Changing boundaries and structure of a technological system: lessons from UK retail banking
This article investigates the factors that have induced and shaped the process of industry evolution of banking in the United Kingdom and, in particular, the reorganization of the retail payments system. It will look at how the effects of technical progress within a changing regulatory framework have contributed to the flourishing of new consumer services, of increasingly specialized technologies and of new models of business organization. In relation to these issues, the paper develops an interpretative framework based on the rapidly expanding body of literature on technological systems. In so doing it argues also that the organization of the payment system has evolved towards a multilayered and increasingly heterogeneous industry in which competition has been fuelled at different levels by the growing diversity of the ecology of agents involved, as well as by the emerging patterns of interaction across them.
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