FACTORS INFLUENCING MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER ADOPTION AMONG SOMALI STUDENTS

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FACTORS INFLUENCING MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER ADOPTION AMONG SOMALI STUDENTS
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  International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (December) ISSN 2289-1552    2013  Page 1 FACTORS INFLUENCING MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER ADOPTION AMONG SOMALI STUDENTS Ali Yassin Sheikh Ali  1   ABSTRACT  Mobile Money transfer is gaining popularity among peoples in several African countries, where people are struggling for necessities of the life. In Somalia, the leading telecommunication company (Hormuud) in the capital city, Mogadishu, launched  Electronic Voucher Card Plus (EVC Plus), a mobile application technology for money transfer. People including students widely adopted EVC Plus for transferring, selling/buying, sharing, and receiving money to the family members, friends, and businesses. The current study investigates the factors that influence EVC Plus adoption among students in a private university in Mogadishu, Somalia, based on extended Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). By using proportionate stratified random sampling, 414  students responded to the study. The data was collected in June 2013 and was analyzed using SPSS version 17.0. The findings indicated that perceived usefulne  ss (β=.275, t=5.435, p<.001), perceived ease of use (β=.222, t=4.826, p<.001) and perceived trust ((β=.331, t=7.185, p<.001) had statistically significant and positive effect on intention to adopt EVC Plus among stude nts, whereas perceived risk ((β=.059, t  =1.702, p=.089) was not a predictor of intention to use EVC Plus. Moreover, perceived ease of use was found to be a predictor of perceived usefulness to use EVC Plus among the students. Contribution of the study, future research scope and implications are further elaborated. Keywords:  Perceived trust, Perceived usefulness, Perceived ease of use, Perceived risk, TAM model. 1 Business administration department, College of Business studies, Sudan University of Science and Technology, Sudan, Khartoum (+252-612225577,  profali@hotmail.com)  1.   INTRODUCTION Money transfer is lifeline in Somalia particularly after the collapse of central government in 1991. The country drifted to civil war, which caused the destruction of the key government institutions including telecommunication and banking services. This led to the civil society initiatives for rebuilding the institutions for their own way. The telecommunication sector emerged as the main target for the civil society and businessmen. The sector provides cheapest rates for telecommunication in Africa and the technologically advanced and competing services in Africa (Abdullahi, 2013). Six main companies provide telecommunication services in the country. These include Hormuud Telecom, Telcom Somalia, Telesom, Somafone, Nationlink, and Golis Telecom. Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) is one of the services that the telecommunication industry provides to its customers. These service providers offer MMT with different brands. For instance, Telesom Somaliland in northern regions provides  ZAAD  service; Golis Telecom in east northern regions provides SAHAL  service, while Nationlink and Hormuud Telecom in southern and central regions provide  E-MAAL  and Electronic Voucher Cards (  EVC Plus ) respectively. Hormuud Telecom Group was the first to introduce MMT service in the country. EVC Plus allows the customers to send and receive money through their mobile  phones as an airtime, and it is an upgraded version of its previous Electronic Voucher Cards. More than 70% of the total 2.5 million Hormuud mobile subscribers are currently using EVC Plus for daily transactions since its inauguration two year ago (Mohamed, 2013). The EVC Plus service provides extra features for its users. These include interactive menu that allows the users to choose and  perform multiple options. The users can recharge Airtime for their own mobile phone number or their friends, can refund, and re-cash their balance. The users for the service with free of charge, and then they can deposit into their account; and finally can use their balance for recharge, exchange, and refund. EVC Plus had become one of the services that people depend on their daily transactions in south and central Somalia. Most business activities now use this service as payment method including water and electricity bills, while most of the family daily business transactions occur through this service. MMT services had several advantages such as accessibility and lower cost (Daly, 2010). There is a wide usage for the mobile  phone banking rather than using traditional banking services. For instant, the MMT service is gaining popularity since there were more than 70 million mobile phone users in Pakistan and the number had doubled today (Daly, 2010). He asserts that the accessibility and the lower cost for the transactions increased the adoption and popularity of MMT among the consumers. In Somalia where the availability of banking services is almost zero, the MMT adoption is the only accessible way of sending and receiving money. MMT services are widely accepted and adopted by the different segments of the population. However, the current study attempts to investigate the factors that influence MMT adoption among students in a private university in Somalia.  International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (December) ISSN 2289-1552    2013  Page 2 2.   LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1. MOBILE BANKING AND MOBILE MONEY TRANSFER   Mobile phone payments is a popular and most preferable way of sending and receiving money in Africa since the vast majority of the continents‟ population are ruler dwellers or uneducated (Ayo,  Ukpere, Oni, Ometo, & Akinsiko, 2012; Mangudla, 2012). The concept of mobile money transfer dates back to the history of telecommunication and banking industries. There are collaborations between the two industries for the facilitation of MMT service (Ayo et.al, 2012). M-PESA was the first MMT service in Africa, which was introduced by Safaricom of Kenya (A Vodafone partner) in 2007. M-PESA (M refers to mobile, and PESA refers money in Swahili language) can be accessed from the different outlets such as the headquarter, main branches of the company, or an authorized business outlet. Safaricom registered over 20, 000 consumers for M-PESA within the first month of introducing the service (Hughes & Lonie, 2007), and the number reached more than 15 million users of MMT in Kenya after five years of launching (Michaels, 2011). He contends that there are several factors behind the wide adoption and acceptance of this service by the users including rapid migration to cities for work, a significant unbanked number of the populace, the credibility of the service provider, and finally their commitment towards families in home villages. Therefore, as asserted by Hughes & Lonie, (2007), the M-PESA is primarily designed for the unbanked populace in Kenya. The MMT also was later introduced in several African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Ghana, among others. The success of these services in South Africa and Ghana were less than the Kenya‟s M -PESA success (Tobbin, 2010). MMT service in Somalia was first introduced by Hormuud telecommunication company. ZAAD money transfer was the first  product; however, it was banned by AL-Shabab Group. The company later introduced a more advanced service named EVC Plus. Other telecommunication service providers later offered similar products with different brands. For example, Golis offers SAHAL money transfer service, whereas Nationlink and Telecom Somalia offer E-MAAL and ZAAD services respectively. The lack of effective government in Somalia affected the necessities of the life. However, telecommunication industry filled the governmental gap by introducing revolutionary technologies (Osman, 2012). The industry provides several services such landline, mobile phones, internet and mobile banking. The mobile banking or what we can refer to mobile money transfer is very  popular in the most sophisticated and active people in Africa with regard to mobile phone payment (Osman, 2012). Many diverse factors contribute to the adoption and acceptance of these MMT services in Somalia. One major reason is that the  banking systems in the country are very limited. In addition, there is much risk for caring cash since the country is still politically unstable and recovering from more than two decades of chaos and civil war (Mohamed, 2013). There are huge remittances sent  by the Somali Diaspora back home to their families, friends, relatives, or business associates. There is also huge migration to the major cities because of economic crisis, famine, droughts, and job seeking. All these factors can contribute to the acceptance and usage of MMT service by the Somalis as they were behind its usage in other countries especially in Africa. There are limited empirical studies on the state of art of MMT adoption in the country. Sayid, Echchabi, and Abd. Aziz (2012) examined the mobile money acceptance in Somalia by drawing on the TAM model. Sayid et.al‟s (2012) study suggested that  perceived usefulness and security positively affected the attitude towards mobile banking, whereas social influence and  perceived usefulness significantly and positively influenced the intention to accept mobile money. Furthermore, their study suggested that perceived ease of use had positive effect on perceived usefulness of mobile money. Sayid et.al‟s (2012) sample  size was very small (N=100) which is difficult to draw a statistical conclusion from it. In addition, this study looked at the MMT in a broader scope. However, their study provided useful insights about the factors influencing the acceptance and adoption of MMT in the country. As such, the current study will draw a large and probability sample size to examine the underlying factors for the adopting of the most popular MMT services in the country. Previous research focused on the factors influencing the adoption of MMT or mobile banking service from diverse theoretical approaches such as TAM model, Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA), Theory of Planned Action (TPA), Unified theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), Diffusion of Innovations theory, among others. TAM model was considered most suitable for the current study as it has empirical support and well-established constructs to predict intention to use a new technology. 