How to improve trust toward electronic banking

Date30 November 2010
Published date30 November 2010
AuthorFrancisco Muñoz‐Leiva,Teodoro Luque‐Martínez,Juan Sánchez‐Fernández
Subject MatterInformation & knowledge management,Library & information science
How to improve trust toward
electronic banking
Francisco Mun
˜oz-Leiva, Teodoro Luque-Martı
´nez and
Juan Sa
Department of Marketing and Market Research, University of Granada,
Granada, Spain
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the field of trust research with a focus on
optimising this perception via electronic transactions in the banking industry. Specifically, the study
aims to examine trust toward a bank and its dependability using a variety of “institution-based” trust
mechanisms, such as security of transaction, reputation and web quality.
Design/methodology/approach It is expected that the manner in which the trust-generating
mechanismsare presented has different effectson the level of trust in the internetbanking services. The
analysis of these influences is based on an experimental designapplied to internet banking users with
the aim of treating the scenarios defined by combinations of stimuli. In particular, a design was used
with three intra-subject factors: the first two, manipulated a priori, combine seals and their associated
clauses or arrangements, while the third considered a bank website’s quality from the user viewpoint.
Findings – The analysis discovers that the mere presence of seals is not in itself important for the
explanation of beliefs about trustworthiness and dependability of a website with electronic banking
services. However, the manner in which the trust-generating mechanisms are presented, either
individually or in their different combinations, has different effects on trust.
Research limitations/implications – The study is limited to data from one country and a single
specific context (a new electronic banking website), so care should be taken when generalising to other
electronic businesses. The findings contribute several recommendations for web design and
optimisation of the online services and/or content offered by a bank.
Originality/value – This paper is the first study to evaluate the combined effects of four seals
generators of trust in a bank’s website and its associated arrangements or clauses as well as design
quality. The study will provide greater understanding of navigation behaviour and the decisions made
by users of electronic banking.
Keywords Virtual banking,Shops
Paper type Research paper
Introduction: security and online fraud in electronic banking
Over the last ten years the internet has changed the rules for practically all industries,
including the banking sector. The number of websites offering banking services has
grown rapidly using the new channels for transaction and communication offered by
the medium (Gura
¨u, 2002), so that today almost all banks offer online services and
Banking is considered a highly dynamic business, even more so when price reductions
or better conditions are offered to customers contracting services over the internet.
However some groups of customers are reluctant to use such services. Regarding
electronic commerce in general, consumers show more concern about the use of banking
services when the amount of money potentially exposed to fraud is significantly larger,
than with other types of services or organisations (Milne and Boza, 1999).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
How to improve
Refereed article received
28 September 2009
Approved for publication
14 March 2010
Online Information Review
Vol. 34 No. 6, 2010
pp. 907-934
qEmerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/14684521011099405
Every year consumers lose an increasing amount of money through internet fraud.
According to Internet Fraud Watch ( directed by the National
Consumers League, consumers lost approximately $13.86 million through fraud in
2005, significantly higher than the $5.79 million lost in 2004. The average losses per
person varied from $293 in 1999 to $17,508.48 in 2007. The Rivest, Shamir and
Adleman (RSA) laboratories identified 3,655 phishing attacks in April 2006 aimed at
financial institutions of any size (Moloney, 2007).
A nationwide survey of 6,006 people conducted by the Fundacio
´n Banco Bilbao
Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) in Spain in 2005 revealed a number of obstacles to
carrying out banking operations over the internet. The two issues that most dissuaded
people from using electronic or online banking were the preference for a physical
receipt and concern about privacy, while the third was the absence of a bank employee
(BBVA, 2005).
The main obstacles or disadvantages preventing optimal adoption of electronic
banking can be grouped as follows:
.Concern about security and privacy (Gandy, 1995; Rosenberg, 1998 ; Aladwani,
2001; Chan and Lu, 2004; Laforet and Li, 2005; Lafuente, 2005, p. 52; Yousafzai
et al., 2005).
.Intangibility and physical separation between customer and institution
(Moquillaza, 2002; Embid et al., 1998, p. 120; BBVA, 2005; Alsajjan and
Dennis, 2006).
.Potential transactional errors, which increase the perceived risk (Suganthi et al.,
2001; Valdunciel, 2004).
.Limited number of online services offered and off-line bureaucracy required
(Moquillaza, 2002; Pereira, 2003).
.Asymmetry or lack of information about the use of the services offered (Filotto
et al., 1997; Lafuente, 2005).
.Lack of technological skills among the population using the service and in the
teams themselves (Chan and Lu, 2004; BBVA, 2005; Laforet and Li, 2005).
In short, all these problems are closely linked to the processing and treatment of the
sensitive and/or personal information involved in bank transactions over the internet.
This situation raises the important question of how to convey trust in transactions
carried out on the internet and in their participating agents. The solution to this
problem is even more critical for internet banking, as any payment or deposit
necessarily uses a virtual savings account.
Under these premises and in order to contribute to a somewhat neglected field in the
literature to date, the present study aims to improve understanding of the individual’s
responses to different stimuli presented in trust-generating mechanisms concerning
the adoption of electronic banking. In this way the manuscript frames the field of
online information, in particular e-commerce, focusing on the analysis of online
services and/or content offered by a bank and web design quality. Most of the studies
reviewed centre on seals protecting the security of transactions and privacy of personal
information on commercial websites (e.g. Metzger, 2006; Ho and Oh, 2009), but few
studies have analysed the efficiency of combining these seals with others guaranteeing
refunds in the event of fraud, the appearance of customers’ comments or the presence

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