The mediating role of the dimensions of the perceived risk in the effect of customers’ awareness on the adoption of Internet banking in Iran
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One of the major issues banks are faced with in providing Internet Banking (IB) services is the adoption of these services by the customers. This study seeks answer to the question that whether bank customers’ awareness of the services and advantages of IB is effective in reducing the negative effect of customers’ perceived risk on their intention of IB adoption. To this end, the two constructs of the dimensions of the perceived risk and IB awareness are simultaneously considered. Besides, in the research model, the effect of IB awareness on each dimension of the perceived risk and the effect of these dimensions on intention of IB adoption by the customers are investigated. The results indicate that IB awareness acts as a factor reducing all dimensions of the perceived risk (including time, financial, performance, social, security, and privacy). In addition, it was found out that except for social risk, other dimensions of the perceived risk have significantly negative effect on the intention of IB adoption. Finally, proving the direct and positive effect of IB awareness on adoption intention, it was concluded that the dimensions of customers’ perceived risk plays a mediating role in the positive effect of IB awareness on IB adoption intention. In this respect, management approaches centered on the concept of IB awareness are offered for reducing the dimensions of customers’ perceived risk.
KeywordsInternet banking Adoption Dimensions of the perceived risk Awareness
Internet Banking (IB) is one of the branches of electronic banking in which the customers have the opportunity of using a broad range of services such as cash transfer, paying the bills, getting information on deposits, investment and cheque services through Internet and the website designed by the banks .
IB offers many advantages to both banks and their customers. Regarding the advantages of IB for the banks, one can point to release from temporal and spatial limitations, reducing operational and administrative expenses, awareness from the activities of customers, and creating the potential for expanding the range of services [7, 83]. In addition, IB provides the customers with the possibility of more rapidly conducting a broad range of financial transactions electronically, through the bank website, at any time and place and with less handling fees in comparison to other bank methods [7, 48].
However, despite the increasing number of Internet users and all IB advancements, the number of IB users has not yet increased as expected .
One of the factors affecting the adoption of online shopping among customers is the concept of the perceived risk . Researchers of customer behavior have often defined perceived risk as the customers’ perception about lack of trust and the potential adverse effects of purchasing a good or service . Many studies have revealed that customers perceive different dimensions of the risk. The predictive value of each dimension in the total risk and its reductive behavior greatly depend upon the class of the good or service . If online shopping is considered as a short-term relationship between the buyer and seller, the dimensions of the perceived risk in IB, which is a long-term relationship, will be observed in a more complicated form requiring more accurate investigation.
When studying the concept of customers’ perceived risk in various fields, it should be noted that different forms of risk may be perceived independently from each other and their impact may be different, because each of them can be caused by different sources and in a different condition . Although the concept of the perceived risk, as a barrier of IB adoption, has been investigated in relatively many studies; most studies, except for a limited number (e.g. [52, 55]), provide two main forms. First, the concept of the perceived risk has been considered as a single construct rather than a collection of dimensions (e.g. [83, 84]). Second, in most of these studies, the concept of the perceived risk has been regarded as equivalent to one or more specific dimensions from among the dimensions of the perceived risk, such as security and privacy [20, 60]. In this respect, the first aim of this study is to investigate the effects of each dimension of the perceived risk on IB adoption, separately.
Littler and Melanthiou  argue that research on the concept of the perceived risk is conducted based on the assumption that customers can have rational evaluations from the effects and probabilities of these events. To put it more simply, it is assumed that customers have the necessary awareness of the various angles of a good or service and obtain ensuring information. However, if the perceived risk is viewed as a collection of dimensions rather than a single construct, the question arises that how much does the concept of awareness affect each dimension of the perceived risk in IB adoption? Finding answer to this question is the second goal of this study.
The third and the main objective of the present study is finding the answer to the question that regarding the results obtained from the first and second objectives, is it possible to consider a mediating role for each dimension of the perceived risk in the relationship between IB awareness and IB adoption. The answer to this question basically specifies two very important concepts that can be regarded as the main contribution of the present study. First, considering the concept of the perceived risk as a set of dimensions, it becomes clear that by mediating which dimension of the perceived risk, IB awareness increases IB adoption. Second, it is determined that which dimension of the perceived risk, plays a higher mediating role in the positive effect of IB awareness on IB adoption intention. Accordingly, the answer to this question can greatly help bank managers and planners in developing marketing strategies using the role of awareness and information on IB. In other words, they will find out that they can increase IB adoption by their customers through focusing more on which aspects of the products, facilities and their advantages.
