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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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2.2  Consumer Awareness

Azrina et al. (2011) describes a consumer “as any individual or households utilizing goods and services generated within the economy.” Customer awareness is taken to be the customer's ability to learn and appreciate the new situation and operations of business in the environment in order to change attitude, beliefs and behaviors (Torban & Hansen, 2009). Torban & Hansen, (2009) further look at learning as a process that involves acquiring knowledge about a product while appreciating is accepting the product or service provided.

Product awareness is the probability that consumers are familiar about the availability and accessibility of a company's product and service and are able to use/operate them.  If an organization has a successful product awareness it means that the products and services of the organization have a good repute in the market and are simply acceptable (Gustafson & Chabot, 2007). It can thus be discussed that the awareness of the product plays a significant role in consuming it and may have control on perceived risk evaluation by consumers and their level of assurance about the adoption decision.

2.2.1 Learning

 Awareness is part of a company's marketing and communications plan involving educating which eventually impacts on customers' perceptions on a given technology (Asaad & Serdar, 2015). It is a process that will help the entrepreneur to educate customers so that customers learn about his/her company in order to win their trust. The introduction of electronic banking services is facilitated by the bank's reputation in terms of size, awareness and contentment of service and its benefits in form of the amount of information a customer has about electronic banking. The ability to learn and appreciate the information may have a critical impact on the adoption of electronic banking (Al-Somali et al., 2008). This is in agreement with Musiime et al. (2011) who note that service providers should look for innovative ways of creating awareness to enhance electronic banking adoption.

2.2.2 Appreciating

Baraghani (2007) indicates that customers change behavior based on how they appreciate the environment operations of the business and their ability to access information including the skills of handling business situations that amounts to awareness. This implies that customers must be able to appreciate the relevance for the adoption of a specific service. Therefore a customer appreciation strategy is necessary to win satisfaction of the consumers. Customer appreciation strategies usually entail how people feel about you and their willingness to continuously do business with you so as to win their satisfaction (Vimi, 2016).

2.2.3 Ability to operate

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) originally developed by Fred Davis (1989), addresses the reasons why users either accept or reject a particular piece of information technology. In TAM, beliefs about ability to use, ease of use and usefulness are always the most important determinants of intention to use. There is need for organizations to respond to actual complete use of technology for example centenary bank must ensure that electronic banking is adopted by consumers with ease to enhance consumers' happiness. Ability is not just about perfecting the service itself, but an acquired natural capacity that enables the customer to be aware of and perform a task successfully (Kordnaeij et al, 2013).

2.3  Perception

Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. A motivated person is ready to act by changing his attitude, see usefulness in a service and eventually accept it. How the motivated person actually acts is influenced by his or her perception of the situation (Navpreet, 2013).  Perception is therefore a process by which an individual selects, organizes, and interprets the information inputs to create a meaningful picture of the world. Perceived ease of use is the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system of technology would be free from effort. Perceived usefulness is the degree to which the users believe that adopting a particular system enhances their job performance (Al-Smadi, 2012). Perceived risk is commonly thought of as felt uncertainty regarding possible negative consequences of using a product or service (Natarajan et al., 2010).

2.3.1 Perceived ease of use

The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) originally developed by Fred Davis (1989), addresses the reasons why users either accept or reject a particular piece of information technology. In TAM, beliefs about ease of use and usefulness are always the most important determinants of the intention to use. Ease of use is a degree to which a person believes that using a particular technology would require less energy. The model explains and predicts user adoption or rejection of IT. It is conceptually based on TRA which specifies external stimulus; perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use (cognitive response), behavioral intention, and actual usage (behavior). This study used the sub variables; perceived ease of use, perceived risk and perceived usefulness (Devi & Malarvizhi, 2010).

2.3.2 Perceived usefulness

Studies based on the Technology acceptance Model carried out on retail bank customers; show that “prior computer experience, prior technology experience, personal banking experiences, on the helpfulness and value of a given computer technology strongly affect attitude and behavior towards electronic banking” (McCoy &King, 2007). People's behavior towards adoption is based on their perception of the usefulness and worth of the adoption. It is a cognitive response based on perception and the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her performance before getting committed to it (Perma, 2011).

2.3.3 Perceived risk

A perceived risk is the uncertainty a consumer has when using a service. Perception is understood as the act of seeing the insight and it is influenced by an individual's observation about a situation to give their own view or opinion. Therefore perceived risk is the subjective possibility of judgment that customers make about the characteristics and severity of the risk (Navpreet, 2013). If the performance perceived is less than expected, customers will be dissatisfied and uncertain regarding the adoption of a service will be high. On the other hand, if the perceived performance exceeds expectations, customer will be satisfied and this would lead to reduced perceived risk and retention and adoption of the service (Yau, 2007).

2.4 Electronic Banking Adoption

According to Timothy (2012), electronic banking refers to the use of the Internet as a remote delivery channel for providing services, such as opening a deposit account, transferring funds among different accounts and electronic bill presentment and payment. This can be offered in two main ways.

