Understanding consumers’ acceptance of mobile payments
: a theoretical model and empirical validation

  • Jiajun Chen

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research investigates consumer acceptance of mobile payments. Mobile payments offer an alternative payment method for consumers, and allow consumers to make point-of-sales payments through mobile devices, such as mobile phones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). It aims to present a better understanding of mobile payments, developing a consumer acceptance model for mobile payments. Moreover, it offers a reference and a source of literature for the industry and academic researchers in this new information systems research domain. This thesis focuses on consumer acceptance of mobile payments, and explores and investigates the factors that influence consumer acceptance of mobile payments.

The lack of literature and empirical research in the field of mobile payments encouraged the development of a research framework to elucidate the acceptance of mobile payments by consumers. The present research has been conducted in order to offer a more in-depth understanding of consumers’ perspectives on mobile payments. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT) have been introduced into this research, offering a solid foundation for this research and the development of a research model.

A mixed methods approach was adopted for the research in this thesis. The research started with a qualitative method, using a focus group to investigate potential mobile payment users concerning usage, issues and adoption via open-ended questions. This process was followed by an example of mobile payment being identified and explored to understand mobile payments: a closed-ended questionnaire was used in this part of the research study. Study two is a case study, the selected case being ZOOP mobile payments. At the time of this research, ZOOP was a successful commercial infraredbased mobile payments system. These two studies offer rich information regarding the attitude and behaviour of mobile payments users toward mobile payments, and the expectations and concerns of potential users. The data and results from study one and study two were important as background material and for reference, and they also offer a context for the interpretation of the data from study three. Therefore, through these processes, a solid foundation for this research has been established. The proposed research model has been used in study three to address the research question in conjunction with evaluating the research model. The relationships between the potential factors in the research model have also been identified. The conceptual framework presented in this research is based on two well-known theories, IDT and TAM. Study three obtained two sets of data. The first survey was for all mobile payments users around the globe, and the second survey focused on one particular mobile payments service in the UK. The second set of data is designed to confirm the result from the first set of data. This rigorous process provides a solid model of consumer acceptance of mobile payments. The data has been analysed through Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) via Linear Structural RELationships (LISREL) computer application software. The study has successfully evaluated the research model and obtained results. Moreover, the survey instruments used have also been validated in this study.

This empirical research is used to improve the understanding of the phenomenon of mobile payments. Moreover, it offers insight into the attitudes and behaviour of consumers towards using mobile payments. In study one, focus group studies identified the reasons for adopting mobile payment systems, for example, a convenient service. Concerns about using the services, for instance, security, have also been identified. Furthermore, the second study surveyed ZOOP mobile payment users in South Korea: it also identified that convenience, ease of use, and a safe service would attract consumers to use the service. Both studies have provided valuable information for academics and the industry to understand why consumers would like to use mobile payments and also their concerns. The results of the study have confirmed the importance of the identified factors for consumer acceptance of mobile payments. Apart from TAM and IDT, respondents note that perceived costs, perceived trust, perceived system quality, and social influence are important to them.

The results of this research study should be of interest to both academic and business communities. The research in this thesis expands the usage of the TAM model in Information Systems (IS) research, validates and extends the TAM model within the mobile payments domain, and develops a new model of mobile payment adoption. Moreover, the results are of value to the business communities interested in developing and implementing mobile payment systems. Potential service providers would benefit from an improved understanding of these aspects. The identification of important factors concerning mobile payments in this study will assist them to develop and implement their systems to ensure the full acceptance and continuous use of the systems. The research framework can also be used for future research related to mobile payments or mobile commerce.
Date of AwardMar 2007
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Portsmouth
SupervisorCarl Adams (Supervisor) & Jim Briggs (Supervisor)

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