Provision of mobile banking services from an actor–network perspective: Implications for convergence and standardization

H Lee, G Harindranath, S Oh, Kim D-J

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Continuous advancements in mobile technology allow mobile carriers and banks to offer mobile banking services. Such convergence of previously unrelated industries raises many complex issues. This paper examines the dynamics of competition and collaboration among mobile carriers, banks and other related parties for mobile banking in Korea during the burgeoning period of mobile banking in the early to mid-2000s. This period is when the idea of mobile banking was realised in practice and a variety of the parties involved criss-crossed each other to form a network of service provision. It presents an opportunity to examine the complex dynamics of network formation for convergence services and standardization. Since convergence and standardization is a process of merging and integrating multiple players into a new network or system, it is realised through the process of interactions among the players involved. Actor–network theory (ANT) is used as an interpretive lens to analyse this process. ANT helps analyse how actors form alliances and enrol other actors, including non-human actors (i.e. technology), in order to secure their interests. By analysing three specific actor networks that emerged during a formative period in Korea's mobile banking sector, this paper shows the significance of the processes involved in developing actor networks, and especially the role of non-human actors. Given the contemporary context of the ongoing smart phone wars, which shares many of the features of convergence and standard competition, the paper serves as a timely reminder of the role played by key actors and the networks they create. The paper presents some implications for technology management in convergence- and standardisation-related areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551–561
Number of pages11
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Issue numberPart B
Early online date6 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015

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