Emerging technologies and innovations have provided smart solutions for conducting business and enhancing the livelihood of individuals, particularly those in developing countries. A high penetration of smartphones and technological advancements have afforded banking consumers an opportunity to transact on mobile electronic banking platforms using mobile devices such as smartphones. This method of banking has been perceived as convenient and cost-effective in the market, providing consumers with full access to their bank account profiles and the ability to manage it from anywhere, and at any time. Mobile banking services have been highly adopted by young people. The adoption rate among the elderly is reported to be low compared to other age groups. Scholars indicate that this research area has been overlooked, thus it is a challenge to understand what enables or hinders the elderly from adopting and using mobile banking. Therefore, this study aims to identify the factors that influence the adoption of mobile banking by the elderly in the South African context. The findings of this study may help banking institutions to provide mobile banking applications that are designed in alignment with the needs of the elderly and improve adoption by the ageing population that is reportedly growing.
The purpose of the study is to identify the enablers and barriers that influence the adoption of mobile banking among the elderly in developing countries; understand the perceptions of the elderly towards mobile banking and propose guiding principles to be considered by mobile banking providers. The study followed an interpretive approach. Qualitative data was collected using interviews (focus groups and individual interviews), and a systematic literature review was conducted. The Actor-Network Theory was adopted as a lens to interpret the data and understand the adoption of mobile banking by the elderly. The findings of this exploratory study were aligned with previous studies that reported low adoption of mobile banking technology by the elderly. The results indicate that a lack of information and understanding, security, trust, demographic factors, language, the complexity of mobile banking applications, and resistance to change are barriers that influence adoption. Convenience, unlimited access and cost-effectiveness were identified as important enablers that favour the adoption of mobile banking. The study sheds light on the elderly community’s perceptions and willingness to use mobile banking.
The study contributes to the existing body of knowledge by identifying the factors that influence the adoption of mobile banking by the elderly, particularly in a developing country context. This study further highlights the application of the Actor-Network Theory as a theoretical framework for examining the interplay and complex relationship between the elderly and mobile banking. The study proposes a model for understanding the adoption of mobile banking by the elderly coupled with guiding principles for consideration by banking institutions and mobile banking providers. The study collected data from South African elderly citizens (aged 60 and above) residing in KwaZulu Natal province. Future studies may extend the research through collecting additional data from other provinces across urban and rural settings. This study was conducted in a cross-sectional nature and future studies can look at conducting a longitudinal research project. Additionally, this study only solicited the perceptions of the elderly, the research may be expanded by collecting data from other actors such as banking institutions and mobile banking providers.