The general discussion about banking was mostly on the mortal and bricks banks. However, the narrative changed in the operation of banking services. In Ghana, since the inception of the telcos, there has been a new trend of banking, from the mortal and brick ways of banking to mobile money banking just as was done in Kenya with Mpesa. The backbone of Ghana's mobile money banking penetration by the telcos in the services of mobile money was as a result of the structures introduced by the BOG, which then allows the telcos to operate within the banking services, as digital money transaction services with the main supervision from BOG. This single policy was a game-changer in the banking industry, especially for the unbanked Ghanaians.
The literature review considers the factors in both TAM and DT that were taken into account in the conceptualise framework of the study, which can be seen in Fig. 1.3 here. There is sufficient research on the need for technology through determining users’ adoption of technology-oriented products or services. Other technology innovation theory models were also used to elaborate technology adoption. For instance, the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB), is mostly used by an organisation when introducing new technology products. TPB gives an explicit outcome on the service the organisation is projecting. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) is used mostly with the view that the individual has extraordinary control in the final decision in the choice of the technology adoption. The technological acceptable model (TAM) is constructed that, the technology used or adoption is influenced through other indirectly mediating factors. However, each of these theories is segmented into exogenous and endogenous variables. In the case of TAM, the exogenous factors affect adoption through, the perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness.
The question of why technology is accepted in association with a product has long been discussed and it is very critical for the organisation and business growth (35, 36, 37, 38). The question most study sort to do, which is not different from this current research, is to determine the veracity, reliability, consistency in the technology adopted within the scope of that study. The theoretical model used mostly depends on the philosophical axiom proposed by the motivation and the study’s objectives. Given that, the philosophical axiom for this study is that technology influenced the digital money transaction service in Ghana. This then led to the use of both TAM and DT in the conceptual model. The following section will consider the related variables in the theories used and their determined relation to the principal focus of the study.
2.1 Technology Acceptable Model (TAM)
The TAM has widely been accepted in the field of study for both Information Science and Information Technology. Apart from the perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness associated with TAM with other dimensions, this has been extended with another antecedent, namely, social influence and cognitive influence. To take on its name as an extension of the technology acceptance model (TAM), this extension was improved on the prediction associated with perceived usefulness. However, this study was limited in respect of not using all the constructs associated with TAM. One of such reasons for that decision was based on the fact that we are combining TAM to DT and, also introducing other constructs to these models, to avoid too many variables to be analysed.
a. The attitude of users toward mobile money banking
The concept of adopting and acquiring technology varies; the latter depends on the user's beliefs and the former depends somewhat on the user's attitude regarding technology. Subsequently, these two perceptions may change with time and purpose within the consideration of the individual's interests. The attitude of users in technology acceptance has been proven to be one of the most important variables in the exogenous construct in TAM. Positive user attitudes to technology are critical to determining the actual usage of service or technology (39,40,41,42,43,44). There are other inherent external variables subject to the user’s attitude to technology adoption. Users' attitudes have been positively influenced by their perceptions of the value of technology with their business and the perceived ease of use of technology (45,46,47,48,49,50,51)
b. The behavioural intentions of users about mobile money banking
According to Davis' TAM theory (52), one's attitude has a lot more influence on their behavioural intention to utilize a certain service or technology (53,54,55). When a user has a positive attitude about technology or its connected services, the likelihood of using that technology increases (56,57).
Other factors influence one's behaviour in making a decision based on choice; critical of such factors is attitude. Invariably, because of additional characteristics, including perceived cost, attitude, usefulness, trust, observable social influence, it is not out of place that these factors also influence behavioural intentions. Attitude is objective in determining users’ predictive intention to use a particular technology and service cannot be left out in most studies, which includes information technology, information science, e-commerce, and many other studies relating to one’s positive intention to use technology. User attitude has become a fundamental factor in such studies (58,59).The performance of the behaviour is heralds the performance of the behaviour, subject with one's behaviour (60,61,62). It is much the case that one’s behavioural intentions will positively influence their attitude to the actual usage of technology.
c. The perceptions of perceived risk about mobile money banking ecology
A user’s risk about a subject matter, have a correlated effect in their adopting or rejecting that technology or service (63), in this instance is mobile money banking services. This was first expressed by Cummingham (1967,64) where he submitted that the risk hinges on these two factors "uncertainty and consequences" when a consumer is unsure or have no immediate and future desire or use for a product or service, that renders or determine that product cost, which was referred to as the "consequence". It is, therefore, necessary to determine or appreciate at any point in time why a consumer will use a particular product it is equally important to know what influence consumer to have an interest in the choice of product or services. There is sufficient study on the type of risk to the determination of choice by a consumer preference. The study considered by Mitchell (1992,65) management decision on understanding consumer behaviour, he classified perceived risk into six categories; social, financial, physical, performance, time, and psychological. Mitchell professes an explanation for each category. The social vulnerability is that the customer's choice of financial institution will have a negative impact on the impression of other people about the consumer. Then there is the financial liability that perhaps the service acquired may not result in the greatest economic benefit for both the consumer.
