Annual EBHS Conference, 39th Annual Economic and Business History Society Conference

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Managing technological change in Hong Kong’s retail banking (1945-2005)
Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Andrew Smith

Last modified: 2014-03-10


Our paper examines the relationship between cultural and technological change in two unique institutions of Hong Kong towards the end of the colonial period: first, we look at change within its largest financial institution, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), with a particular focus on the first wave of computerisation during the 1960s and 1970s. Secondly, we look at technological and cultural change outside financial institutions through the history of the development of a transport token into the most widely used micro-payments, cashless device in the world, the Octopus card/chip in the 1990s. As a conclusion we compare and contrast these internal and external changes to identify unique characters of the digital economy in the cultural setting of South East Asia.