Date of Award

2003

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Public Management

First Advisor

Dieter Fink

Abstract

Increasingly competition in the financial services sector is forcing service providers to develop and utilise alternative delivery channels (Daniel, 1999). Within the sector, banking has always been a highly service intensive activity that relies heavily on technology to acquire, process, and deliver services and information to consumers (Tan & Teo, 2000). The emergence of the Internet has provided a way for banks to improve the efficiency of their service delivery and to gain a competitive advantage by reducing the number of brick-and-mortar branches. The study investigated the adoption of lnternet banking services in Thailand and is based on the premise that consumers' perspectives have a greater impact on adoption than those of banks who are the service providers. Data was therefore collected from potential Thai consumers of lnternet banking services by using a questionnaire survey. The response rate was high (84%) which resulted in 506 valid questionnaires being collected. The study's key findings were presented to a group of Internet banks in Thailand to establish their concurrence and to develop and recommend appropriate strategies to them. To gain insight into consumer behaviour, theories on the acceptance of innovation were examined. This study is based on the Decomposed Theory of Planned Behaviour by Taylor & Todd (1995) which was developed from Ajzen & Fishbein's (1980) Theory of Planned Behaviour. These theories provide a well-accepted intention model that has been shown to be successful in predicting and explaining human behaviour across three domains: attitude, perceived behavioural control and subjective norms. Also considered in this study is the Innovation Diffusion Theory by Rogers (1983). This theory explains that the rate of innovation adoption is affected by an individual's perception of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. Tile study found that the intention to adopt Internet banking by Thai consumers is encouraged by altitudinal factors and impeded by a perceived behavioural control factor, but not by subjective norms (i.e. the 'Culture' factor). The attitudinal factors that were found to encourage the adoption of Internet banking in Thailand most are ‘Features of the Web Site' and 'Perceived Usefulness', while the most significant impediment to adoption is a perceived behavioural control, namely 'External Environment'. In relation to the lnnovation Diffusion Theory, only relative advantages (identified as 'Perceived Usefulness') and complexity ('ease of use', an item of 'Features of the Web Site') were found to be significant to adopting Internet banking. The significant moderating factors influencing the adoption of Internet banking by Thai consumers are gender, educational level, income, Internet experience and Internet banking experience, but not age. It was found, however, that the stand out moderators are income and Internet experience as they each affect the most significant encouragement and impediment factors. As to what strategies Thai banks should adopt to facilitate Internet banking, both supplier 'push' and market 'pull' strategies need to be implemented. As encouragement factors are factors that banks can control, Internet banks should 'push' consumers' positive perceptions of internet banking, thereby increasing the rate of service adoption. Potential impediments to Internet banking adoption should be reduced although they cannot be directly controlled by banks. Banks should attempt to influence the Internet banking market in order to enhance this service in Thailand through market 'pull' strategies. Previous research has mainly focused on innovation adoption in the context of North America and Europe and to some extent other developed countries such as Singapore. This study extends the research on IT adoption to a developing country. The study is one of few that have applied adoption theories in an Internet environment. In addition, the study is useful in the specific research domain. It was successful in establishing key factors in the adoption of internet banking in Thailand. Internet banks can use this knowledge in their quest to increase their online customers. Non-Internet banks can consider their abilities and readiness based on these findings before moving into the Internet banking arena.

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