||This research sought to investigate the adoption of mobile money, specifically EcoCash in Zimbabwe by formal and informal entrepreneurs. It looked at the application of the institutional theory in base of the pyramid markets (BOP) (Prahalad, 2006). Di Maggio and Powell’s (1983) three forms of institutional pressures were employed to understand how this related to the use, understanding and adoption of EcoCash. These were coercive isomorphism, mimetic processes and normative pressures which fall under legitimacy in the institutional theory. Factors that affected the adoption process were incorporated into the literature. |
An Interpretive approach was taken involving cross-sectional interviews on eight participants who were formal and informal entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe and using mobile money. These participants were from various parts of the country and in different trade industries aged between their late 20s to early 50s. Thematic analysis was used to provide the inductive analysis of the data collected from the participants’ responses.
The key findings identified links between costs, benefits and usability in relation to coercive isomorphism, mimetic processes and normative pressures. Negative and positive factors including security concerns, benefits and alternative payment systems also played a role in the adoption rate and process. These were analysed in comparison to some of the African countries using mobile money and Zimbabwe to understand the similarities and differences.
However, availability of cash or lack thereof, seemed to be a fundamental determining factor on the adoption of mobile money and this could help future entrepreneurs to understand these pressures and how the pressures affect the entrepreneurs’ business environment. Policy makers may also be able to take the appropriate steps in securing such innovation and seeing to its continuity with these factors in mind.
Keywords: Mobile money, Base of the pyramid economies, Institutional theory, Costs, Benefits, Usability, Cash.