Testing M-Payment for Utilities in Saudi Arabia Barriers and Opportunities for E-Government

Testing M-Payment for Utilities in Saudi Arabia Barriers and Opportunities for E-Government

Anan Alssbaiheen (Brunel University, UK) and Steve Love (The Glasgow School of Art, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/IJORIS.20210401.oa4
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Abstract

This paper explored the opportunities and challenges facing e-government in Saudi Arabia. A prototype mobile phone application for paying different utilities was developed. The respondents were asked to use and evaluate the application. The results revealed that application was user friendly and useful for the users. However, the results showed that respondents showed concern over the security issues and declined to use any untrusted method of payment, displaying a lack of trust in online payment methods.
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Introduction

Alotaibi and Roussinov (2015) described that E-government enables governments to provide better services to the public and to enhance their efficiency in interaction among themselves, businesses and government agencies. The Government of Saudi Arabia has attached significant importance to E-government and its implementation to improve service provision in the country, with the pioneering ‘Yesser’ (‘simplify’) program (Palas, Uddin and Hassan, 2019) relating to procedures, legislations and activities related to E-government implementation. This supports the fact that the government understands that significance and potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to make operations easier and simpler. This service facilitates interaction between the users and agencies and also among agencies as well. In order to provide better, reliable and competitive services to citizens, governments across the world, especially in Middle East are taking advantage of technology and changing their traditional procedures (Alrowili, Alotaibi and Alharbi, 2015).

However, there are many complexities involved in the provision of M-government services analogous to E-commerce; many users cannot find the exact product they aim to buy and also find online buying procedures complex and difficult, thus limiting impulse purchase online (Alonazi, Beloff and White, 2019; Mainka, Hartmann, Meschede, and Stock, 2015). Consumer trust is one of the important factors that has a huge impact on their behaviour and attitude towards products and servicesthey aim to use. According to different scholars, trust refers to the ‘willingness of one party to take risk and be part of other party actions based on their expectation and having little or no control over others action’ (Almaimoni, et al 2018). Individuals’ buying decisionsare based on their trust levels in certain products or services. Moreover, online trust is essential for building long-term relations with customers, but the trust level in online interactions is lower than in face-to-face traditional formats (Alotaibi and Roussinov, 2015).

There is a direct positive relationship between electronic service and trustworthiness and privacy security provided by the companies (Sultana, Ahlan, and Habibullah, 2016). High technical competence highly influences the trustworthiness of individuals (Saxena, 2017). There are multiple factors faced by the country that slow the growth of E-government (Kanaan, Abumatar, Al-Lozi, and Hussein, 2019). Most factors include difficulty in bank transactions, transfer of payments and finally the access and speed of internet. Furthermore, unclear regulations, lack of trust and under- developed after sale and customer services hampers online service. Despite of so many challenges, there are many supportive drivers that exist in Saudi market which support growth of E-government and its effective adoption. There is strong support of government for ICT technologies; growing sector, favorable and strong foundation for E-government agencies (Nawafleh, 2018). This study will focus on to different challenges and opportunities mobile service provides to E-government in Saudi Arabia. Study will highlight the opportunities that exist in Saudi Arabia and how consumer behaviour has evolved over time to new change. Saudi Arabia is a country with high moral and values, so cultural issues will be highlighted that cause resistance to change and accept new methods of interaction. This research will explain the implementation and development of E-government through recent practises and highlights challenges that effects the implementation in effective manner. The main aim, objectives and research question have been shown below.

The main aim and purpose of this research is to better understand the challenges and opportunities that mobile service creates for E-government in Saudi Arabia, and how these challenges and opportunities impact on citizens. This paper aims to address challenges and behavioural impact on citizens and to explore the effective implementation of E-government. Thus the research objectives are to explore the following dimensions in the context of Saudi Arabia:

  • To investigate the key aspects of E-government;

  • To study the challenges associated with use of mobile technology in E-government;

  • To investigate how these challenges impact the user experience of E-government through mobile service;

  • To understand how consumer behaviour is affected due to E-government challenges.

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