The determinants of mobile money adoption and usage: the case of Lesotho
Ntlatlapa, Mamotseli Jacqueline
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The proliferation and use of digital technologies in the various sectors of the modern society, including the financial sector has resulted in an increased interest from different stakeholders regarding the adoption and use of different digital financial services. One such digital financial solution is mobile money (M-money), which broadly refers to the distribution of financial services through a mobile device. M-money has been widely touted as a possible solution for bridging the financial inclusion gap in many developing countries such as Lesotho, where only 38 percent of adults have access to formal financial services. Additionally, the bulk of financial services are offered in Maseru, the capital city, while in other parts of the country there is a lack of opportunities to get financial services. Given the enormous potential of M-money, it is imperative to understand the factors that influence its adoption in the context of Lesotho, so that different stakeholders can use the information to make better decisions for improving financial inclusion. As such, this study aimed at identifying the factors that influence the adoption and use of M-money services in Lesotho. The extended unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) was adopted as the underlying model for the study. The UTAUT2 was further extended with perceived risk and perceived trust, in order to ensure that the new model captured all the relevant factors pertinent to the context of the study. This extended version of the UTAUT2 contained nine predictor variables namely performance expectancy (PE), effort expectancy (EE), social influence (SI), facilitating conditions (FC), hedonic motivation (HM), price value (PV), habit (H), perceived trust (PT) and perceived risk (PR). Data was collected using a questionnaire that was developed and distributed to customers of mobile network operators (MNOs) in Lesotho. Out of the 600 distributed questionnaires, 488 were returned and found usable for analysis resulting in 81.3% response rate. Data collected was analysed with the assistance of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) to generate descriptive statistics. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) with the assistance of SMARTPLS 3.0 was used to evaluate the hypothesised paths in the proposed model. The findings from these analyses showed that M-money was mostly used by participants to receive money, purchase airtime and pay bills respectively. The results also established that out of the nine constructs, only six were relevant in determining the behavioural intention to adopt M-money services in Lesotho. These relevant determinants included performance expectancy (PE), social influence (SI), facilitating conditions (FC), price value (PV), perceived risk (PR), and perceived trust (PT). Furthermore, it was observed that both facilitating conditions (FC) and behavioural intentions (BI) had a significant positive influence on the use behaviour (UB) of M-money services in Lesotho. The findings of the study provided several practical and theoretical contributions. From a practical view point, several recommendations have been provided on how different stakeholders such as M-money service providers and policy makers can use the findings to improve the adoption and use of M-money services by the general populace of Lesotho. From a theoretical perspective, the study contributed to the growing body of knowledge on M-money adoption in developing countries by providing evidence from Lesotho. Additionally, by extending the UTAUT2 with perceived risk and perceived trust, this study showed that the modified model explained 11.4% more variance than the original UTAUT2. This clearly indicates the need for researchers adopting the UTAUT2 as their theoretical framework to modify it with relevant factors to suit their research context.
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