In the era of globalization and with the increasing competition in all the fields around the world many companies have modified their strategies so they can reach their customers around the world easier and cheaper. However the rapid growth of systems that rely on electronic technology – especially those relating to the Internet and personal computer- led to a significant change in the exchanging of products and services.
Many Service organizations have adopted modern technology to reduce costs and enhance customer service quality, delivery, and standardize core service offerings. In addition a lot of non-banking companies entered the banking industry by offering products and financial services, giving the customers a lot of options and alternatives to carry out their banking transactions, this difficulty of the business process in the financial sector forces the banks to develop an alternative technological channel to attract customers and improve their perception.
The rapid technological diffusion makes the internet the best way to provide customers with banking services regardless of the limits of time and geography. And that’s what makes banks consider the internet as an important part of their strategic plans.
Internet technology has changed the design and the way of delivering the financial services and as a result the banking industry has made continuous innovations – especially in the field of communications and information technology – that ultimately led to the emergence of the idea of what is known as the “online banking”.
Banking services through the internet is a way to keep the existing customers and attract others to the bank, In this paper we define online banking as ‘an internet portal, through which customers can use different kinds of banking services ranging from bill payment to making investments’ (Pikkarainen et al., 2004).
Compared to the traditional approach, online banking is an inexpensive straightforward way to conduct banking business, exchange of personalized information and buying and selling goods and services from any place at any time.
Despite the many benefits provided by this service to the bank and its customers, it remains a double-edged sword and not used by every customer, because the increasing distance between the bank and customers may lead to lack of confidence and an increasing in security concerns. As a result, the quality of electronic banking services become an important area of attention among the researchers and banks managers due to its strong influence on the business performance, lower costs, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability (Seth et al., 2004).
The main objective of this study is to focus on the importance of understanding the customer’s perception about internet banking by investigating and measuring the impact of selected factors such as perceived usefulness (PU), perceived ease of use (PEOU), security and privacy (PC) and how they can influence the customer acceptance to conduct banking transactions via the internet, Based on the empirical data collected from individual customers in Bahrain.
In the next section we will give some background information about the internet banking sector and review the relevant literature in this area, the following section describes the research methodology, which is then followed by the data analysis and the results from the survey, The paper concludes with a discussion, outlining the implications of the findings and the limitations of the study.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)
Perceived ease of use
Actual system use
Figure 1: The original Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989)
The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is a perfect model which show how users accept and use a technology. In (TAM) the main determinants of user’s acceptance of new technology are perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU) (Davis, 1989).
Although (Chen and Barnes 2007; T.C. Edwin Cheng et al. 2006) found that perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and security and privacy affect customer adaptation intentions, Qureshi et al., (2008) claimed that Perceived usefulness, security and privacy are the main perusing factors to accept online banking system.
Celik (2008) stated that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are direct determinants of customers’ attitudes towards using internet Banking.
Traditional service quality and website features (PU, PEOU and PC) that give customers confidence build trust in e-banking (Yap, K et al. 2010).
Aderonke and Charles. (2010) found that ‘Banks’ customers who are active users of e-Banking system use it because it is convenient, easy to use, time saving and appropriate for their transaction needs. Also the network security and the security of the system in terms of privacy are the major concerns of the users and constitute hindrance to intending users.’
Yap, K et al. (2010) claimed that ‘Traditional service quality and website features that give customers confidence build trust in e-banking.’
Sadeghi and Hanzaee. (2010) found that ‘According to the model of seven factors on the following dimensions: convenience, accessibility, accuracy, security, usefulness, bank image, and web site design. Some of these factors illustrate a significant statistical difference between males and females.’
Safeena et al. (2009) found that ‘perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, consumer awareness and perceived risk are the important determinants of online banking adoption. These factors have a strong and positive effect on customers to accept online banking system.’
Alda´s-Manzano et al. (2009) found that ‘TAM beliefs and perceived risks (security, privacy, performance and social) have a direct influence on e-banking adoption. Trust appears as a key variable that reduces perceived risk. Involvement plays an important role in increasing perceived ease of use.’
Riyadh et al. (2009) stated that ‘Seven variables affecting e-banking adoption by SMEs are identified. They are: organizational capabilities, perceived benefits, perceived credibility, perceived regulatory support, ICT industries readiness, lack of financial institutions readiness and institutional influence.’
Al-Somali et al. (2009) found that ‘ the quality of the Internet connection, the awareness of online banking and its benefits, the social influence and computer self-efficacy have significant effects on the perceived usefulness (PU) and perceived ease of use (PEOU) of online banking acceptance. Education, trust and resistance to change also have significant impact on the attitude towards the likelihood of adopting online banking.’
Jahangir N. and Begum N. (2008) noted that ‘perceived usefulness, ease of use, security and privacy, and customer attitude are significantly and positively related to customer adaptation.’
