What it would take to get more Ghanaians to adopt mobile payment systems

The introduction of information and communication technologies has created an opportunity for consumers to pay for products and services online and offline using mobile phones.

Transactions conducted through wireless and wired data transmission networks give consumers access and convenience to vast amounts of products and services.

The introduction of these technologies in Ghana has created a platform for consumers to use their mobile phones to pay for goods and services. Ghanaians have embraced e-commerce because of the convenience it offers customers to pay for and receive goods and services.

Unlike developed countries, Ghana does not have a well-developed infrastructure for the use of electronic cards (debit or credit cards) for commercial transactions. Thus, consumers and businesses mainly depend on cash. This exposes consumers to risks, including health and theft, from having to carry cash. It is therefore necessary to consider other, more secure methods of making and receiving payments. Mobile payments are an option.

Mobile payments have been around in developed economies for some time and have been linked to improved business transactions. Consumers can shop online 24/7 from the comfort of their home or business. This has resulted in increased transactions for businesses.

A recent study by Accenture shows that in the coming years, traditional payments will decline in favor of digital payments. The study also predicted a significant increase in the use of retail apps (8%), Apple Pay™/Samsung Pay™ (7%) and PayPal (6%).

According to the report, the surge in mobile payment sales is driven by the rapid growth in the use of mobile payment technology.

Despite the abundance of literature on mobile payment in developed economies, few empirical studies have been conducted on the use of mobile payments in developing markets, including Ghana. Again, understanding of the intention of mobile users to adopt the mobile payment system in developing economies such as Ghana appears to be rare or non-existent.

In Ghana, mobile money has become one of the most widely used mobile payment methods. Mobile money services have been around for over a decade. However, its use has grown astronomically over the past couple of years as more and more consumers are using the services for payment for goods and services. It is estimated that around 38.9% of the population (15+) in Ghana had a mobile money account as of January 2021.

Our study aimed to fill the gap in the literature on m-payment in developing economies like Ghana. We developed a model to uncover the determinants of mobile payment system adoption intentions among consumers in Ghana using three of the most popular theories used to explain online shopping behavior. These are the theory of reasoned action; technology acceptance model; and Theory of Planned Behaviour.

We wanted to know what factors would influence consumer adoption of mobile payment as a payment option for paying for goods and services in Ghana.

What we found

We found that consumers’ intention to adopt mobile payment was indirectly influenced by the perception and use of the system by other people. In other words, when consumers saw celebrities and other social influencers adopting or using the system, they were likely to do the same.

This finding is consistent with the assertion of some researchers that consumers’ intention to adopt a particular technology depends on two factors. First, the belief and trust a consumer has in people they admire (the reference group). Second, the desire to imitate the actions of the reference group towards a product.

We also found a strong correlation between perceived usefulness of a product or service and consumer attitude and behavioral intention towards mobile payment adoption in Ghana. That is, consumers’ intention to adopt a mobile payment method is influenced by consumers’ perception of the usefulness of achieving a desired result or outcome. The desired outcome could be the user’s ability to transact on the platform successfully. Another study also came to the same conclusion.

Our study also found that perceived ease of use had a significant positive effect on attitudes and perceived usefulness. Consumers would therefore adopt a mobile payment method if they perceived the system to be easy to navigate. This finding is consistent with a study that found that perceived ease of use has a strong positive influence on technology adoption.

Attitudes and perceived security also influence the behavioral intention of consumers towards the adoption of the mobile payment system. A 1% increase in a consumer’s attitude increased their intention to adopt mobile payment by 22.7%. The same percentage of perceived security of the product or service increased consumers’ intention to adopt mobile payment by 15.8%. Failure to convince consumers of the safety and security of their transactions would have a negative effect on their likely adoption of a mobile payment system.

How to improve mobile payment services

Policy makers and service providers can learn from our findings. Perceived ease of use is considered one of the most important determinants of adoption of new technologies. The platform should therefore be designed in such a way that consumers find it easy and comfortable to use. Once consumers find the new technology easy to use and also realize the benefits, they will have no problem switching from the traditional payment method to the mobile payment option.

Perceived security is an important factor in the acceptance of new technologies. Implementing adequate security measures to gain consumer confidence in the system and increase the chances of adoption and use of the mobile payment system as a method of payment should therefore be a priority.

Finally, the government, businesses and organizations should encourage the acceptance and use of the mobile payment system to complement existing payment methods and improve consumer payment behavior. Moreover, it is mandatory that service providers and merchants recognize the implication of cultural values ​​on the intention to adopt the mobile payment system.

About Matthew R. Dailey

Check Also

‘Payment Stable Coins’ Could Lead to ‘Disintermediation of Traditional Banks’, Acting FDIC Chairman Says

In a recent speech, Martin J. Gruenberg, who has served as the Acting Chairman of …