With respect to the knowledge acquired from the literature on IB adoption, it can be claimed that simultaneously investigating the two concepts of the dimensions of the perceived risk and IB awareness and their relationship in this study is unique.
Findings of Gholami et al.  indicated that the changes caused by information and communication technology in less-developed countries have stronger impacts upon human development index scores in comparison to more developed countries. Al-Somali et al.  argued that despite the conduction of many studies on IB adoption in various countries of world, few studies can be found that investigate this issue in developing countries of the Middle East. The present article investigates the research model in Iran in order to achieve its objectives. Iran is a developing country in the Middle East. The population of this country in 2009 is about 66.5 million people and the number of Internet users is estimated to be 32.2 million people in this country . According to the report of Iran central Bank , the number of IB services users at the end of the first quarter of 2009 was around 5.8 million people (i.e. 8.7 % of the population) who receive these services from 11 governmental and 6 private banks. Comparison of this statistics with the statistics in a developed country like England can be interesting. England with a population of 61.5 million people in 2009 had 48.75 million Internet users  and according to the report of Association of Payment Clearing , the number of IB users in the first half of 2009 was over 22 million people (i.e. 35.8 % of the population). Comparison of these two statistics clearly indicates that Iran is back-warded with respect to the application of IB. The problem of IB adoption by the customers in Iran is the main problem banks face in expanding these services. Therefore, the findings of this study, besides its theoretical contributions, can help managers of Iranian banks to develop their marketing strategies for more rapidly expanding IB adoption by customers.
This paper is organized as following: Sect. 2 introduces the theoretical background of the study including studies on Internet banking, hypotheses, and research model. Section 3 describes research methodology and Sect. 4 presents data analysis and results of hypotheses testing. Section 5 investigates research findings and offers their theoretical and managerial implications. Finally, Sect. 6 presents the conclusion and offers suggestions for further research in future.
2 Theoretical background
The theoretical framework of this paper consists of four parts. The first part reviews the related literature on IB and models employed by the studies on IB adoption. In the second part, the dimensions of the perceived risk in IB adoption is investigated on the basis of the perceived risk theory (PRT) and the related hypotheses are presented. The third part explains the concept of IB awareness and the related hypotheses. Finally, in the fourth part, the research model is proposed on the basis of the hypotheses presented in parts 2 and 3.
2.1 Studies on Internet banking
Retail banking services
Structure of bank distribution channels
Banks, bank managers, and their attitudes, perceptions, orientation and strategies toward new technologies like IB
Customer characteristics including demographical characteristics, attitudes, intentions, adoption, and satisfaction
Relational studies: whose aim is to determine variables affecting IB adoption using one of the models for the adoption of new technologies or a combination of them.
Many researchers have also tried to use, develop, and combine these models and theories in order to investigate the issue of adoption of new technologies like IB (DTPB: Taylor and Todd ; TAM2: Venkatesh and Davis ; UTAUT: Venkatesh et al. ; Pikkarainen et al. ; Chan and Lu ; Lai et al. ; Ndubisi ; Yiu et al. ; Zolait and Ainin ; Al-Somali et al. ; Lee ; Polasik and Wisniewski ).
The theory used as the basic concept of this study is the perceived risk theory (PRT). The main feature of this theory distinguishing it from other theories and models is the fact that, unlike other theories or models which concentrate on the positive factors influencing customers’ adoption of IB, this theory specifically focuses on the negative factors (risks) which prevent customers from IB adoption. In the next section, this theory is introduced in the field of IB.
2.2 The perceived risk and its dimensions
As it was mentioned earlier, the perceived risk can be defined as the customer’s perception of lack of trust and the potential adverse effects of purchasing a good or service . The perceived risk is considered as an important factor which influences customer behavior .
