Editor’s Introduction 23(1)

Vladimir Zwass, Editor
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 23, Number 1, 2019, pp. 1-8.

The special issue that opens this 23rd volume of the International Journal of Electronic Commerce is titled “Finance Big Data: Management, Analysis, and Applications” and has been guest edited by Yunchuan Sun, Yufeng Shi, and Zhengjun Zhang. The guest editors will introduce to you the four papers that present research contributions to several aspects of this important current domain.

The availability of the massive data covering all aspects of our lives and of business activity is bringing profound changes to the financial sector of our economy, a principal component and the enabler of e-commerce. The financial technology (fintech) emerging on the foundation of the Internet–Web has been driving a fundamental change to the functioning of financial institutions. In fact, it is changing the ecosystem of the institutions that provide financial services. Startups of a few years of age challenge the very position of banks, insurance companies, asset-management firms, and exchanges in their core business. A principal reason they can is the collection and activation of massive aggregates of comprehensive data, both longitudinal and real-time in a multiplicity of formats, and bringing it to bear on the marketplaces and services with machine learning and other algorithm classes.

The almost universal internetwork connectivity and mobile accessibility; the exponential growth of computational capabilities, doubling approximately biannually on a very high base in “the second half of the chessboard” as forecasted by Moore’s Law; the progress of machine learning; and the move to cloud computing are all mutually reinforcing and underwrite the Fintech Revolution we are witnessing. We may ascribe the origin of the fintech to the move to electronic screen-based trading on the London Stock Exchange during the Big Bang in 1986. The true revolution has been intensifying over the past two decades, if we wish to date its inception to the launch of PayPal as a person-to-person payment platform in 1998.

At the core, the advantages derived from the deployment of the Big Data in finance can be traced to two overlapping sources. These are the close matching of buyer’s preferences with the seller’s offerings and a more precise risk assessment. The speed and personalization of algorithmic decision making amplify these advantages, hence more efficient markets, innovative business models for the financial intermediaries, and overall advantages to the economies.

An insurance firm with access to a more detailed data profile of an applicant for a policy can offer the terms more closely matching the risk involved than its competitors. It may indeed insure based on a wider set of criteria (say, educational background and stability indicators) than a single credit-rating number. By using machine learning systems to derive new risk criteria from large and expanding data sets, the firm can offer more closely matching terms and bundles to various tranches of prospects and grow its business. The expansion of the business leads to more data and thus more refined neural network algorithms. Hence, the Big Data tips the markets further to big scale—but the scale may be that of Ant Financial Services Group, or Google, or an as-yet-unnamed company rather than that of an insurance firm the name of which has been known to all for a century. It also creates opportunities for startups and innovation to the ever new intermediaries capable of carving out ingenious niches.

The growing and emerging fintech startups have innovated in payments and transaction processing, retail and investment banking, lending, insurance, international remittances, cryptocurrencies, and advisory and money management. The business models of nonbank banks, direct equity placements, crowdfunding, person-to-person lending, and robo-advising are direct threats to the traditional ways of doing business. The incumbent financial institutions resist the future of becoming utilities delivering commodity transactional services to the newcomers owning the client relationships, the principal source of profits. The more agile incumbent firms deploy the advantages of bigness, such as their financial and relationship capital, economies of scale and scope, and access to the regulatory processes, to join the Fintech Revolution. They push to innovate by acquisition and/or by attempting to emulate the agile startups, both not easy to do.

Even more radical disruptions are considered possible with the advance of the Big Data into the financial sector. It is argued that a market price is only provisional as the principal signal that sellers create and to which buyers react [3]. If the signal can be disaggregated into the multiple attributes of the product that would be algorithmically matched with the multiattribute preferences of the buyer (inferred from the profile), the price becomes one of the many attributes. With the diminished informational role of money in such data-rich (or data-driven) markets, the argument goes, the role and profitability of financial institutions would be diminished as well.

It should be stressed that such data-driven marketplaces are categorically different from the visions of centrally planned economies that would substitute for true markets a computerized system (very large) solving a system of equations (very many), such as that propounded by the well-known theoretician of a more realistic economic planning, Oskar Lange [2]. The data-rich markets are based on the actual and specific demand and supply data, where transactions can be concluded at the match between the two. The planned-economy systems are (or were) based on aggregate data without true price signals and can hardly be seen as a way forward.

