Latest Announcement:

1.    The Zoom Meeting ID for FTEC4004 Lectures and Tutorials is 140211959. For more information, you may view the announcement on Elearning platform.

2.    Please complete the Online Course Teaching Evaluation (OCTE) by April 27 (Mon) 11:59pm if you have not done so already. Link can be found in your CU email.


The course introduces e-payment systems and cryptocurrency technologies. Topics to be covered include:

  • Introduction to Money and Banking;
  • Automated Clearing and Settlement Systems;
  • E-payment Security/ Privacy and related protocols
  • Credit cards
  • Peer-to-peer payment services;
  • Stored Value Facilities (SVF), Smartcard technologies ;
  • Digital Wallets and Mobile payment systems;
  • Micropayments and Ecash
  • Cryptocurrency, Block-chain technologies and their applications;
  • The Future of Money and Technology.


Learning Outcome: Upon completing the class, the students should:

  1. Understand the working principles and engineering trade-offs in the design and implementation of various e-payment systems and cryptocurrency technologies ;
  1. Have the ability to analyze and evaluate the applicability and limitations of different e-payment and cryptocurrency-based solutions under different deployment scenarios.

Course Information

Lecture time and venue:

  • MON 10:30 - 12:15, ERB 703
  • THU 15:30 - 16:15, ERB 703


  • Time: TUE 13:30 - 14:15 (SHB833)

TA Office Hours: (If you want to ask TAs for help beyond those periods, please send an email to make reservations with the TA in advance.)

  • Shangcheng Shi: Wed 15:00 - 16:00 (SHB803)
  • Xianbo Wang: Fri 14:00 - 15:00 (SHB803)


  • Prof. Wing Cheong Lau. wclau [at] ie [dot] cuhk [dot] edu [dot] hk
  • Office hours: THU 16:30 - 17:30 (SHB 818)

Teaching Assistant:

  • Shangcheng Shi ss016 [at] ie [dot] cuhk [dot] edu [dot] hk
  • Xianbo Wang xianbo [at] ie [dot] cuhk [dot] edu [dot] hk

Website account:

User: ftec4004
Password: spring2020ftec

Recommended Text

·       [StallingsBrown] Computer Security: Principles and Practice (3rd Edition) by William Stallings and Lawrie Brown, Publisher: Prentice Hall, 2014.

A close substitution for the above book is: [Stallings 13] William Stallings, Cryptography and Network Security, 6th Edition, Prentice Hall, 2013. (This book provides comprehensive, academic textbook-style writings on the subject including detail technical descriptions of the algorithms and protocols. A bit too terse as an overview; better serves as a technical reference. Early editions of this book would still be useful.)

·       [PaarPelzl10] Understanding Cryptography: A Textbook for Students and Practioners by Christof Paar and Jan Pelzl, Published by Springer, 2010. Fulltext available as ebook via CUHK library.

An excellent introductory text for Cryptography; well-balanced between mathematical vigor and engineering intuition for many modern practical crypto algorithms.

·       [Sherif2016] Mostafa Hashem Sherif, Protocols for Secure Electronic Commerce, 3rd Edition, CRC Press 2016. Fulltext available from CUHK online library for download.

·       [Narayanan2016] Arvind Narayanan, Joesph Bonneau, Edward Felten, Andrew Miller, Steven Goldfeder, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies - A Comprehensive Introduction, Princeton University Press, 2016, can be freely downloaded from

·       [Kaufman02] Charlie Kaufman, Radia Perlman, Mike Spenciner, Network Security, 2nd Editionby Dafydd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto, Published by Prentice Hall, 2002. (The authors are all well-known designers/architects of key security protocols/systems widely deployed in practice. The book provides excellent insights on the technical details and rationale behind the design of the protocols/algorithms. The technical depth may overwhelm casual, non-technical readers though.)

·       [Antonopoulos17] Andreas M. Antonopoulos, Mastering Bitcoin, 2nd Edition, Published by O'Reilly, July 2017, full-text freely available at:

·       [Antonopoulos18] Andreas Antonopoulos, Gavin Wood, Mastering Ethereum - Building Smart Contracts and DApps, Published by O'Reilly, 2018 (available from ).


·       [Hill2018] John Hill, Fintech and the Remaking of Financial Institutions, Academic Press, 2018.

·       [McKinsey2018] McKinsey&Company, “Global Payments 2018: a dynamic industry continues to break new ground”, Oct 2018.

·       [Sidelov2017] Pavlo Sidelov, The World Of Digital Payments: Practical Course (FinTech) Kindle Edition, 2017.

·       [Benson2017] Carol Coye Benson, Scott Loftesness, Russ Jones, Payments Systems in the U.S. - Third Edition: A Guide for the Payments Professional 3rd ed. Edition, Glenbrook Partners, 2017.