Researchers in the field of as perceived risk theory (PRT)  identified perceived risk as the combination of several dimensions [45, 49, 69]. These dimensions include performance, financial, social, psychological, security, privacy, and physical risks. These dimensions have been used and even developed by many researchers (for more information refer to Lim ).
Gemünden  argued that the predictive value of each dimension in the total risk and its reductive behavior greatly depend upon the class of the good or service. Since the first objective of this study is to investigate the effects of the dimensions of the perceived risk on IB adoption, the literature in this area is reviewed below.
Studies specifically investigating the dimensions of the perceived risk in IB adoption
Littler and Melanthiou
Zhao et al.
Aldas-Manzano et al.
Perceived risk dimensions
It can be inferred from Table 1 that some concepts of these studies overlap each other. According to the results of these studies and by summarizing the concepts of the dimensions of the perceived risk in them, the dimensions of the perceived risk can be categorized into six groups: time, financial, performance, social, security, and privacy. Considering the general definition of each dimension, provided by Featherman and Pavlou  and Lee , in the following, each of these dimensions is defined in terms of IB.
This risk refers to customers’ concerns about following issues: 1. Too much time spent for learning how to use IB; 2. Too much time devoted for solving problems caused by using IB (such as proving transaction errors), and 3. Too much time which must be spent doing and completing transactions in IB.
This risk refers customers’ concerns about the potential of financial loss which is caused by: 1. Mistake in entering the specifications of transaction such as account number or amount of money by the customer in IB, 2. Impossibility of compensation by bank in case of errors in transaction, and 3. Losing control of personal account resulting in financial loss caused by IB.
This risk refers to factors which may influence efficiency of IB in the consumer’s eyes in the following issues: 1. Lack of system’s good performance due to low download speed, server pauses, or website maintenance operations, and 2. Not meeting customers’ expectations from IB on the basis of the advertised preferences after use.
This risk refers to customers’ concerns in the following areas: 1. Negative attitude of family, friends, colleagues toward IB, and losing social position among these groups in case of errors or frauds, and 2. Impossibility of direct contact with bank staff and their help in using IB (see also Al-Somali et al. ).
Concern about the following issues constitute security risk of IB customers: 1. Lack of security of World Wide Web for sending and receiving financial information (Internet security), and 2. Potential loss resulting from fraud and IB hack threatening the security of the customers (IB security) (see also Sathye, ; Aladwani, ; Suh and Han, ; Westland, ; Polasik and Wisniewski, ).
This risk refers to the fact that IB users desire to have control over all aspects of collecting their personal data . Now if users’ private data (privacy) is collected and registered without their awareness, this may worry them [18, 26]. This concern can be referred to as privacy risk.
Lee’s  reasoning that IB creates no threat to human life, has excluded physical risk from the dimensions of the perceived risk in IB adoption. In this respect and considering the studies of Littler and Melanthiou  and Zhao et al.  which have not identified psychological risk as one dimension of the risk affecting IB adoption, physical and psychological risk have been excluded from the list of dimensions of the perceived risk in IB adoption.
customers’ perceived risk of IB (1—Time, 2—Financial, 3—Performance, 4—Social, 5—Security, and 6—Privacy) negatively influences their intention of IB adoption.
In the above hypothesis, time risk is considered as H1-1, financial risk as H1-2, performance risk as H1-3, social risk as H1-4, security risk as H1-5, and privacy risk as H1-6.
2.3 Awareness from Internet banking
Howcroft et al.  concluded in their studies that one of the most important reasons of customers’ reluctance for adopting IB is their unawareness of its services and advantages. Moreover, Sathye  notes that low degree of awareness of Internet banking is a critical factor in causing customers not to adopt Internet banking. Azouzi  concluded in his study that awareness of its advantages and services has a significant positive effect on adopting and using Internet banking.
IB awareness positively influences bank customers’ intention of IB adoption.
