This paper proposes a framework for describing why consumers use electronic banking products such as electronic bill payment, credit cards, debit cards, stored value, and e-cash. The paper surveys the literature; reports on the results of several studies, and develops a framework for evaluating consumer electronic banking usage. The framework includes three primary factors that explain consumer electronic banking usage: (1) household wealth, (2) personal preferences (e.g., convenience, budgeting, control, incentives, involvement, security), and (3) transaction-specific factors (e.g., dollar size, variability of dollar amount, offline versus online location, etc.). A number of ad hoc theories could be created to explain payment instrument successes on a case by case basis. However, the author proposes that this general decision-making framework is a superior tool for management and public policy analysis because of its simplicity, ability to explain a range of outcomes, and ability to develop testable forecasts.
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