During the last twenty years, the growth of the internet and its ability to facilitate online business transactions, otherwise known as e-commerce, has had a profound impact on the way business is done around the world (Herhausen et al., 2015). The exponential growth of e-commerce has in turn created the need for new financial payment platforms through which monies can be transferred electronically (Teoh et al., 2013). These platforms are collectively known as e-payment and have the demonstrated ability to transfer funds and personal information in a safe and secure manner so that transactions can be effectively completed (Sumanjeet, 2009).
There are two primary forces that have driven the growth of e-payment. The first of these is based the need for a secure means of transacting business in countries that may lack strong legal infrastructures (Aslam et al., 2017). The second force driving the growth of e-payment is the increased popularity and use of mobile computing devices, such as smart phones and tablets, which enable customers to conduct business when it is convenient for them (Arif et al., 2016). Many studies have looked at various aspects of e-payment. Some of the more commonly studied aspects of e-payment research include but are not limited to: customer perceptions (Liao, Shi, & Wong, 2012), customers' intention to use (Chin & Ahmad, 2015; He, Luton, Fu, & Li, 2006; Wang, Wang, Lin, & Tang, 2003), customer adoption of e-payment (Lorenzo-Romero, Constantinides, & Alarcon-del-Amo, 2011; Ozkan, Bindusara, & Hackney, 2010); usage behavior (Chan & Lu, 2004) and the importance of convenience (Azmi, Ang, & Talib, 2016; Chin & Ahmad, 2015).
Other studies have focused on the factors which are believed to influence the adoption of e-payment systems. Some of the determinants which are believed to influence the adoption of e-payment include: the benefits of e-payment (Teoh, Siong, Lin, & Jiat, 2013); ease of use (Chin & Ahmad, 2015; Teoh, Siong, Lin, & Jiat, 2013; Lin & Nguyen, 2011); trust in e-payment systems (Teoh, Siong, Lin, & Jiat, 2013; Antoniou & Batten, 2011; Ozkan, Bindusara, & Hackney, 2010; Travica, Josanov, Kajan, Vidas-Bubanja, & Vuksanovic, 2007); security (Chaudhry, Farash, Naqvi, & Sher, 2016; Tella & Abdulmumin, 2015; Antoniou & Batten, 2011); self-efficacy (Teoh, Siong, Lin, & Jiat, 2013), and perceived quality or usefulness (Davis, 1989). Each of these studies thus suggest that customer perceptions of the benefit that they receive, perceived ease of use on the e-payment systems, the customers' perception on trust and the security of the system, the customers' self-efficacy, and the perceived quality of the e-payment system are important factors influencing the adoption, use and usage rate of e-payment.
Unfortunately, very few studies, to date, have attempted to study these factors in a single setting (Haque, Tarofder, Rahman, & Raquib, 2009; Ozkan et al., 2010; Teoh et al., 2013). The authors extend this research to include subjective norms and relate them to usage of e-payment. Specifically, whether they use e-payment system and how much money an individual spends each month using e-payment platforms were selected as dependent variables while controlling for age, gender, education and the respondents' working status. Data was collected from college students in a less developed country, Cote d'Ivoire.
It is both important and interesting to study these factors in a less developed country like Cote d'Ivoire, because the study findings may be generalizable to other parts of the African continent. The African continent is important to global business due to its total population, the many natural resources, rapid economic growth and the lack of stable infrastructures in many areas. Additionally, with two ports, Abidjan and San Pedro, Cote d'lvoire represents the heart of west Africa. Substantial goods and people exchange through this country. Thus, it is an important hub for people to transfer money in cash and/or via e-payment because the bank system is not convenient or accessible to general population. This study provides insights that may help lead to wider e-payment acceptance and use in other developing countries around the world. It is crucial to know about adopting the behavior of e-payment system that will ultimately become the preferred medium for financial transactions in these countries, as well as in the world.
The rest of the paper is organized as follows. In the next section the literature review contains a definition of e-payment, a historical review of the theoretical foundation of the study based on the evolution of the technology acceptance model (TAM), a review of study constructs and the hypotheses that will be tested. The study methodology, along with study results, is then presented. The paper concludes with managerial implications, study limitations, implications for future research and conclusions.
This study, similar to Teoh, Chong, Lin and Chua's, (2013) begins the process of defining e-payment based on the recommendations of Shon and Swatman (1998) who broadly define e-payment as the exchange of funds transmitted via an electronic communication channel as part of the exchange process. Other authors, such as Gans and Scheelings (1999), define e-payment more narrowly as payments made through electronic signals linked directly to deposit or credit accounts. Still other authors, such as Hord (2005), state that e-payment represents any kind of non-cash payment that does not directly involve cash or a paper check. Based on these definitions, this study defines e-payment as the transfer of funds electronically from a payer to payee through an e-payment platform which enables customers to remotely access and manage their financial transactions through an electronic network (Sumanjett, 2009; Teoh, Chong, Lin, & Chua, 2013).
This study, similar to others, adopts the technology acceptance model or TAM as its theoretical foundation. The technology acceptance model is based on the work of Davis (1989) and is derived from the Theory of Reasoned Action or TRA. The theory of reasoned action is predicated on the assumption that people are rational decision-makers. As such, people must constantly evaluate or reevaluate their relevant beliefs as they form attitudes toward specific behaviors (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) define an attitude as "an individual's positive or negative feelings about performing the target behavior" (p. 216). It is also believed that people form attitudes toward potential behaviors by evaluating/reevaluating their beliefs and then acting in a manner that they believe is in their best interest. A second important element of the TRA is the matter of subjective norms. Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) define subjective norms as "the person's perception that most people who are important to him think he should or should not perform the behavior in question" (p. 302).
Davis (1989) proposed the TAM, which is an extension of the TRA, as a means to better understand the factors that lead people to adopt or reject a given information technology. In this seminal piece, Davis (1989) suggests that perceived quality/usefulness and perceived ease of use are the primary beliefs which determine whether or not a given technology is accepted or rejected. Davis (1989) goes on to define perceived quality/usefulness as "the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance" (p. 320). He also defines perceived ease of use as "the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort" (p. 320). The TAM also suggests that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use then lead to individual intended and actual behaviors in accordance with the subjective norms, as noted in the TRA.
Perceived Benefit and Ease of Use
Chou and Poon (2003) and Teoh et al. (2013) found that perceptions of the benefit derived from the use of e-payment are significant drivers leading to its acceptance. These findings are also supported by Eastin (2002) who reported that perceptions of how easy a given...