Rogers and Shoemaker’s  theory states that before customers become ready to adopt a product or service, they pass through the process of knowledge, persuasion, decision, and confirmation. In other words, they argue that acceptance or rejection of an innovation commences when the customers become aware of the product and its advantages and disadvantages. Thus, customer awareness of the product, its facilities, advantages, and disadvantages is among the initial and important stages in determining innovation of the individual. On the other hand, Aldas Manzano and Navarre  found out that customer innovation negatively affects IB risk perception. Besides, Cooper  considers risk level as an important factor of innovation adoption by the customer. In this respect, it can be concluded that customer awareness of IB, as an important factor of innovation, can exert a negative effect on customers’ risk regarding IB. Littler and Melanthiou , confirming this issue, argue that one of the mediating factors which affect risk perception of the customers is insufficient information about the products and its advantages and disadvantages. Lichtenstein and Williamson , also, point to the significance of knowledge and support in informing customers for reducing the risk and increasing their willingness for receiving IB services.
IB awareness negatively influences the dimensions of the perceived risk for IB adoption (including 1—Time, 2—Financial, 3—Performance, 4—Social, 5—Security, 6—Privacy).
In the above hypothesis, the effect of awareness on time risk is considered as H3-1, financial risk as H3-2, performance risk as H3-3, social risk as H3-4, security risk as H3-5, and privacy risk as H3-6.
2.4 Research model
3 Research methodology
3.1 Survey administration
The survey method was used for collecting data in order to test the hypotheses. Considering the objectives mentioned in previous sections, the statistical population of the study is composed of Iranian bank customers who do not actively use IB. Three points must be mentioned about the selection of statistical population. First, considering the model and research objectives, the aim is to investigate the dimensions of the perceived risk in IB adoption intention and the effect of IB awareness on the dimensions of the perceived risk before IB adoption. Second, those who actively use IB cannot have a true conception of their perceptions before IB adoption. The reason is the changes of the content of the dimensions of the perceived risk and degree of IB awareness after adoption. Third, as it was mentioned, the statistical population consists of the customers who do not actively use IB. Hence, those who have IB account but do not use it due to various reasons part of which being the dimensions of the perceived risk, are considered in the population. Regarding the defined statistical population, the statistical sample was also selected from among Iranian bank customers who do not actively use IB.
Two methods of self-administered survey and Internet survey were utilized for data collection. This was done in order to reduce the amount of possible bias. In this method, first, five regions in the northern, southern, central, eastern, and western parts of Iran were selected and random sampling was conducted in them. This sampling was done in places like trains (with the permission of Iranian railway organization), commercial centers, governmental organizations, private companies, industrial factories, and universities, and lasted for one month in December 2009. In sum, 462 questionnaires were collected and after removing uncompleted questionnaires 414 completed questionnaires were obtained. In the second method, Internet survey, an online questionnaire was developed, first. In the next stage, the address link of this questionnaire was placed on the home page of two well-known websites about management and banking (www.betsa.ir, www.banki.ir). Also, in order to increase the reply rate, the questionnaire was advertised in three forums. Finally, using this method and during one month, 140 replies were obtained. Thus, a sample of 554 was achieved.
Demographical features of the respondents
Respondents’ use of other banking forms
3.2 Measurement development
Items used in the questionnaire
Time Risk (TIM)
In my opinion, learning how to use Internet banking services takes a lot of time
A lot of time must be spent for transactions in IB services for banking transactions
I think I should spend a lot of time solving the problems arising from IB systems (such as proving the payment errors)
Financial Risk (FIN)
I am afraid of losing my money when transferring money on the Internet due to carelessness or mistakes like erroneous entry of account number or the amount of money
I am afraid that I will not be able to get compensation from bank in case of errors
I am afraid of losing control of my account by using IB systems
Performance Risk (PER)
In my opinion IB systems may not work properly due to low download speed or maintenance operations or they may face server pauses
IB servers may not work properly and the process of payment may be wrong
I am afraid that IB might not provide the advantages advertised
Social Risk (SOC)
I am sure that if I decide to use IB and mistake or fraud happen in my Internet banking transactions, I will lose my good position among my friends, family, and colleagues
I think if I use IB systems, people will not admire me for using it
Using IB systems, I will not be able to have direct relations with bank staff and use their helps and this gives me an unpleasant feeling
Security Risk (SEC)
I feel unsecured about sending and receiving my financial information on IB systems
I think IB systems can easily be accessed by unauthorized people like hackers
In my opinion, World Wide Web is not a safe and appropriate place for financial transactions
Privacy Risk (PRI)
Use of Internet for financial transactions increases the possibility of unwanted emails
I think if I use IB systems, it might be possible for bank to make my personal information accessible for other organizations or companies without my consent
I think if I use IB systems, my privacy is threatened due to illegal use of my personal information
I think I get enough information about the services of IB systems
I think I get enough information about the advantages of IB systems
I think I get enough information about the ways of opening account and using IB systems
In general, I have enough information about IB
Intention to use (INT)
I intend to use IB regularly in future
I intend to use IB for quick and easy access to my bank information in future
I am going to use IB for my bank transactions in future
I think that I will use IB more than bank branches in future
Cook et al.  commented that the least number of items required for achieving internal reliability is three items on each construct. This limitation has been considered in this questionnaire.