2.2. TECHNOLOGY ACCEPTANCE MODEL Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) is widely adopted theory for examining the using of computers by the users. The theory was based on the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980). TAM, first introduced by Davis (1989),  posits that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use as major determinants for using computers. Perceived usefulness is defined as "the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance”, while perceived ease of use refers to “the degree to which a person be lieves that using a particular system would be free of effort” (Davis, 1989, p.320). These two beliefs determine the majority of variance in adoption of a new technology. Consequently, the theory was further evaluated by subsequent studies. For instance, Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw (1989) conducted a comparison study between TAM model and theory of reasoned action (TRA). Davis et.al (1989) found perceived usefulness to be strong predictor of behavioral intention to use the system, whereas perceived ease of use had also effect on  International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (December) ISSN 2289-1552    2013  Page 3 intention. Attitude towards using the systems was found to be partially mediating the prediction of these two variables on the outcome (intention). In addition, their study suggested that intention predicts computer usage. The TAM model is considered the most popular theory examining the determinants of information systems among the researchers (Luarn & Lin, 2005). Although previous studies widely adopted this theory, many constructs were added to the srcinal model. As noted by Davis (1989), TAM model may not fully predict all the variances in the user adoption. This means that there are other variables that may influence the user acceptance. As such, several constructs were incorporated to the srcinal model including perceived credibility, perceived self-efficacy, and perceived financial cost (Laurn & Lin, 2005); technology-specific valuation, and number of users, among others (Wang, Lo, & Fang, 2008). Much literature relating to the information systems usage has dropped the attitude contrast from the srcinal TAM model. For example, Venkatesh and Davis (1996) used the TAM model without attitude. They argued that this construct did not mediate the effect of beliefs about the system on the actual usage. This also was observed in other similar studies (Ramayah & Ignatuis, 2005; Luarn & Lin, 2005; Wang et.al, 2008). The current study omits also the attitude construct as well the actual usage due to exploratory nature of the study and the study‟s intention to explore only the students‟  adoption of the service. 2.3.   RESEARCH FRAMEWORK   As shown in figure 1, the current study extends the srcinal TAM model by incorporating two main constructs: perceived trust, and perceived risk. The four main independent variables (Perceived usefulness “PU”; perceived ease of use “PEU”; perceived trust “PT”; and perceived risk “PR”) directly influence the behavioral intention (BI) to use EVC Plus service.   2.3.1. PERCEIVED EASE OF USE (PEU) PEU was considered a strong predictor of behavioral intention to adopt the technology (Davis, 1989). PEU refers to the  perception of the user that using the systems is free of effort. PEU in the literature was found to have significant effect on the  behavioral intention to use a technology system (i.e., Davis, 1989; Venkatesh and Davis, 1996; Luarn & Lin, 2005). This means that if the students believed that the use of EVC Plus is easy, they will use it. Furthermore, it has found that PEU is directly influencing PU (Davis, 1989), and subsequent studies have given support for this effect. Thus, the study posits that:  H1: Perceived ease of use positively influences the behavioral intention to adopt EVC Plus among the students.  H2: Perceived ease of use positively influences the Perceived usefulness of the EVC Plus among the students. 2.3.2. PERCEIVED USEFULNESS (PU)  PU is another predictor of the intention to use the new system or technology (Davis, 1989). PU is referred to extent that a person thinks the use of a system increases his or her performance. PU remains the strongest predictor in the literature (Ramayah & Ignatius, 2005; Luarn & Lin, 2005; Wang et.al, 2008; Tobbin, 2010). If the students think that using EVC Plus is advantageous for their daily transactions such as borrowing, buying/selling, and sending/receiving money, they are more likely to use it. Therefore, this study hypothesizes that:  H3: Perceived usefulness significantly influences the behavioral intention to use EVC Plus among the students. 2.3.3. PERCEIVED TRUST (PT) Trust is an important in every tr  ansaction whether business or personal in nature. As noted by Gefen (2000), trust is “the confidence a person has in his or her favorable expectations of what other people will do, based, in many cases, on previous interactions” (p.726). He found that trus t construct had statistically significant effect on purchase and inquire intentions. Dahlberg, Mallat, and Öörni (2003) suggested the perceived trust and disposition to trust to be included in the TAM model when  International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (December) ISSN 2289-1552    2013  Page 4 it comes to mobile payments. In another study, Daud, Kassim, Said, and Noor (2011) found that perceived trust positively influenced the intention to use mobile banking service in Malaysia. Similarly, mobile trust was found to be a major predictor of intention to accept wireless mobile data services in China (Lu, Lui, Yu, and Wang, 2008). In MMT context, trust was found among others to have effect on the behavioral intention to use MMT among Ghana respondents (Tobbin, 2010). Therefore, this study assumes that:  H4: Perceived trust positively influences the behavioral intention to use EVC Plus among the students. 2.3.4. PERCEIVED RISK The risk that may be associated with the using the MMT service can cause not to use the service or limited usage. Perceived risk is referred to „a consumer‟s belief about   the potential uncertain negative outcomes from the mobile money transaction” (Tobbin, 2010, p.4). Perceived risk was found to be a key determinant of intention to use MMT, Mobile banking, and e-banking (Tobbin, 2010; Kallamarthodi & Vaithiyanathan, 2012; Khraim, AL-Shoubaki & Khraim, 2011; Al-Jabri & Sohail, 2012). As such, the current study postulates that:  H5:    Perceived risk negatively influences the behavioral intention to adopt EVC Plus among the students.   