According to Wang et al (2019, 66) risk could be at the aggregate or disaggregate level, where aggregate categories are more risk-averse as a result could less likely to adopt as compared to the disaggregated level.
d. The perceived usefulness of mobile money banking service
Perceived usefulness within TAM demonstrates how the technology or system used could aid a user’s performance in achieving their positive job outcome as much as necessary (67,68,69) There is a considerable belief that every individual's perceived usefulness with technology will influence their willingness to use the service and technology provided (70,71). It is equally true that perceived usefulness has an impact on the user’s attitude in the kind of decision they arrived at in adoption to technology (72,73,74). Countless matters interest a user in the choice of technology; and one of such is the timely service rendered in response to service needed, which mobile money banking service is given to their users. It is also undeniable that perceived usefulness does not always have a favourable impact on user attitudes when the risks of the technology are in dispute; it may dissuade the user from approving or rejecting that technology (75).
e. The perceived ease of use of mobile money banking services
Among the most important variables in determining whether technology is accepted or rejected is perceived ease. according to Davis (1989,52). There have been other studies that concluded with the same outcome (76). Technology or new systems are developed with the belief that they will be accepted. Every technology is set to achieve this target but it is certainly not automatic in most cases.
This then becomes a subject that has to be studied at the course of every technology or system to ascertain whether this perception is targeted. Given that, perceived ease of use has enabled technology concept and development to be purposeful and relevant. This factor is not different from the case of Ghana, even with a little over 40 percent educated population, having 32 million mobile money banking users. It is clear from the study of Hampshire (2016,77) on smartphone mobile banking use in the UK that education and age do not influence one’s use of the mobile phone in the circumstance of his experiment area and subject.
f. The perceived cost of mobile money banking
The user's inability to use any technology is influenced by several reasons and one of such is the usefulness of that technology to honour the user's immediate request to user services. The usefulness of mobile money banking services come with service charges rendered to parties, thus; the sender and recipient on whom those services are given. The service charges related to the telcos varies from one service provider to the other. The service cost with mobile money banking is characterised by the service providers is deemed too high, in some cases both the sender and recipient are charged for the same services (eg MTN Ghana, mobile money). Given that, some service providers have started to change the narrative on the services charges as may be the case to beat the competition making service charges free for both the sender and recipient (eg Vodaphone Ghana, mobile money)
Mobile money users are equally cost objective just as any other individual will be, so when the cost of operation, (transaction and maintenance) increases, this will, in turn, deter users (78,79). This theory has not been proofed for users that bank with main banking services user in comparison to nonbanking (mobile money) individuals. However, this is not the case in all cases, when users ruminate the cost of what they spend travelling to cash out or transfer with their banks these inconveniences at times convince a user to opt for mobile money banking as an alternative (80). According to researchers (81,82), apart from the benefit, the customer is presumed to get from mobile money services, the expected cost related to mobile money services could guarantee a negative attitude to adoption as has also been recognized by Abayomi et al., (2019,83). Throughout their analysis, they indicated that most of the banks attempt to improve on the cost of service so they have opted for internet banking service, which tends to reduce cost for users (84,85).
g. The perceived trust in the mobile money banking ecology
Trust does indeed have a favourable effect on a user’s attitude. From other research perspectives, trust influences behavioural intention, irrespective of age, academic, gender and culture to use mobile money banking (86,87,88).
There are more than twenty-nine (29) types of trust identity according to Soderstrom (2009,89). He did categorise trust into three-set; technology, organisation and person. Trust, therefore, is demonstrably the option for the user. Trust in mobile money service is very broad; however, it is mostly limited to, the devices, application, operators (Telecos), the regulation and network infrastructure (90,91). Trust encapsulates the fact that the user strongly expects that their data and transaction information that is primarily handled by the operators and the banks are not misused or trade-off but is kept safe (92,93,94,95). This could be done when all the players put in appropriate measures to ensure and assume the trust needed. Most studies have linked a favourable impact on user attitudes to a moderate contribution to behavioural technology acceptance(96,97,98,99). The influence of trust on adoption is universal, regardless of age or gender(100).