The two-stage process suggested by Anderson and Gerbing  was utilized for data analysis. In the first stage, the measurement model is analyzed and in the second, the structural relations among the hidden constructs are investigated. In the first stage, it is considered that the collection of indicators of each construct must uniquely measure the construct related to them. That is to say, in this stage it is evaluated whether indicators provided for presenting each construct really indicate them or not. The precision with which indicators indicate their constructs is also reported. The second stage of the model is investigated when the set of constructs is employed for measuring the multi-dimensional construct. In this stage, it is assessed whether the constructs are good measures for the multi-dimensional construct or not and a report of the precision of the construct in introducing multi-dimensional construct is presented. Besides, based on the results obtained from this stage, the research hypotheses are tested.
4.1 Analysis of measurement model
All factor loadings must be meaningful and greater than 0.4 .
Convergent Validity: constructs must have at least a 0.5 the Average Variance Extracted (AVE) .
Discriminant Validity: The AVE of the construct must be greater than the variance shared between a particular construct and other construct in the model .
It must be mentioned that the convergent and discriminant validity are different forms of construct validity. Convergent validity shows high correlation of indicators of a construct in comparison to correlation of the indicators of another construct . Discriminant validity indicates minor correlation among the indicators of a construct and those of another construct .
While construct validity refers to the measurement among constructs, reliability is the outcome of measurement within a construct. That is to say, the indicators selected for a given construct are considered together to identify the erroneous indicators of the construct. In fact, reliability is used to investigate the coordination of indicators with the constructs with which they must be measured .
Validation of the final measurement model, reliability and convergent validity
Time Risk (TIM)
Financial Risk (FIN)
Performance Risk (PER)
Social Risk (SOC)
Security Risk (SEC)
Privacy Risk (PRI)
Intention to use (INT)
Discriminant validity of constructs
4.2 Analysis of the structural model
4.3 Hypothesis testing
Assessment of the structural model
Baron and Kenny  argue that it is necessary for both direct and indirect effect to be considered simultaneously for completely testing mediation. To this aim, three concept of total, direct, and indirect effects were taken into account in research model. Except for AWA, all constructs of the research model only have direct effect on INT. The only construct having both direct and indirect effect is AWA. The direct, indirect and total effects of awareness on intention to use of IB were (0.302, ρ<0.01), (0.655, ρ<0.01) and (0.957, ρ<0.01). The indirect effect of AWA on INT shows a stronger effect than the direct effect, exhibiting that dimensions of the perceived risk were also the key mediators to influence INT. This indirect effect of AWA on INT has respectively been through PER (0.182, ρ<0.01), TIM (0.176, ρ<0.01), SEC (0.139, ρ<0.01), FIN (0.101, ρ<0.01), PRI (0.042, ρ<0.05) and SOC (0.015, ρ=0.09). In this regard, performance, time, security, financial, and privacy risk act respectively as mediators in the positive effect of IB awareness on intention to use IB.
The model investigated in this study examines the effect of IB awareness on each dimension of the perceived risk in IB adoption as well as the effect of each of these dimensions on customers’ intention. It should be remembered that considering the values of R2, the proposed model has a high explanatory power. It was found out in previous section that performance, time, security, financial, and privacy risk act respectively as mediators in the positive effect of IB awareness on intention to use IB. In this section, the results are investigated based on each dimension of the perceived risk.