E-banking is the use of Computer, Telephones, Internet, Mobiles, and ATMs to retrieve and process banking data and to initiate transactions directly with a bank or other financial services provider remotely via a telecommunications network (Dheenadhayalan, 2010).

According to Ingle & Pardeshi (2012), in most developing countries, electronic banking is still in its early stages.  They further conclude that bank customers are still not accustomed to using electronic channels to manage their financial affairs. This low adoption rate is an indication of the hazards of introducing new products and services into the marketplace; the vast majority of product and service innovations fail, at considerable cost to the companies introducing them.

2.4.1 Attitude

Attitude is a person's positive or negative feelings about an action in general. Attitude indicates the assessment of sustainable emotions, point of view, opinion and the tendencies towards a product or service. Attitudes are the causes of hate and interest in people, so they can draw people's attention to a product or service or otherwise cause rejection (Kordnaeij et al, 2013). So we can say that the attitude of a consumer is his/her overall assessment of a concept and can influence adoption (Monirul & Hui Han, 2012). Previous studies have observed a positive association between attitude, behavioral intention and readiness to accept the new technology (Jeddi et al, 2013). Applied to the present study; attitude toward electronic banking, the behavior intention and actual intention to electronic banking are sub-variables to its adoption.

2.4.2 Behavioral intention

Behavioral intention is a person's goal or subjective probability that he or she will engage in a given behavior. Therefore it's the degree to which customers formulate conscious plans to perform to adopt or not adopt a specific service. Stronger behavioral intention will most likely lead to embracement, implementation and eventually execution (Jeddi et al, 2013). It is this difference in behavioral intention in a given situation that brings about differences in their cognitive responses (Perma, 2011). Thus a person chooses to take on electronic banking services depending on their overall behavioral objective.

2.4.3 Actual adoption

The identification of personal characteristics related to the adoption of electronic banking is critical for market targeting and the identification of innovative features can help banks in product design and in formulating campaigns that will encourage the adoption of the service. Customers who are ready to accept electronic banking have a positive attitude about electronic banking. Actual adoption is therefore an act of real embracing the idea, owning the service and consistently using it. However predominant risks like security risk; due to uncertainty and security concerns (Kuisma, Laukkanen & Hittinen, 2007), privacy risk; the risk of disclosing private information for fear of identify (Perma, 2011) affect actual electronic banking adoption.

2.5 Consumer Awareness and Perception of Electronic Banking

Previous studies by (Alshare & Alkhateeb, 2008; Anandarajan et al., 2010; Liu, 2010; Yuen & Ma, 2008) based on the technology acceptance model suggest that a prospective users' overall feelings and perceptions towards using a given technology-based system or procedure present major determinants as to whether or not he/she will ultimately use the system. Lack of awareness has been the most cited reason why customers do not have a positive perception towards electronic banking hence failure to utilize the awareness tools like advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and the internet poses a great challenge.

According to Broadie (2007), electronic banking is leading to a paradigm shift in marketing practices resulting in high performance in the banking industry. Delivery of service in banking can be provided efficiently only when the back ground operations are efficient and customer awareness is carried out. An efficient back ground operation can be conducted only when it is integrated by an electronic system. The components like data, hardware, software, network and people are the essential elements of the system. Banking customers get satisfied with the system when they aware of how it operates, provides them maximum convenience and comfort while transacting with the bank.

Perception is a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment. A person who is aware and motivated is ready to give his own discernment, assessment and eventually act.

How a motivated and aware person actually acts is influenced by his or her perception of the situation. Perception depends not only upon the physical stimuli, but also on the stimuli's relation to the surrounding field and on the condition within the individual. People's behavior is based on their perception of what reality is, not on reality itself (Navpreet 2013).

Customer satisfaction in electronic banking is defined as a collection of outcome of perception, evaluation and psychological reactions to the consumption experience with a product/service (Monirul & Hui Han, 2012). Poon (2008) identified ten factors namely, convenience of usage, accessibility, features availability, bank management and image, security, privacy, design, content, speed, and fees and charges. Poon's study revealed that all elements of the ten identified factors are significant with respect to the users' adoption of e-banking services. Privacy and security are the major sources of dissatisfaction, which have influenced users' adoption. Accessibility, convenience, design and content are sources of satisfaction. Besides, the speed, product features availability, and reasonable service fees and charges, as well as the bank's operations management factors are critical to the success of e-banks. His study revealed that perceptions; security and convenience factors played an important role in determining the users' acceptance of e-banking services with respect to different segmentation of age group, education level and income level.