3.   METHODOLOGY 3.1 . RESEARCH DESIGH AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE The current study adopts survey research design as data collection method. A self-administered questionnaire comprising of two sections was developed for gathering information related to the study. The first section gathered information related to demographics and mobile phone usage. While the second section gathered students‟ responses regarding perceived usefulness,  perceived ease of use, perceived trust, perceived risk, and behavioral intension to use EVC Plus service. The study employs stratified random sampling where the main strata is based on gender and faculty. SIMAD University, based in Mogadishu, Somalia, was chosen as a research setting. This university is a leading educational institution in the south and central Somalia. The sample of this study comprises of 500 students. Following proportionate stratified random sampling, each student had a chance for representation in the study. The questionnaires were distributed during classes after obtaining  permission from respective lecturers. Within two weeks, four hundred and fourteen (414) valid responses were returned, making the response rate more than 90%. 3.2. MEASURES    Perceived usefulness was adapted from Lu et.al (2008).    Perceived ease of use: four items were adapted from Lin (2011) and one more item was added.    Perceived trust: the items were adapted from Foon and Fah (2011) and Yu (2012).    Perceived risk: three items were adopted from Teng, Lu, and Yu (2009), and one more item added by the authors.    Behavioral intention: three items were adapted from Lu et.al (2008); while the authors created two items for the purpose of this study.    All these items were measured using five-point likert scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree. 3.3. RELIABILITY Table 1 shows the results of reliability coefficients. All variables achieved an acceptable level of internal consistency since all scores were greater than the rule of thumb (<.70). Perceived usefulness had obtained the highest Cronbach‟s alpha (.839) Perceived trust (.810), whereas perceived risk had obtained the lowest alpha, (736). Table 1: Cronbach’s Alpha for the variables:  No. Variables N Items Alpha 1.   Perceived usefulness 414 7 .839 2.   Perceived ease of use 414 5 .789 3.   Perceived trust 414 5 .810 4.   Perceived risk 414 4 .736 5.   Behavioral intention 414 5 .793 3.4. PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS: Table 2 displays the profile of the respondents such as gender, level of study, marital status, and age categories. The study collected from 414 undergraduate students in four major faculties in SIMAD University, Somalia. As for gender, more than three quarters (74%) were male students while less than one third (26%) were female. In terms of level of study, slightly more than one third (34%) were studying at their third year, followed by who are in second year (23%), first year (12%) and fourth year  International Journal of Business, Economics and Law, Vol. 3, Issue 1 (December) ISSN 2289-1552    2013  Page 5 (8%). Majority of the respondents were single (72%), whereas less than one third were married. With regard to age categories, slightly less than two-thirds (58%) were below 23 years, followed by those who aged between 24-29 years (34%). Very few (8%) were older than 30 years. Table 2: Demographics of the respondents Demographics Frequency Percentage Gender Male Female 305 109 73.7 26.3 Level of study First year Second year Third year Fourth year Total 48 93 189 84 414 11.6 22.5 34.3 8.00 100.00 Marital Status Single Married Total 299 115 414 72.2 27.8 100.00 Age categories 18-23 24-29 30-35 Total 239 142 33 414 57.7 34.4 8.00 100.0 4.   FINDINGS 4.1. MOBILE PHONE USAGE As it can be seen from table 3, all respondents owned a mobile phone and majority of them were using Hormud Telecom mobile service (80%), followed by those who used other mobile services (13.8%) other than Nationlink (4%) Telcom Somalia 0.5% and Somaphone (1%). Slightly more than one third (34%) were using the standard mobile phone with the basic features such as calling, messaging, alerts, etc, followed by those used other mobile phones (38%) other than iPhone (15%) and Blackberry (13%). The most preferable way to communicate through using mobile phones were reported to be sending texts and calling people equally (49%), followed by those who prefer to call and talk to people mostly (42%). The least important way of communication was sending only texts (9%). As for the purpose of using mobile phones, more than 50% reported using it for personal purposes, followed by those used it both for personal and business reasons (43%). Very few students (6%) used the mobile phone for  business purposes. In terms of years of using the mobile phone, more than one third (36%) had good experience in using the mobile phone since their usage is more than 6 years, followed by those who used it between 5-6 years (31%). Less than a quarter (21%) used 3-4 years. A small number of the students used the mobile phone for less than 6 months (3) and between 1-2 years (10%). Table 3: Mobile phone usage   Demographics Frequency Percentage 1)   Do you have your own mobile phone? Yes  No 414 0 10.00 0.000 2)   Which mobile phone service provider do you use? Hormud  Nationlink Telcom Somalia Somaphone Others Total 333 18 2 4 57 414 80.4 4.3 0.5 1.0 13.8 100.00 3)   What kind of mobile phone do you have? iPhone Standard mobile phone (not smart phone) Blackberry Others 60 142 54 158 14.5 34.3 13.0 38.2
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