Factors influencing subscriber adoption of mobile payments: a case of safaricom's lipa na m-pesa service in Embu town, Kenya.
M-PESA service was introduced in the year 2007 by Safaricom Company as a business strategy to increase the company‟s business growth and deepen financial inclusion in Kenya. Currently it is being widely used by a population of various businesses therefore making it thrive in the midst‟s of many banks. Developed in 2010, Lipa Na M-PESA on the other hand is a recent service from Safaricom Ltd which allows merchants to accept payments for goods and services from their customers using M-PESA‟s Pay Bill and Buy Goods & Services functionalities. The study sought to establish influences of subscriber adoption of mobile payments: a case of Safaricom‟s Lipa Na M-PESA service in Embu town, Kenya. The study identified several variables which were used to guide the study and forming the objectives. They are demographic factors, versatility of service, technological features and other types of cashless payment methods. The research design used was descriptive. This targeted Safaricom MPESA subscribers within Embu town who are currently at 2,500 (Embu retail shop annual report, 2013-2014). Additionally, 150 Lipa Na MPESA registered businesses within Embu town were targeted. For this study therefore, the target population included all the Safaricom MPESA subscribers and merchants in Embu town who have registered the Lipa Na M-PESA service for their businesses. Using the Krejcie and Morgan formula/table a margin of error of 5% and 95% confidence interval, 108 samples from the merchants and 333 samples from the MPESA subscribers were settled on. This summed up to 441 respondents for the study. Clustered, purposive and random sampling was used. The questionnaire was tested for content and face validity. Reliability was also tested using the split-half method before administration. Two research assistants were engaged for data collection. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze, present and interpret data. The coefficient of determination indicated that 58.1% of the variation in the dependent variable can be explained by the independent variables i.e. demographic factors, technological features, types of cashless payments and versatility of service. The rest 41.9% is contributed by factors not studied in this research. The findings for this study are useful to Safaricom Limited, various merchants and businesses and indeed to mobile phone subscribers within Embu County. The study concludes that demographic factors, versatility of service, technological features and cashless payment methods all have an influence on subscriber adoption of mobile payments. The study recommends that awareness creation on LNM should be prioritized by Safaricom Ltd, the creation of a more user friendly LNM interface for subscribers, improvement on technical support response time and lastly prioritization of network coverage improvement within various merchant business premises. Ultimately, Safaricom Limited should endeavor to ensure that there is no disparity of usage amongst different categories (age, sex, income levels, business types, occupational status and education levels) of LNM subscribers.