As the papers included in the special section illustrate, the dramatic changes that are being brought into the financial activities by Big Data present many and various opportunities for research. A comprehensive analytical view of such opportunities is offered by Gomber et al. [1].

The concluding paper in the issue analyzes one of the attributes of product information, namely, product overviews presented by the online retailers in the assortment of their market offerings. Erik Maier investigates the effects of the inconsistency of the product images used in such assortments of products. In the meticulously designed empirics, the author offers us the conclusions regarding the effects of such inconsistencies on the consumers’ evaluations of the assortments and on the consumer-search process. The negatively affected search fluency is found to dominate the potentially salient effect of enhanced consumers’ interest due to the inconsistency. The contribution is thus made here to both theory and practice.


  1. Gomber, P.; Kauffman, R.J.; Parker, C.; and Weber, B.W. On the Fintech Revolution: Interpreting the forces of innovation, disruption, and transformation in financial services. Journal of Management Information Systems, 35, 1 (2018), pp. 220-265.
  2. Lange, O. The computer and the market. In C.H. Feinstein (ed.), Socialism, Capitalism, and Economic Growth: Essays Presented to Maurice Dobb. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1967, pp. 158–161
  3. Mayer-Schönberger, V.; and Ramge, T. Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of the Big Data. New York: Basic Books, 2018.


The opening of a new volume of IJEC gives me an opportunity to thank our Editorial Board and our referees, the primary guarantors of the quality of the papers we publish. Here are the names of the IJEC reviewers:

W.M.P. van der Aalst

Marc Adam

Hyung Jun Ahn

Jae-Hyeon Ahn

Sonia M. Camacho Ahumada

Tolga Akcura

Pervaiz Alam

Eleftherios Alamanos

Oliver Alexy

Hossam Ali-Hassan

Muhammad Aljukhadar

Tariq Al-Naeem

Paul Alpar

Niek Althuizen

Reina Arakji

Ofer Arazy

Kursad Asdemir

Yoris Au

David Avison

Hyunmi Baek

Kallol Bagchi

Hillol Bala

Siva Balasubramanian

Subhajyoti Bandyopadhyay

Somnath Banerjee

Youngsok Bang

Gaurav Bansal

Reza Barkhi

John “Skip” Benamati

Raquel Benbunan-Fich

Victor Benjamin

Bettina Berendt

Guido Berens

Amit Bhatnagar

Ganesh Bhatt

Martin Bichler

Ivo Blohm

Jesse Bockstedt

Waifong Boh

Indranil Bose

Nicola Breugst

Glenn Browne

Scott Buffett

Jinwei Cao

Lan Cao

Lanlan Cao

Yong Cao

Aihwa Chang

Hsin-lu Chang

Mohamed Hédi Charki

Debabroto Chatterjee

Abhijit Chaudhury

Sophea Chea

Ramnath Chellappa

Andrew Chen

Daniel Chen

Jianqing Chen

Jin Chen

Kuan Chen

Rui Chen

Zeng Chen

Hsing K. Cheng

Xusen Cheng

Christy Cheung

Waiman Cheung

Lei Chi

Robert T.H. Chi

Roger Chiang

Chaochang Chiu

Kyungsub S. Choi

Zeng Chun

Wingyan Chung

John M. Clark

Theodore H. Clark

Randy Cooper

Nicoletta Corrocher

José Carlos Cortizo

Geng Cui

Qizhi Dai

Robert M. Davidson

Jason Dedrick

Elena Delgado-Ballester

Chrysanthos Dellarocas

Haluk Demirkan

Joris Demmers

Xuefei (Nancy) Deng

Charles Dennis

Patrick De Pelsmacker

Douglas Derrick

Sarv Devaraj

Rajiv Dewan

Jasbir Dhaliwal

Tommaso Di Noia

Eugenio Di Sciascio

Soussan Djamasbi

Francesco Donini

Georgios I. Doukidis

William J. Drake

Wenjing Duan

Robert Easley

Christophe Elie-Dit-Cosaque

Sean B. Eom

Andrea Everard

Chun-I Fan

Jing Fan

Ming Fan

Xiaowen Fang

Yu-Hui Fang

Yulin Fang

Alexander Felfernig

Jane Feng

Xiao Feng

Daniel R. Fesenmaier

Pat Finnegan

Jerry Fjermestad

Shixuan Fu

Johann Füller

Brent Furneaux

Dennis F. Galletta

Bashar Gammoh

Dale Ganley

Guodong (Gordon) Gao

Roberto Garcia

Ina Garnefeld

Xianjun Geng

Sonja Gensler

George M. Giaglis

Steven Glover

Paulo Goes

Janis Gogan

Kim Huat Goh

Sigi Goode

Nelson Granados

Dawn Gregg

Ulrike Gretzel

Bin Gu

Gitong Guo

Hong Guo

Xunhua Guo

Zhiling Guo

Saurabh Gupta

Sumeet Gupta

Jungpil Hahn

Kunsoo Han

Shu Han

Dale Hanley

Matthew J. Hashim

Khaled Hassanein

Cheng Suang Heng

Tejaswini Herath

Thomas Hess

Traci J. Hess

Oliver Hinz

Lorin M. Hitt

Chin-Fu Ho

Susanna Ho

Christopher Holland

Yili (Kevin) Hong

Sarah Hsieh

Pei-Fang Hsu

Paul Hu

Qing Hu

Chun-Yao Huang

Liqiang Huang

Qian Huang

Alexander Hübner

Kai Lung Hui

Wendy Hui

Yujong Hwang

Ghiyong Im

Bharat A. Jain

Radhika Jain

Jeevan Jaisingh

Bernard J. Jansen

James J.J. Jiang

Zhenhui (Jack) Jiang

Sung Jin

Alice Johnson

Wen-Sheng Juang

Arnold Kamis

Gerald Kane

Maurits Kaptein

Sabrina Karwatzki

Varol Kayhan

Weiling Ke

Tayfun Keskin

Lara Khansa

Melody Y. Kiang

Dan Kim

Dongmin Kim

Hee-Woong Kim

Jung Seek Kim

Kwansoo Kim

Taeha Kim

Young-Gul Kim

Ruth King

Gary Klein

Ilsang Ko

Cenk Kocas

Chang E. Koh

Joon Koh

Rajiv Kohli

Marios Koufaris

Kevin Kuan

Christoph Kuhn

Ram Kumar

Jason Kuruzovich

Des Laffey

Hsiangchu Lai

Kee-hung (Mike) Lai

Michael Lash

Ulrike Lechner

John Ledyard

Dongwon Lee

Eun-Jung Lee

Ho Geun Lee

Hong Yoo Lee

Inseong Lee

Jungwoo Lee

Myung-Soo Lee

Sang-Yong (Tom) Lee

Yaobin Lee

Chin Laung Lei

Jan Marco Leimeister

Lori Leonard

Dahui Li

Mengxiang Li

Shengli Li

Ting Li

Xin Li

Xinxin Li

Xitong Li

Yung-Ming Li

Huigang Liang

Paul Licker

Annouk Lievens

Chieh-Peng Lin