2.6 Consumer Awareness and Electronic Banking Adoption

Scholars have explored the concept of consumer awareness and electronic banking adoption. The studies indicate that when a new technology is being adopted by customers, customers undergo a learning process affected by reference group influences, past experiences and personality. Customer awareness is taken to be the customer's ability to learn the new situation and operations of business in the environment in order to change attitude, beliefs and behaviors (Torban & Hansen, 2009). It is believed that customers who become aware of the mode of operation in their banks can normally rush to take it up and accept its usage .While lack of awareness has been the most cited reason why customers are not ready for electronic baking adoption (Karimzadeh & Alam, 2012).  

Findings from Walugembe et al, (2015) indicate that high levels of customer awareness increase trust thus electronic banking adoption. When customers are constantly educated about a given technology, they learn to trust it, get committed to it and accept its usage in the long run.

Ingle & Pardeshi (2012), stipulate that bank customers are still not accustomed to using electronic channels to manage their financial affairs because of lack of awareness. The vast majority of product and service innovations fail, at considerable cost to the banks introducing them. Moreover, those services perceived as necessary by such adopters must also be identified. The identification of personal characteristics related to the adoption of electronic banking is critical for market targeting and the identification of innovative features can help banks in product design and in formulating campaigns that will encourage the adoption of the service. Consumer adoption of a good or a service is the acceptance and continued use of a product, service or idea.

The study by Baraghani (2007) indicates that customers change behavior based on the environment operations of the business and their ability to access information including the skills of handling business situations which amounts to awareness. Thus customers who learn more about the business and appreciate it easily gain ability to operate and fit in the business environment. Consumers go through a process of knowledge acquisition, persuasion, decision, implementation and confirmation before they are ready to adopt a product or service. Hence electronic banking adoption is highly influenced by consumer awareness.

Findings from Yalaho et al, (2009) reveal that the increasing communication technology in the world is forcing many people across the world to learn communications in which mobile telephone and other computers have been variously put to use. This  was also supported by  (Quresh et al, 2008) who stated that the most influence aspect in preparing people to accept a new technology is learning how to use the technology its self. In the Ugandan scenario, Ngulumi, (2010) has it that despite other issues, internet connectivity is important in preparing customers to accept electronic banking.

Dixit and Datta study (2010) spotted many factors like security & privacy, trust, innovativeness, familiarity, awareness level increase the acceptance of e-banking services among Indian customers. Results reveal that adult customers are willing to adopt online banking if banks provide them necessary guidance. They conceded that banks must be concerned with the attitudes of adult customers with regards to acceptance of online banking. Their study also reveals that adult customers are unwilling to uptake technology that they have not learnt about.

2.7 Perception and Electronic Banking Adoption

According to Devi and Malarvizhi (2010) consumers attach quality to the adoption of e-banking services. The study revealed that quality in terms of cost effectiveness, less risk of theft, net work availability and continuity of operations attract consumers to e-banking products. The perception that consumers hold about a given system thus influences its adoption. This is in agreement with Al-Smadi (2012) who discovered that perceived risks impact on attitudes which in turn influences customers' intention to adopt electronic banking services.

Findings by Aslam, Khan, and Tanveer (2011) showed that customers are more concerned with forming relationship with banks' service providers and internet banking is perceived to be the possible cause for losing such opportunities. Findings reveal that customers perceive that more value is added to them as human beings in conventional banking system as compared to internet banking. The study by Yau, (2007) showed that lack of knowledge and information are perceived to be the most significant barriers in adoption of internet banking. Similarly, it is a result of a cognitive and affective evaluation where some comparison standard is compared to the actually perceived performance. If the performance perceived is less than expected, customers will be dissatisfied. On the other hand, if the perceived performance exceeds expectations, customer will be satisfied and this would lead to retention.

Studies by Alshare & Alkhateeb, (2008), Anandarajan et al., (2010), Liu, (2010), Yuen & Ma, (2008) based on the Technology Acceptance Model suggest that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use create a favorable behavioral intention toward using a new information Technology. Users adopt electronic banking if they believe using it adds to their value and would require less effort in terms of operations. The findings agree with the findings of Al-Salman et al, (2014) which revealed that in the case of effects and influence on actual usage, beside the TAM's perceived usefulness, additional variables, in particular, personal factors, communication channels and behavioral intentions have indeed contributed to the variations in the actual usage and acceptance of electronic banking.

Researchers and scholars have pointed out that quality dimensions are important factors affecting customers' satisfaction. Raman, Stephenaus, Alam, and Kuppusamy (2010) tested six e-service quality components that they believed to be of paramount importance in adopting e-banking services in Malaysia. The tested components were ease of use, appearance, reliability, customization, communication, and incentive. Their objectives were to evaluate consumer perceptions on quality of services and internet banking adoption in Malaysia. Results reveal that internet users and non-users have different expectation towards e-service quality preferences.

According to Aslam et al., (2011), perception is as an important factor influencing online consumer behavior. This is because in the online environment, criminal acts can be performed with extremely high speed, and without any physical contact. Aslam et al., (2011), further stipulate that if an unauthorized individual is able to get access to the online banking portfolio of a user, a considerable amount of financial information may be jeopardized hence losses.

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