The Ascent of Plastic Money: International Adoption of the Bank Credit Card, 1950–1975

Bátiz-Lazo, Bernardo and Del Angel, Gustavo A. (2018) The Ascent of Plastic Money: International Adoption of the Bank Credit Card, 1950–1975. Business History Review, 92 (3). pp. 509-533. ISSN 0007-6805

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This article studies the genesis and early international expansion of the bank-issued credit card—an American innovation that quickly took hold in western Europe. Empirical evidence undermines the proposition of a single firm building a proprietary network. In fact, it was a constellation of participants that combined three characteristics, namely, a critical mass of both retail customers and retail merchants; the capacity to implement new technological solutions; and the ability to forge resilient collaborations across national borders. The evidence supports the value of collaboration in retail financial services as means of appropriating network externalities. Moreover, other conceptual and empirical studies, especially those based on two-sided markets, neglect the greater implications that initial conditions in this industry have on long-term success.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Credit cards, retail payments, cashless, two-sided markets, Bank of America, Barclays, Banamex, Bancomer, Banco de Bilbao, British banks, Mexican banks, Spanish banks
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N300 Finance
N400 Accounting
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2020 14:15
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:15

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