Introduction

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Introduction
The past several years witnessed the popularity of mobile commerce applications, such as mobile
shopping, mobile travel service, online to offline (O2O) consumption, etc. (Yang, Y., Liu, Y., Li, H., & Yu, B.
(2015). This has created a plenty of opportunities for organizations by making versatile innovation based
business models (Akturan and Tescan, 2012). The innovative payment methods and services are known
by various names such as mobile wallets, mobile payments, mobile commerce, mobile banking. With
digital payment being popular, there is demand for secure, easy to use and free platforms as these are
the attractive features which consumers look for. Currently, the popularity of m-payments has given way
to the use of e-wallets as a convenient payment option for the consumers in India as well. With over one
billion mobile users and the government’s intent to promote cashless transactions (after Demonetization
e.g. Paytm saw a rise in transactions to the tune of 120 crores) resulted in acceptance of e-payment
platform. In that, an e-wallet can be categorized as a prepaid account in which the user can keep his
money and its primary components are software (stores personal information, provides security and
encryption) and information (database of user details) (Sharma A., 2017). Wallet365.com was India’s first
e-wallet, launched in 2006 by media firm Times Group in association with YES Bank. Since then, a number
of banks and non-banking financial service firms have entered the industry. This includes retailers such as
BigBasket and Grofers, e-commerce giants like Amazon, and even popular messaging app WhatsApp.
From an estimated Rs 154 crore ($21.3 million) in 2015-’16, the Indian e-wallet industry was expected to
grow to Rs 30,000 crore by the end of 2021-22.
Moreover, as people have now started relying, trusting and adopting online shopping and online
payments services (Baidya, 2016) there is a competition among firms which are offering mobile-based
payment services. From just one in 2006, the number of firms offering e-wallet services had zoomed to
60 by 2017, according to the Reserve Bank of India. However, since then, their number has dwindled to
49 due to several reasons. Smaller firms, in particular, have gradually been exiting the space or being
gobbled by larger firms (e.g. Flipkart picked up PhonePe, Amazon picked up Freecharge (Nupur A, 2018).
It indicates that in spite of rising popularity of m-payments, the e-wallet service providers are still
struggling to attract and retain consumers. Therefore there is a need to examine the acceptance of ewallets and its contributing factors with respect to Indian consumer.
While the literature explaining user adoption of m-payments has magnified in size and scope, still there is
dearth of studies which provide insights into consumers’ adoption of e-wallets particularly. Secondly, the
research on the use of innovative technologies are mainly based on innovation diffusion theory (IDT)
(Rogers, 1995, 2002, Kumar, A., Adlakaha, A., & Mukherjee, K. (2018), technology acceptance model
(TAM) (Kim et al., 2010; Schierz et al., 2010) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) (Ajzen, 1991, Yang
et al, 2015). These theories largely adopt fundamental principles from various fields viz. psychology,
marketing and IT to understand the adoption intentions of various forms of IT/IS. However, the robustness
and explanatory power of these models is not consistent due to dynamic nature of IT/IS and consumer
behaviour (Tan and Ooi, 2013). Consequently, to improve the predictive ability, some of these models
have been extended by subsequent studies, to understand the adoption of present day IT/IS. TAM2
(Venkatesh and Davis, 2000) and UTAUT2 (Venkatesh et al., 2012) are two such protruding frameworks
(Williams et al., 2015). Third, as newer studies seem to include increasingly circumstantial factors in
empirical research (Shin,2010b), a limited or no attention is given to inhibitors like security and privacy
(Ha and Stoel, 2009) and incentives (to use e-wallets) as these concerns may adversely affect consumers’
acceptance of e-wallets. Addressing the above mentioned research gaps this study aims to develop and
validate empirically a model that explains e-wallet consumers’ acceptance of these services. Specifically
by using a popular contemporary adoption theory—Unified Theory of Adoption and Use of Technology
(UTAUT2) (Venkatesh et al., 2012) by augmenting it with additional inhibitors.
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