Factors influencing adoption and diffusion of mobile payment systems - a holistic framework

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Mobile devices have a potential to become ideal payment devices because they are small, light, personal, convenient, and many people carry them anytime, anywhere. Mobile devices have a number of connectivity options, and their own display and input capabilities. They are already widely used around the world. Mobile payments, despite their potential, have not reached the expected adoption levels. While there may be many reasons for this, previous research focused on few topics only, mainly technology and consumers. The main aim of this study was to find out what is necessary to improve adoption and diffusion of mobile payments. Specific objectives that were proposed to help achieve this aim included: a) identifying all the factors that may influence adoption and diffusion of mobile payments, b) integrating such factors and relations between them in a holistic framework, and c) providing specific recommendations and guidelines in all the various perspectives. Grounded theory was the methodology employed to fulfil these objectives. Qualitative approach was found to be most suitable to this study, and open- ended Web surveys, as well as various kinds of interviews, including email, face-to-face, phone, and focus groups managed to obtain detailed, in-depth information from industry and user participants. The main contribution of this study is the holistic theoretical framework that explains the specific factors that influence adoption and diffusion of mobile payments, provides interesting findings on each of the identified factors, and at the same time integrates such investigations together as one coherent whole that forms a roadmap of success factors for mobile payments. Some of the discovered factors have not been proposed before at all. Some others have been proposed in fragmented explanations that focused on several influences only. Other factors have been proposed before but this study offered more accurate or understandable interpretations or names for them. In addition, this project integrated all the factors together in a holistic framework, pointing out all the important contexts and conditions that providers need to understand and fulfil. Another contribution is a multitude of specific guidelines and recommendations that have been discovered in the participants' data. This study, unlike some other mobile payment projects, additionally devoted much attention to studying mobile payments in relation to other payment methods. The proposed theory with its well explained success factors can be used by providers to improve their current systems or better design new mobile payment initiatives.
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