Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Influencing Factors Analysis for a Social Network Web Based Payment Service in China

Academic journal article Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research

Influencing Factors Analysis for a Social Network Web Based Payment Service in China

Article excerpt

1 Introduction

With the development of information technology, E-commerce has become an important part of modern economic industries and a magnificent growth has been observed in recent years. Many companies added E-commerce models to their operations and began innovative marketing and sales programmes via the Internet [3]. Moreover, handling financial transactions over the Internet has also greatly changed people's lifestyle, especially in the payment field.

Currently, online mobile payment has become one of the most important smartphone services in E-commerce [41], since mobile payments can lead to customer satisfaction [41], cost reduction [67], competitive advantage [25] and firm growth [71]. Mobile payment enables users to check account balances, transfer money, pay bills and conduct financial management at any time from anywhere [43]. Due to the advances of mobile Internet technology, and the rapid growth in the number of mobile users, making payments for goods, services, and bills via mobile devices is now playing an increasingly important role in our daily life [54]. For example, according to the data of the recently released report, The First Quarter of 2017 China's Third Party Mobile Payment Market Monitoring Report, China's third-party mobile payment market size of 18.80912 trillion yuan increased 46.78% [61].

Although Alipay is maintaining the largest mobile payment platform in the China, WeChat payment's market share has grown from 10% to 40% in the past three years, and it is close to that of Alipay. Tencent released WeChat payment in 2013 and bundled it with WeChat 5.0 so that users could simply click on the item links in the chat window to easily complete payments [8]. Moreover, through the red envelope promotion, WeChat payment attracted more than 8 million users, giving away 3 billion RMB on Chinese New Year's Eve in 2014 [9]. In 2017, the total number of WeChat red envelopes sent and received was 46 billion, up 43.3% from the previous year [60].

Compared with Alipay, WeChat payment is obviously different due to its social factors. WeChat is currently the most popular mobile social network service application in China. Its number of monthly active users has increased to 549 million, and WeChat payment users also reached 400 million by the end of the 1st quarter in 2015 [10]. Because online payments and using social networks are two of the most popular applications used daily on smartphones, the reasons for WeChat payment's wide usage deserves in-depth study [50]. There are many techniques in the literature that can be used to analyse such behaviour patterns, and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) [12] is one of the leading approaches. In recent decades, researchers have successfully applied the TAM and/or its extended models to explain the users' acceptance of many information technology-based systems [29]. In the TAM model, several determinant factors, e.g., usefulness, ease-of-use, etc., have been identified as the key influencers of the adoption of certain information systems [13].

In addition to these basic and fundamental factors, there are other variables that also contribute to the popularity of WeChat payment. Many previous studies on the reasons for using social network services and/or mobile payments have been conducted and they can be used to provide inspiration in the social mobile payment analysis. For example, a study by Zhou focuses on trust, flow and satisfaction on the intention to continue using mobile payments [74]. Li et al. studied the influencing factors and the influence mechanism that caused Chinese users to adopt mobile payments based on the TAM model [32]. For the social mobile payment, Guillen et al. analysed the effect of experience on users' acceptance of mobile payments in social networks with several machine learning methods [19].

In this research, we attempt to explain why people choose to use WeChat payment and to investigate the main determinants. …

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