·       [King2019] Brett King, Bank 4.0: Banking Everywhere, Never at a Bank 1st Edition, Wiley, ISBN-13: 978-1119506508, ISBN-10: 1119506506, 2019.

·       [Chishti2020] The PayTech Book: The Payment Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs, and FinTech Visionaries 1st Edition by Susanne Chishti (Editor), Tony Craddock (Editor), Robert Courtneidge (Editor), Markos Zachariadis (Editor), Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 7, 2020) ISBN-10: 1119551919, ISBN-13: 978-1119551911

·       [Morse2019] Electronic Payment Systems: Law and Emerging Technologies Paperback – August 7, 2019 by Edward A. Morse (Author)

·       [Téllez2017] ]Jesús Téllez, Sherali Zeadally, Mobile Payment Systems: Secure Network Architectures and Protocols (Computer Communications and Networks), 1st ed. 2017 Edition, Springer.

·       [Kou2003] Weidong Kou, Payment Technologies for E-Commerce, 1st Edition, Springer, 2003.

·       [Sherif2016] Mostafa Hashem Sherif, Protocols for Secure Electronic Commerce, 3rd Edition, CRC Press 2016.

·       [O'Mahony2001] Donal O'Mahony, Michael Peirce, Hitesh Tewari, Electronic Payment Systems for E-Commerce, 2nd Edition, Artech House, 2001.

·       [CMPIRedbook2012] "Payment, clearing and settlement systems in CPSS countries," published by the CMPI Red book series published by the BIS Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems, Vol. 2, Nov. 2012, freely available at

·       [Pandy2016] “Understanding the Role of Host Card Emulation in Mobile Wallets,” Susan Pandy and Marianne Crowe, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Payment Strategies, and Brian Russell, Giesecke & Devrient, May 2016.

·       [Crowe2015] “Is Payment Tokenization Ready for Primetime ?”, M. Crowe et  al, June 2015.

·       [EY2015] “Mobile Payment – War of Wallets,” EY analysis and interviews, Nov 2015.

·       [ENISA2016 ] “Security of Mobile Payments and Digital Wallets,” ENISA, Dec 2016.

·       [HCE2014] Host Card Emulation (HCE) 101, A Secure Technology Alliance Mobile & NFC Council White Paper, Aug 2014.

·       [SmartcardAlliance2013] “The Changing U.S. Payments Landscape: Impact on Payment Transactions at Physical Stores,” a Smart Card Alliance white paper, Nov 2013.

·       [HKMAnfc2013] NFC Mobile Payment, HKMA Financial Infrastructure Dept, HKMA Quarterly Bulletin, Dec 2013

·       [HKMAcontactless2012] Development of Contactless Mobile Payment Services, HKMA Financial Infrastructure Dept, HKMA Quarterly Bulletin, Sept 2012.

·       [Wood2014] “The Web 3.0 proposal ”, Gavin Wood, Apr 2014. (availabld from,, and

·       [BitcoinPaper] Satoshi Nakamoto, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” Oct 2008,

·       [EthereumWP] The Ethereum White Paper:  "A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform," ;  An introductory paper to Ethereum, introduced before launch, which is maintained.

·       [DASP-Top10] Decentralized Application Security Project Top 10 of 2018,

·       [SWCRegistry ] SWC Registry: Smart Contract Weakness Classification and Test Cases,

·       [ConsenSys2019] “Ethereum Smart Contract Security Best Practices”, ConsenSys Diligence,  Jan 2019,

·       [Kasireddy2017] "How does Ethereum work, anyway", Preethi Kasireddy,  Sept 13, 2017:


Tentative Timetable



Lecture Date



Recommended Readings

Additional References


Jan 6, 9

Course Admin ; Notion of Money





Jan 13, 16, 20

Banks, Clearing and Settlement

M3-4, H8, M3-4

Ch2 of [Sherif2016],  [CMPIRedbook2012]



Jan 23

Recap on Crypto Basics for Secure Payment Systems: Encryption, Hash, Public Key, Digital Signature, Digital Certificates, PKI.


Ch3 of [Sherif2016], [StallingsBrown]

[PaarPelzl10], [Kaufman02]

**Jan 27, 30, Feb 3, 6, 10, 13 Public holiday: Chinese Lunar New Year (Extended)**


Feb 17, 20; Feb 24

(Cont’d) Recap on Crypto Basics for Secure Payment Systems: Encryption, Hash, Public Key, Digital Signature, Digital Certificates, PKI.