It was found out that performance risk plays the highest mediating role. This risk is the second risk in terms of importance in intention of use. The concern of customers in this dimension of risk is that IB server does not work as expected and due to server pauses or maintenance and troubleshooting activities, it usually faces problems and they always witness error message when using the server. Besides, they worry about the low download speed of IB website. Also, the customers are afraid that it is possible for the bank not to provide the services and advantages it advertises. Furthermore, it has been proven that IB awareness plays an important and significant role in reducing the performance risk. Regarding the above mentioned concerns, banks must remember to offer and expand IB services on the basis of their timed strategic and operational programs and put emphasis on their advertising process at this point. This emphasis ensures the customer that all technical and non-technical aspects will be observed in offering these services and the possibility of problems like server pauses will be low when they use such services. Administering traffic management and server supporting systems in IB systems and appropriate advertisement can also reduce this risk among customers and increase their willingness to adopt IB.
The second risk plays the most mediating role is time risk. It is the most important risk which influences intention of using IB. Therefore, the most important concern of bank customers is the great amount of time spent for transactions or solving possible problems arising from them. Besides, customers worry that learning how to use IB is difficult and time-consuming. On the other hand, it was proved that awareness from the advantages, services, and ways of using IB plays a significant role in reducing time risk. Therefore, banks must take technical actions to reduce the possibility of delay in payments and transaction times and inform the customers of these activities. Also, necessary guides and instructions about the possible problems arising at the time of use must be prepared and provided to the customers to ensure them that they will not spend much time solving these problems. Establishing and expanding telephone guide centers can also be useful in this regard. As Yiu et al.  argue, designing demonstrations and advertisements for their use among bank customers can ensure them that they can easily learn how to use IB.
The security risk is the third risk playing a mediating role. It is the third risk bank customers are faced with in adopting IB. This risk is the customers’ concerns regarding Internet security and security of IB website. Also, it was proved that awareness has a significant role in reducing this risk. Banks are now using various solutions such as firewalls, filtering routers, callback modems, encryption biometrics, smart cards, digital certificates , and two-factor authentication systems  for creating security in IB systems. But these concepts are not understandable for many customers. Giving information about these issues both in technical and non-technical terms ensures customers that bank is trying to provide the security of IB system in the best way possible. Another strategy regarding awareness that, through creating sense of security, can encourage customers for adopting IB is giving information about various frauds in the area of IB such as phishing  and providing the customers with guidelines for protection against these frauds. These cases and third-party trust certification bodies [4, 84] can increase customers’ awareness of security issues and, by reducing this risk in their minds, increase their willingness to adopt IB.
The fourth risk, among the dimensions of the perceived risk, in which IB awareness plays a part, is financial risk. This is the fourth risk negatively affecting intention to use IB. Customers’ concern about impossibility of getting compensation from bank in the case of mistake, possibility of erroneous transactional data entry, and fear of losing control over personal account using IB are among the main concerns of customers in this risk. Also, it was proved that awareness plays a significant part in reducing financial risk. Solutions proposed that can reduce this risk and encourage customers for adopting IB include: 1. Developing and offering guidelines and instructions which explain customer rights and banks responsibilities in the field of IB; 2. Giving information about the articles of electronic commerce law that refer to the validity of electronic documents resulting from IB transactions; 3. Planning, administering, and advertising about consumer reassurance programs such as after sale redress policy; 4. Giving information about the features of possibility of confirming transaction at the same time it is going on which minimizes error possibility; and 5. Expanding IB services which increase user’s authority in managing personal account (such as continuous payment planning and giving appropriate information about it).
The fifth risk which plays mediating role in the relationship between IB awareness and intention of IB adoption is privacy risk. It is the fifth and the last risk influencing intention of IB adoption. Banks’ illegal use of customers’ private information and its results such as receiving unwanted emails or endangering privacy constitute the main concerns of customers in this risk. The role of awareness in reducing this risk was also proved. Bestavros  offered recommendations for reducing this risk which were also emphasized by Aldas-Manzano et al. . Considering these recommendations and emphasizing the role of awareness in reducing this risk, the following solutions are offered: 1. Giving information about articles of electronic commerce law that places responsibility of disclosing IB customers’ private information upon bank; 2. Placing the issue of protecting customers’, particularly IB customers, privacy in the quality policy of banks and giving information about it; 3. Giving information and creating trust regarding protection of customers’ privacy at the time of opening account; and 4. Designing and launching IB system in a way which does not require sending email to customers.
