The economic properties of service systems are key to their implementation. Specifically intangibility, inseparability of production and consumption, heterogeneity, and perishability are in focus and make a specific service approach in business administration and economics necessary. Coupled with technological and societal issues, the development of successful business models and strategies tailored to the service world ensures sustainability and commercial success of service innovations. In the light of joint value creation in services, the relationship between the involved parties includes problems of asymmetric information such as adverse selection and moral hazard. This interplay crucially influences economic performance, be it the efficiency of operations, financial outcomes, or consumer satisfaction.
Developments in IT and media technology impact our habits and daily communication routines, and they also extend on the domain of financial matters. Novel services meet the demand of today’s private customers. We are quite used to online banking and online platforms for comparison of insurances, loans, and investments. But this is not the end of the line. An increasing number of start-ups in this industry challenge traditional institutions with new ideas on how retail finance, private investment and lending could work and look like in the future. This includes platforms for crowd-funding and -investment, peer-to-peer lending for private customers as well as for SMEs, and social trading – a mash up between private trading and social networks, in which traders can follow and copy the investment strategies of other (successful) traders. The traditional players of the industry recognize that a reaction is due – many have started to develop new services on their own or to cooperate with or invest in the faster moving emerging businesses.