Vol. 16, No. 2, 2018
Vasant Dhar and Roger M. Stein
A major consequence of the Internet era is the emergence of complex “platforms” that combine technology and process in new ways that often disrupt existing industry structures and blur industry boundaries. These platforms allow easy participation that often strengthens and extends network effects, while at the same time the vast amounts of data captured through such participation can increase the value of the platform to its participants, creating a virtuous cycle. While initially slow to penetrate the financial services sector, such platforms are now beginning to emerge.We provide a taxonomy of platforms in finance and identify the feasible strategies that are available to incumbents in the industry, innovators, and the major Internet giants.