In the span of barely 10 years, companies like Uber, Airbnb, Facebook and Alibaba have experienced explosive growth, far surpassing the growth rate of their respective industries — despite not actually producing anything.

Yet that’s the whole point. They are platform businesses, and their role in facilitating a marketplace between consumers and producers is the primary form of value creation, not the production of goods or services themselves. These platform businesses have been out-competing or outright disrupting their respective industries, raising the question of whether — or when — the platform model will come to financial services as well.

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