Several centuries ago, new international trade routes opened exciting new markets to entrepreneurial organizations conducting commerce with new unknown partners. Critical to this commerce was the ability to be able to exchange one good with another, or for money — legal tender representing value and backed by a national authority. Numerous financial instruments were created to facilitate this new trade, and many European and US banking institutions began to evolve into global providers of these services. Essentially these services were primarily product driven by the financial institutions, which met the need of the day and have been continuing to do that for much of the 20th century. Towards the end of the century however, this one-way relationship between financial service providers and the consumer began to transform, and worldwide commerce began putting additional stresses on existing systems. No longer were markets characterized by physical traits locked in by specific geography — new markets were electronic, global and consumers demanded multiple delivery channels. Intense competition and consumer unpredictability have forced huge consolidation and change over the last few decades.
KeywordsCredit Card Smart Card Short Message Service Bank Account Online Auction
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