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Abstract

This study presents a framework to understand and explain the design and configuration of digital payment platforms and how these platforms create conditions for market entries. By embracing the theoretical lens of platform envelopment, we employed a multiple and comparative-case study in a European setting by using our framework as an analytical lens to assess market-entry conditions. We found that digital payment platforms have acquired market entry capabilities, which is achieved through strategic platform design (i.e., platform development and service distribution) and technology design (i.e., issuing evolutionary and revolutionary payment instruments). The studied cases reveal that digital platforms leverage payment services as a mean to bridge and converge core and adjacent platform markets. In so doing, platform envelopment strengthens firms’ market position in their respective core markets. This study contributes to the extant literature on digital platforms, market entries, and payment.

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