Hanudin Amin. (2007) found that ‘perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived credibility had a significant relationship with behavioral intention. Further, these measures are good determinant for undergraduate acceptance for internet banking. Results also suggest that PU and PEOU had a significant relationship with computer self-efficacy.’
Z Liao and WK Wong. (2008) found that ‘perceived usefulness, ease of use, security, responsiveness and convenience significantly influence customer interactions with Internet e-banking. In particular, individuals would place a great emphasis on the security of Internet-based financial transactions. As a conventional practice, commercial banks and financial institutions must continuously review security policy and strengthen the security control of Internet e-banking’
Wai-Ching Poon. (2008) found that ‘all elements for ten identified factors are significant with respect to the users’ adoption of e-banking services. Privacy and security are the major sources of dissatisfaction, which have momentously impacted users’ satisfaction. Meanwhile, accessibility, convenience, design and content are sources of satisfaction. Besides, the speed, product features availability, and reasonable service fees and charges, as well as the bank’s operations management factor are critical to the success of the e-banks. WAP, GPRS and 3G features from mobile devices are of no significance or influence in the adoption of e-banking services in this study. Results also reveal that privacy; security and convenience factors play an important role in determining the users’ acceptance of e-banking services with respect to different segmentation of age group, education level and income level.’
Padachi et al. (2007) found that ‘the most significant factor is ease of use and that other important elements featured reluctance to change, trust and relationship in banker, cost of computers, internet accessibility, convenience of use, and security concerns.’
Chen, Y. H. and Barnes, S. (2007) pointed out that ‘perceived usefulness, perceived security, perceived privacy, perceived good reputation, and willingness to customize are the important antecedents to online initial trust. It is also discovered that different levels of trust propensity moderate perceptions toward the web site and
online with respect to online initial trust, including perceived usefulness, perceived security, perceived privacy, perceived good reputation, and willingness to customize. Both online initial trust and familiarity with online purchasing have a positive impact on purchase intention.’
T.C. Edwin Cheng et al. (2006) found that ‘The results provide support of the extended TAM model and confirm its robustness in predicting customers’ intention of adoption of IB. This study contributes to the literature by formulating and validating TAM to predict IB adoption, and its findings provide useful information for bank management in formulating IB marketing strategies.’ We analyzed the data using Structured Equation Modeling (SEM) to evaluate the strength of the hypothesized relationships, if any, among the constructs, which include Perceived Ease of Use and Perceived Web Security as independent variables, Perceived Usefulness and Attitude as intervening variables, and Intention to Use as the dependent variable. The results provide support of the extended TAM model and confirm its robustness in predicting customers intention of adoption of IB
Moutaz Abou-Robieh. (2005) found that ‘there was a correlation between respondents’ attitudes towards e-banking and their comfort level and feeling of security with regard to their age, level of education, and annual salary.’
2.1 Perceived ease of use (PEOU)
Safeena et al. (2009), Jahangir N. and Begum N. (2008), Z Liao and WK Wong. (2008) and Amin. (2007) stated that perceived ease of use have a strong and positive influence on customers intention to adopt and use internet banking.
2.2 Perceived usefulness (PU)
Several studies showed that perceived usefulness influence customer interactions with internet banking, which effect the adoption of e-banking services (Sadeghi and Hanzaee. 2010; Safeena et al. 2009; Al-Somali et al. 2009; Jahangir N. and Begum N. 2008; Hanudin Amin. 2007, Z Liao and WK Wong.2008 ).
2.3 Perceived credibility (PC)
Previous research has shown that security and privacy are the most concern for consumer, which have a direct or indirect influence on e-banking adoption (Aderonke and Charles, 2010; Sadeghi and Hanzaee, 2010; Alda´s-Manzano et al., 2009; Riyadh et al. 2009; Jahangir N. and Begum N., 2008; Z Liao and WK Wong., 2008). Privacy put barriers on using online services (Hernandez and Mazzon, 2007).
Moreover, Wai-Ching Poon. (2008) and Moutaz Abou-Robieh. (2005) noted that privacy and security factors play an important role in determining the users’ acceptance of e-banking services with regard to age, education level and income level.
4.1 RESEARCH MODEL AND HYPOTHESES
The model of the study is presented below:
- Perceived usefulness
- Perceived ease of use
- Perceived credibility
Intention to use Electronic Banking
The representation of the proposed framework depicted the pattern and structure of relationships between the set of the measured variables.
The purpose of the study is to measure correlations among variables and then use it to identify whether any relationships exists between these measured variables or not.
We will extended TAM and add PC into the framework to test the effect of these three factors on e-banking adaption.
