This study offers an understanding of vulnerable populations' experiences of actual use of mobile banking and their expectations of mobile banking (MB).
Data were generated from MB customers and bankers using online reviews, focus groups and semi-structured interviews, as a mix of methods and sources can provide rich and in-depth understanding.
The affordance of MB for vulnerable populations is explained in four concepts: meaning, material, competency and usability. Recommendations that could further engage and improve the service quality of MB apps for vulnerable populations include customization and personalization of services, access to the digital health data of members of vulnerable populations, audio-based option selection and touchscreen options, and enhancement of service and performance standards.
It is suggested that retail bankers should improve the service quality and performance of their MB apps by considering the recommendations drawn from vulnerable people's experiences. This study discusses implications for retailers.
This study applied social practice theory and affordance of technology theory to understand how those in vulnerable populations experienced MB apps; the results could be used to improve the accessibility, performance and service quality of MB apps.
Mobile banking (MB) has become the most attractive channel for retail bankers, especially in developing countries where accessibility to banking services is low compared to developed countries (Thusi and Maduku, 2020). However, although retail mobile banking has many benefits, customers’ acceptance and use of retail mobile banking are limited, especially in developing countries (Mukerjee, 2020; Thusi and Maduku, 2020). In Pakistan, 75% of the population use mobile phones (Kemp, 2020) and smartphone use is expected to increase to 51% by the end of 2020 (Statista, 2016). Although 19 different retail banks offer banking services in Pakistan, in 2019 only 3.1 million (1.5%) of the total population of 204.6 million were registered mobile banking users (Rahi et al., 2019). There is evidence that social distancing, lockdowns, government financial help and the environment of fear engendered by COVID-19 (ReliefWeb, 2020) have increased the use of mobile banking in Pakistan (Hassan, 2020). In addition, retail bankers are keen to know how they can reduce their operational costs, as well as develop a positive banking experience for customers (Mew and Millan, 2021; Thusi and Maduku, 2020; Wiese and Humbani, 2020), which mobile banking may help to deliver.
Figure 2 provides an overview of how the keywords, code and major themes were extracted from the findings, and how these concepts helped to develop the final framework. Table 1 provides the definitions and descriptions of major codes which are discussed in findings section.