2.2 Diffusion Theory(DT)
The use of DT is to help understand the diversity associated with users' decisions that come with the adoption of technology. DT has been tested not only in IT and IS but in other fields of human diversity such as individual adoptions. DT have three components (adopters' characteristics, innovations characteristics and innovation-decision process). The component for innovation characteristics is broken down into five constructs, thus (compatibility, trialability, complexity, relative advantage and observability). The study considered three of such constructs; trialability, observability, and compatibility. Moore and Benbasat (1991,101) expanded as well as modified Rogers' model to create a measurement tool for a wide range of information systems and technologies research while also being flexible enough to access a wide range of innovation perspectives. To be compatible with Davis's (1989,52) TAM, the researcher preserved the fundamental terminology of relative advantage, compatibility, trialability and complexity with ease of use. This construct of DT was adopted by Dash et al., (1970,102) in their study on determinants of customer adoption. These were also used by Ramavhona and Mokwena, (2016,103) in their study’s. The factors mentioned in the study of Kapoor et al., (2013,104) the adoption of financial digital transactions are influenced by technology characteristics such as compatibility, relative advantage as well as complexity. According to Gounaris and Koritos, (2008,105), just three components of DT thus; compatibility, relative advantage, and trialability are deemed useful in determining users adoption of online financial transactions. This influence the choice of the construct used by Ajam and Nor,(2013,106) in using the DT model in their study. According to the findings of the study of Lin, (2011,107), attitude is influenced by the ease of use, relative advantage, compatibility, and integrity, which eventually translates into behavioural intent to utilize mobile money. So was the study of Syahadiyanti and Subriadi, (2018,108). In employing financial transactions, the innovative characteristics are determined by relative advantages, compatibility, and trialability.
It was based on the literature discussed that informed the researchers to use the construct adopted by this study. There are well-adopted constructs of DT, thus compatibility, relative advantage and complexity. However, the argument of this study is to enhance the known used construct of DT and explore with other less used ones in the exploration of factors impacting mobile money adoption as may be the case in Ghana. Hence the choice of use of trialability, complexity and compatibility of the DT model.
a. The trialability of mobile money banking ecology
Mobile money banking which started with other mobile network companies in Ghana did not go well and collapsed eventually(109). One such reason which led to that poor performance was the less involvement of users in the trial period; so the question is how much users’ involvement will make the system not fail or succeed. The impact of trialability on the user's choice and the decision has been varied. Some studies have shown that trialability is among the most significant ingredients in the innovation diffusion process to enhance user adoption or acceptance of a product or service (110,111,112,113,114,115).
The factor of trialability has also been associated with fields of study which strongly suggest that trialability has an impact in other fields. However, trialability has failed to influence subjects to adopt technology where trialability has been deployed on small samples or trial sizes before adoption (116). Trialability has a tremendous impact on adoption when combined with other factors such as perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness.
b. Users’ compatibility with mobile money banking services
The capacity of an individual to undertake as well as incorporate mobile money banking services into their present technology with ease and without distress will eventually compel the user to be associated with such technology(117). Compatibility is viewed in two forms, normative and operational. The normative which is also referred to as cognitive considers the users thought and understanding about that innovation. The operational, at times also referred to as practical, considers how the user relates to the technology in resolving their current task. A user always looks to use and be associated with technology to make their life comfortable and not lose themselves to such technology.
The mobile money technology ecology is complex and the user is not interested in complex setups; they simply want to get involved in the environment to ensure their comfort, less cost, and fewer security settings but these must be effective. So when the system is right in such an instance, the user adaptation is much faster and easier.
c. A users’ observability of mobile money banking
User observability has to do with the use of the technology; these are mostly related to asking a question and inquiring to know the use of that technology. This is done to understand the system and appreciate the value such technology could add to their existing and normal daily financial transaction routine without any hassle. The principle of observability has been related to influencing users in the adoption of technology. The observability relatively determined the adoption of technology which includes mobile money banking systems (118,119,120,121). According to Taherdoost (2018,122), he classified observability into two; visibility and result demonstrability. This is also suggested by Wang et al. (2018,123) who suggested that accessibility influences users’ desire to adopt that service or technology. Most users or newcomers discuss with close associates and friends about such technology in a view to getting the assurance of the safety of the user. The reliability of such information does influence such users in getting on to use the technology.
There is one fundamental principle that must not be overlooked to construe observability and adoption, which is that, when users have some uncertainty of understanding or lack of experiment of use of that technology or services in any form such risk could negatively affect the adoption of that service or technology (124,125).
d. Social influence toward behavioural intention to use of mobile money banking services
The association between social influence and diffusion of innovation theory has a long derivative narration starting from Tarde’s (1890,126) theory of imitation to Ryan and Gross’s (1943,127) diffusion of hybrid seeds. These led to a more scientific theory by Rogers (1962,128) on diffusion theory of innovation. According to Butera and Mugny (2001,129), social influence explains whenever user engages with other people and organisations, how they learn or modify their attitudes, knowledge, and behaviours. The study of James and Jeffrey (2018,130) on the diffusion of innovations theory principles and practices, indicated that innovation diffusion is affected by three main construct variables; social influence, attributes, the larger social and political context.
There have been numerous studies that suggest that social influence is perceived to influence an individual's behavioural intentions to get or consume any new product or service, including mobile money banking(131,132,133) It is perceived that social influence serves as a hiding motivator to influence users in adapting to a technology (134). This has occasion as others see their friends and family adapt to technology. Users see that as a trusted service or technology and risk-free to be associated. This established the notion and reason behind the use of social influence in the adoption of technology. However, some studies contributed contrary to the fact that social influence does not suggest influence other users to decide to adopt (Basri, 2018)