Sharing Economy: Challenges with global expansion
Shruthi Shankar
2

Interesting points Shruti. I find the sharing economy an interesting topic to discuss as more and more people are using it (or at least familiar with the business model). I think this type of businesses will continue to increase in number in the coming years as it provides not only practical options to consumers but also convenience ( from booking services to providing reviews online).

The fact that the booking and payment transactions for services have shifted from traditional over the counter to online provides much difference on operational process efficiency. However, too much dependence on online channels may be a consideration in the sharing economy. What happens if the customer has no or limited access to the internet? I reckon AirBnB, Uber and Lyft should start considering other options in making their services accessible to potential customers who have limited online access.

Another interesting point to explore is the payment method. How will the P2P businesses can cater for noncredit card holders? Are there options for making payment via phone or over the counter? If P2P businesses can address this gap, their customer base may significantly increase.

I have read a paper from the Western Michigan University where they explained why credit card transactions are not commonly used in countries like Ghana where people and businesses prefer cash payments. The local trading culture has a significant influence on consumers.

http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1495&context=masters_theses

It might worth exploring how P2P business can improve their platform to accommodate different types of payment method.

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