Fu-ren Lin

Jack Lin

Mei Lin

Yucong Lin

Zhijie Lin

Peng Ling

Charles (Zhechao) Liu

Jun Liu

Xianghua Liu

Ying Liu

Yipeng Liu

Eleanor T. Loiacono

Alexander Lopes

Paul Benjamin Lowry

Xianghua Lu

Yaobin Lu

Stephan Ludwig

Chuan Luo

Christoph Lutz

Xianghua Lv

Mark Lycett

Xiao Ma

Scott McCoy

Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon

Adam M. Mahmood

Rolf Mahnke

Feng Mai

Ronald Maier

Stanislav Mamonov

Kent Marett

Panos Markopoulos

Sarit Markovich

Sean Marston

Nelson Massad

Christian Matt

Uwe Matzat

Kurt Matzler

Jerrold May

Lin Mei

Roberto Mejias

Thomas Miller

Dinesh Mirchandani

Sunil Mithas

Hamid Mohtadi

Alemayehu Molla

Ramiro Montealegre

Greg Moody

Andreas Munzel

Kichan Nam

Guofang Nan

Ravi Nararayanaswamy

Matthew Nelson

Rainer Olbrich

Akinori Ono

Peter Otto

Zafer D. Ozdemir

Zhao Pan

Jun Pang

Insu Park

Sungjune Park

Craig Parker

Bhavik Pathak

Praveen Pathak

Ravi Patnayakuni

David Paul

Kenneth Peffers

Alex Pelaez

Robin Pennington

Christoph Peters

James Pick

Roger A. Pick

Yves Pigneur

Huseyin Polat

Simpson Poon

Jaana Porra

Constance Porter

Key Pousttchi

Chris Preist

Liangfei Qiu

Lingyun Qiu

Elisabetta Raguseo

Vandana Ramachandran

Sridhar Ramaswami

C. Ranganathan

Philipp Rauschnabel

R. Ravichandran

Sury Ravindran

Gautam Ray

Louis Raymond

Hyeun-Suk Rhee

Christoph Riedl

Suzanne Rivard

Lionel P. Robert, Jr.

Ko de Ruyter

Timo Saarinen

Khawaja Saeed

Rajib Saha

Pallab Sanyal

Tobias Schlager

Christian Schlereth

Detlef Schoder

Jochen Scholl

Petra Schubert

Carsten Schultz

Judy Scott

Ravi Sen

Sagnika Sen

Mark Sena

Sanchayan Sengupta

Purvi Shah

Yung-Cheng Shen

Susan A. Sherer

Amit Sheth

Michael (Zhan) Shi

Savannah Shi

Zhan Shi

Hung-Pin Shih

Choon Ling Sia

Michael Siering

Param Vir Singh

Sanjukta Das Smith

Rajib Soha

Jai-Yeol Son

Amy Song

Ryan Sougstad

William Spangler

Martin Spann

Bruce Spencer

Rajendra P. Srivastava

Thomas Stafford Craig Standing

Charles Steinfield

Dennis Steininger

Stefan Stieglitz

Troy J. Strader

Bo-chiuan Su

Chandrasekar Subramaniam

Ashok Subramanian

Eung-Kyo Suh

Daewon Sun

Justin Sydnor

Chuan-Hoo Tan

Daisy (Jing) Tan

Yong Tan

Qian Tang

Xinlin Tang

Monideepa Tarafdar

Alfred Taudes

Orcun Temizkan

Ernie Teo

Thompson Teo

Ferdinand Thies

Ronald Thompson

Simon Thompson

James Y.L. Thong

Daniel Tolstoy

Noam Tractinsky

Arvind Tripathi

Dimitrios Tsekouras

Yanbin Tu

Y. Alex Tung

Ofir Turel

Nicolas Turenne

Tuure Tuunanen

Nathan W. Twyman

Andrew Urbaczewski

Jean-Claude Usunier

Sonja Utz

Rustam Vahidov

Peter van Baalen

Sebastian Voigt

Nir Vulkan

G. R. Wagner

Eric Walden

Zhiping Walter

Alex Wang

Bin Wang

Edward Wang

Eric T.G. Wang

Hui Wang

Kai Wang

Qiu-Hong Wang

Sophia Wang

Weiquan Wang

Sidne Ward

Sunil Wattal

Thomas Weber

K.K. Wei

John D. Wells

Hannes Werthner

Michael Wessel

Rolf T. Wigand

Fons Wijnhoven

Guido Wirtz

Christina Wong

Chuck Wood

Dezhi Wu

Ji Wu

Ping Amy Wu

James Wyse

Lan Xia

Jianhui Xie

Chun-Xiao Xing

Jingjun Xu

Kefeng Xu

Yunjie (Calvin) Xu

Ling Xue

Dong Ling Xu-Priour

Ruiliang Yan

Christopher Yang

Kyunghoon Yang

Zhiyung Yang

Rebecca Yen

Denny Yin

Byungjoon Yoo

Chul Woo Yoo

Yufei Yuan

German Zenetti

Chun Zeng

Cheng Zhang

Dongsong Zhang

Han Zhang

John Zhang

Ping Zhang

Xiaoquan Zhang

Yufei Zhang

Huimin Zhao

Kexin Zhao

Xia Zhao

Haichao Zheng

Xiao-Hui Zheng

Lina Zhou

Wei Zhou

Wenqi Zhou

Yilu Zhou

Zhongyun (Phil) Zhou

Hongwei Zhu

Youlong Zhuang

Vladimir Zwass