In the extended model of TAM study, like (Safeena et al. 2009; Alda´s-Manzano et al. (2009); Hanudin Amin, 2007), the attitudes factor has been neglected to simplify the model.
The present study investigated the relationship between perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived credibility and customer intention to use electronic banking in Bahrain. Here perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and perceived credibility, were being considered as independent variables and customer intention to use electronic banking was being considered as a dependent variable.
According to the Davis (1989) and Davis et al. (1989), perceived usefulness is ‘the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance’. Perceived usefulness is defined as ‘the individual’s perception that using the new technology will enhance or improve her/his performance’ (Davis,1993).
In Addition, Laforet and Li, (2005) and Eriksson et al., (2005) defined the term perceived usefulness as ‘the subjective probability that using the technology would improve the way a user could complete’.
We hypothesize that People tend to use an application to the extent they believe it will aid their performance.
H1: Perceived usefulness (PU) has a positive effect on customer Intention to use Electronic banking.
Perceived ease of use
According to Davis (1989) perceived ease of use refers to ‘the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort”. “The most significant factor on adoption Internet Banking is ease of use.” (Padachi et al., 2007).
Hence an application perceived to be easier to use than another is more likely to be accepted by users. And By applying these to electronic banking context we can hypothesize that:
H2: Perceived ease of use (PEOU) has a positive effect on customer Intention to use Electronic banking.
Perceived credibility is defined as ‘the degree to which a user feels the certainty and pleasant consequences of using an electronic application service, when there is no financial risk, physical risk, functional risk, social risk, time-loss risk, opportunity cost risk, and information risk’ Jacoby and Kaplan (1972). However, (Ganesan,1994) present another definition of PC stating it as ‘the extent to which one partner believes that the other partner has the required expertise to perform the job effectively and reliably.’
PC is usually impersonal and relies on reputation, information and economic reasoning (Ba and Pavlou,2002).
Wang et al. (2003) stated that perceived credibility is consists of two important elements namely privacy and security, which affect directly consumer adaptation of electronic banking systems. Security refers to the protection of information or systems from unauthorized intrusions (Egwali, 2008). For the purpose of this research, ‘perceived credibility’ (PC) is defined as users’ perception of protection of their transaction details and personal data against unauthorized access.
Therefore, for studying the effect of perceived credibility on user’s acceptance in Bahrain electronic banking services, we pose the following hypothesis to determine it effect on user’s intention
H3: perceived credibility has positive effect on customer Intention to use Electronic banking.
To assess the factors influencing the intention to use internet banking in Bahrain, a survey was conducted during the last quarter of year 2010. A Questionnaire were designed and distributed to retail users of banking services of different age group and of different educational level attained across the island.
The questionnaire we prepared for this exercise was divided into 2 sections. The first section concentrates on the general profile of the respondent including his/her age group, education level and profession and income group.
In the second section we were interested in finding the factors affecting the customer intention to use internet banking in Bahrain. The respondents were provided with a list of 10 questions; 4 questions on perceived usefulness, 2 questions on perceived ease of use, 3 questions on perceived credibility and finally 1 question on intention to use.
The participants were asked to indicate their perception on a likert scales (1- 5) with response ranging from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’. The collected data were analyzed based on correlation and regression analyses using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 17computer program.
The questionnaires were distributed directly among the customers through the researchers’ friends and relatives, a sample of 400 people was randomly chosen from the Bahraini community, all participants were bank customers selected randomly from universities, malls, Internet cafÃ©’s and businessmen from private and public sectors.
Also A digital online form was created using “Google Documents” in the same questionnaire style, Then the link was shared and publicized to Bahraini’s through email as well as posting it on discussion forums. Once a subject would answer the questionnaire, the raw data will automatically be logged in a spreadsheet which can be only accessed and downloaded by the researcher.
Since the questionnaire form was to be submitted online it guaranteed two things: First, it targeted people who really access the internet. Second, because all questions are need to be answered before submitting. The collection of data will be done automatically, efficiently and there won’t be any loss of data
The questionnaire we prepared and used had been pre-tested initially with a few number of people (5 users) working in different sectors to ensure consistency, clarity and relevance to the Bahraini case, Minor changes (related to the questions content, wording, sequence) were requested by those people, which we implemented before carrying out the final copy.
A total of 200 useable responses were obtained yielding a response rate of 50% (200/400).
Demographic profile of respondents:
18 – 25
25 – 35
35 – 45
45 yrs and above
Secondary and below
Monthly Income in BD
Less than 500
1000 and above
Assumptions or Limitations
For this research, the following limitation existed in the collection of data, the survey assumed that the respondents have some familiarity with banks and banking transactions and have been exposed to or have knowledge of the existence of e-banking alternatives. For these responses in particular, it was difficult to ensure the true validity of the responses or the identity of the respondent.
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