On the basis of the results obtained, it became clear that social risk has minor effect on customers’ intention of using IB. This means that customers are not afraid of the negative attitude of their family, friends, or colleagues, as well as loosing physical contact with bank staff. This finding is in line with the findings of Lee  regarding this risk. On the other hand, the role of IB awareness in reducing social risk is proved. These results can be justified in two ways. The first is that sufficient IB awareness of respondents’ relatives caused them to have positive view toward IB which made them regard this risk as minor in their responses. Another justification is that according to the findings of Venkatesh and Davis  and Lee , social norms, in spite of significant effect on services having obligatory application, have less influence upon the intention of using services having optional usage like IB.
In most solutions suggested in this section for reducing the dimensions of the perceived risk, especial attention has been paid to the concept of advertising. Pikkarainen et al.  argued that:
“Banks should now concentrate in their advertising more on informative issues rather than on building only brands with less informative advertisements”.
As it was mentioned before, the concept of IB awareness was emphasized in the findings and focusing on customers’ awareness from each dimension of risk, the effect of awareness on intention of IB adoption was explained. This awareness which can be explained as giving information rather than merely advertising can be created through various channels like TV, radio, magazines, brochures, shows in ATMs, bank website, weblogs, E-mails, short messages, or public training courses.
6 Conclusion and suggestions
This study followed three aims. The first aim was to investigate the effect of each dimension of the perceived risk on bank customers’ intention of using IB based on the perceived risk theory. The results showed that except for social risk, other dimensions of risk including time, performance, security, financial, and privacy has significant negative effects on IB use.
The second aim was to examine the effect of the concept of IB awareness on each dimension of the perceived risk in IB adoption. The findings indicated that IB awareness reduces all aspects of the perceived risk (respectively, performance, security, financial, social, privacy, and time).
Finally, regarding these results, solutions based on the concept of IB awareness were offered applying which within the framework of marketing strategies like pull and push  and customer targeting  banks can reduce the perceived risk of their customers for adopting IB.
With respect to the limitations of this study, suggestions can be proposed for developing the model under investigation both from a theoretical and survey point of view.
As it was mentioned in Sect. 4.3, 23.7 % of the variance of intention of research was not explained by the dimensions of the perceived risk and IB awareness. This can be attributed to not entering other factors influencing the intention to use IB in research model. In this respect and in order to reduce this value, one suggestion for future research can be made as simultaneous investigation of the dimensions of the perceived risk and other variables affecting intention to use IB according to models and theories proposed in the area of IB adoption.
In this study, the research model is investigated cross-sectionally. This means that the research model is investigated according to views expressed by the respondents at one point of time. This approach, as one of the common approaches, was selected due to theoretical and survey limitations. Another approach to be utilized is longitudinal approach. The method used by this approach is to collect the views of respondents through a survey. Then, by dividing the respondents into two test and control groups during a time period, comprehensive information on IB is provided to test groups and at the end of this period, the views of respondents are measured again. Through this method and by comparing the results obtained from two groups, the effect of IB awareness on the dimensions of the perceived risk and intention to use IB can be investigated.
As it was mentioned in Sect. 3.1, the statistical population of the research is composed of bank customers who do not actively use IB. The sampling was also conducted from this population. According to the reasons pointed out in this section, it is argued that excluding customer actively using IB does not cause bias in the results obtained; rather, it leads to better explanation of the results. However, this issue can be considered as one limitation of the present study. For an in depth analysis, It is suggested that future studies embark on comparing the results obtained from these two statistical population.
This study was conducted in Iran with its unique geographical, cultural, and economic features. Considering previous studies on similar models and theories, it seems that changes in the mentioned features would result in change in the type and power of the relations within the model. Thus, another suggestion for future research is to investigate cultural, national, geographical, and economic restrictions of population regarding the concepts of awareness, dimensions of the perceived risk, and the relationship among them. In other words, interpretation of the results of research model by focusing upon cultural, national, and economic features of the countries can pave the way for expanding an area of IB adoption studies, called comparative studies on IB adoption based on target community.
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