to classify importance and relevance of different techniques and aspects in a broader context.
  • Web-based Presentations: Web based presentation complement the scripts and give additional input on important topics.

Online Tests

Each unit ends with an online test comprising a set of 10 - 15 multiple choice questions. Only after having successfully completed an online test you will gain access to the next unit.

Reading Material

A PDF script is for most of our courses the main studying material. This reading material provides basic concepts and principles applicable to the subject of each unit.


The key to successful learning is the immediate use of newly acquired knowledge and the transfer of theory into practice. Our online courses are therefore supplemented by mandatory assignments.

Discussion Forum

A course discussion forum enables the interaction between participants and trainers and facilitates the exchange of experiences as well as possibilities to ask questions or get clarifications.

Final Exam

Passing a final examination is a requirement for obtaining your certificate.

  • Location: The final exam takes place online
  • Duration: The final exam takes 2 hours.
  • Costs: An additional final exam fee will be charged for the second and third final exam attempt
  • Certificate: Your digital certificate will be available upon passing the final examination.

If you do not wish to take the final exam, you will receive a confirmation of course participation after completing the course.


Floreta Zhulali

Floreta Zhulali

Floreta Zhulali is a digital financial services and innovation executive with experience in Asia, Europe and Africa. She has hands-on experience with Fintech companies and solutions, digital transformation of banks, innovative product and service design and agile business culture. Whilst working as an international consultant for reputable companies such as European Investment Bank and EBRD,  in implementing large scale programs with local Banks in Africa, she also volunteers to build innovative financial ecosystems through Mentorship in Incubators and Accelerators.

Christian Hecker


Emerging markets are the growth engines of our today´s global markets. Christian Hecker studied in Germany and at Zhejiang University in China. He was based in Singapore and China where he worked on strategic projects and opened a branch for German leading SME bank in China. After returning to Germany he took over responsibilities for emerging markets of Africa, Middle East and Latin America.


Beyond your Certificate:

Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance

The Certified Expert in Digital Finance is an Elective Module of the Master of Leadership in Sustainable Finance. Join our Master programme after completing the CEDF course and waive one elective module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Master programme.

Inclusive Finance Summer Academy

As a participant of our “Certified Expert in Digital Finance” e-learning course, we offer you an exclusive 30% discount* for the Digital Finance Track of our Inclusive Finance Summer Academy.

Diploma in Financial Inclusion

The Certified Expert in Digital Finance is part of the curriculum of our Diploma in Financial Inclusion. Enroll to our Diploma after completing the CEDF course and waive one module. Also, the amount you paid for the course will be deducted from the final tuition fee of the Diploma.