Technological Innovation in Retail Finance: International Historical Perspectives, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Technological Innovation in Retail Finance

International Historical Perspectives, 1st Edition

Edited by Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, J. Carles Maixé-Altés, Paul Thomes


320 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

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This edited volume offers a new and original approach to the study of technological change in retail finance. Documenting developments in the US alongside case studies from Mexico and Europe, Technological Innovation in Retail Finance addresses the variety of financial institutions that populated the markets for retail finance. It offers a massive research base reflecting not only breadth of contributor interests, but also a unity of purpose that comes from several workshops and comments on each other's work.

Technological innovation had a major role in the shaping and developing of administrative procedures, routines, and capabilities in organizations offering retail financial services. Indeed, with the exception of contemporary case studies for the UK, the current ‘state of the art’ in the study of the computerization of financial services from an historical perspective is overwhelmingly focused on developments in the USA. This volume overcomes the usual bias towards the so called ‘Atlantic continuity’ in the understanding of technological change related to applications of information and telecommunication technologies (ICT) by offering a number of sources of distinctiveness. It shows when and how technological change altered the competitive intensity in the markets for retail finance.


"Overall, this innovative anthology serves to remind that two polar positions can be discerned in studies that assess the impact of new technology." - Peter Wardley, Department of History, Philosophy and Politics, University of the West of England (Bristol).

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. In Digital We Trust: The Computerisation of Retail Finance in Western Europe and North America. Part I. Digitalizing Commercial Banks. 2. From Prehistory to the History of Computers in Banking: Mechanization of Data Processing and Accounting Methods in French Banks, Circa 1930-1950. 3. Britain’s First Computer Centre for Banking: What Did This Building Do? 4. Technical and Organizational Change in Swedish Banking, 1975-2003. 5. Computerization of Commercial Banks and the Building of an Automated Payments System in Mexico, 1965-1990. Part II – Digitalizing State, Mutual and Savings Banks. 6. Is There an ICT Path in the German Savings Banking Industry? (C. 1900-1970s) 7. Organizational Change and the Computerization of British and Spanish Savings Banks, Circa 1950-1985. 8. Techno-Nationalism, the Post Office and the Creation of Britain’s National Giro. 9. Rabobank: An Innovative Dutch Bank, 1945-2000. Part III: Socio-Historical Aspects of Digitalization. 10. The Automated House: The Digitalization of the London Stock Exchange, 1955-1990. 11. Historicizing Consumer Credit Risk Calculations: The Fair Isaac System of Commercial Scorecard Manufacture, 1957 – C. 1980. 12. Electronic Value Exchange: Origins of the Visa Electronic Payment System. 13. Retail Banking and the Dynamics of Information Technology in Business Organizations.

About the Editors

Bernardo Bátiz-Lazo has studied economics (at ITAM, Mexico and Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain), history (Oxford) and received a doctorate in business administration (Manchester Business School). He joined Leicester in January 2007 and was elected to the council of the Association of Business Historians in 2008. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Business History, Journal of Management History and Economic History of Developing Regions.

Carles Maixé-Altés has studied both economics and history at the University of Barcelona, where he later received a doctorate in economic history (cum laude). He is currently senior lecturer in economic history at the Department of Applied Economics, University of La Coruña. His publications include some books as well as monographs in Journal of International Money and Finance, Accounting, Business & Financial History, Journal of Management History, Revista de Historia Industrial, etc.

Paul Thomes studied in Saarbrucken and Edinburgh. He received his doctorate in 1984, following his work on the history of the Prussian Savings banks and a Habilitation in 1992. Since 1995, he has held the chair for economic and social history at RWTH Aachen University. His major publications since 2000 include 1804-2004. 200 Jahre mitten in Europa and other books. He is Managerial Editor of Bankhistorisches Archiv. Banking and Finance in Historical Perspective, etc.

About the Series

Routledge International Studies in Business History

Recent years have seen an explosion of research in business history. Business history is now seen variously as a key to understanding a vital aspect of the past, a source of parallels and insights into modern business practice, and a way of understanding the evolution of modern business practice. This series is not limited to any single approach, and explores a wide range of issues and industries.

Authors wishing to submit proposals for publication consideration in the Routledge International Studies in Business History series can contact series editors Jeffrey Fear ([email protected]) and Christina Lubinski ([email protected])

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Banks & Banking
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate & Business History