M3-4, H8, M3-4

Ch3 of [Sherif2016], [StallingsBrown]

[PaarPelzl10], [Kaufman02]


Feb 27; Mar 2, 5

Credit Cards

H8, M3-4, H8

Ch5 of [Sherif2016] for SSL/TLS; Ch7 of [Sherif2016] for SET; Ch8 of [Sherif2016] for 3D Secure



Mar 9, 12; Mar 16, 19; Mar 23

Stored Value Facilities (SVF), Smartcard, RFID ; Octopus vs. Mondex ; Micropayments

M3-4, H8; M3-4, H8; M3-4   

Ch8-9 of [Sherif2016], [SmartcardAlliance2013],  [HKMAcontactless2012]


Mar 30, Apr 2 Reading week: no class

12, 14

Mar 26; Apr 6, 9

Digital Wallet, Mobile Payment Systems: Alipay, WeChatPay vs. UnionPay, vs. O!epay, vs. Apple Pay, Google Pay, vs. Samsung Pay

H8; M3-4, H8

Ch10-11 of [Sherif2016], [HKMAnfc2013],[Pandy2016], [Crowe2015], [EY2015], [HCE2014], [ENISA2016]



Apr 9



Ch12 of [Sherif2016]


Apr 13 Public holiday: Easter


Apr 16; Apr 20, 23; Apr 27

Overview of Blockchain and Crypto-currency Technologies: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Distributed Public Ledger ; Scaling Blockchain, Ehereum, Smart Contracts

H8, M3-4, H8, M3-4

Ch14 of [Sherif2016], [BitcoinPaper], [Antonopoulos17]


Apr 30 Public holiday: The day following the Birthday of the Buddha

May 2: End of Second Term


May 4 (make-up class)

(Cont’d) Smart Contracts; E-Cash


Ch11, 13 of [Sherif2016], [EthereumWP], [DASP-Top10], [SWCRegistry], [ConsenSys2019], [Kasireddy2017]


Course Assessment

Original course assessment weightings for FTEC4004:

  • Written and Hands-on Systems/ Programming assignments (a total of 5 sets): 65%
  • Final Exam: 35%

Given the remote-learning format we have been adopting this term, we will change the assessment schemes to the following:

  • Written and Hands-on Systems/ Programming assignments (a total of 5 sets): 65%
  • One additional Case Study / Video Presentation (to be released by May 4, due on May 25): 15%
  • One Q&A-design Assignment as described below and due on May 28: 20%

The Q&A-design assignment is to ask each student to design and submit a set of questions AND model-answers/ suggested solutions for a future 3-hr-long final examination of FTEC4004. To avoid asking trivial questions which merely test the memorization ability of the exam takers, you should assume the exam to be an open-book/open-note exam. Your submission will be graded according to its:

a.    ORIGINALITY and thoughtfulness of the questions, i.e., non-trivial and be able to highlight and test/promote the most important concepts/ ideas/ techniques which have been taught in our class so far.

b.    Correctness of the suggested solutions/ model answers.

c.     Comprehensive nature (or the lack of), i.e. your set of questions together, should cover multiple (the more, the better) key concepts/ ideas/ techniques taught in our class so far. In other words, setting 1-2 long essay questions on a couple specific topics to try to take up the entire 3-hr exam period won’t be a good choice.

d.    Suitability of the overall set of questions for a time-limited 3-hr exam. In other words, it should be reasonable for a student to complete your proposed set of questions within the time limit.

Since the originality and thoughtfulness of the proposed questions are of key considerations, you MUST NOT copy or merely re-phrase questions found elsewhere (i.e. from similar courses elsewhere or textbooks) and submit them as your own creation. Instead, study our course materials and reference readings/ text, ask yourself which are the most important concepts you have learned from this course and then try to design the related questions for the various key concepts. The goal of your exam-paper should be to promote/ strengthen a student’s understanding of such concept. i.e. viewing your questions as training exercises for the exam taker. To enhance the comprehensive nature of your exam, in other words, be able to cover a large number of important/ key concepts, you may mix different types of questions in your exam design,  e.g. i) a section of multiple-choice or True/False questions (For T/F type of questions, you MUST require students to provide not only T/F answer but also a couple of sentence to justify their answers) ; additional sections for ii) Short questions with multiple parts ; and iii) questions for competitive analysis of different approaches on solving some e-payment related challenges etc.

Student/Faculty Expectations on Teaching and Learning

Academic Honesty

You are expected to do your own work and acknowledge the use of anyone else's words or ideas. You MUST put down in your submitted work the names of people with whom you have had discussions.

Refer to for details

When scholastic dishonesty is suspected, the matter will be turned over to the University authority for action.

You MUST include the following signed statement in all of your submitted homework, project assignments and examinations. Submission without a signed statement will not be graded.

I declare that the assignment here submitted is original except for source material explicitly acknowledged, and that the same or related material has not been previously submitted for another course. I also acknowledge that I am aware of University policy and regulations on honesty in academic work, and of the disciplinary guidelines and procedures applicable to breaches of such policy and regulations, as contained in the website