The Impact of Personalization and Compatibility with Past Experience in E-Banking Usage

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Journal of Bank Marketing





Banks and financial services providers are increasingly delivering their services via electronic banking, also known as e-banking. Yet even though this type of delivery is now common, the degree of personalization in the services provided via this channel exhibit considerable variation. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of service personalization on consumer reaction to the e-banking service. Based on research of information and communication technology (ICT) service innovation and the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, this study further examines one contingent factor, compatibility with previous experience with e-banking. This study focuses on the interactions effect of personalization and technology compatibility on customer e-banking service usage.


A survey was conducted to investigate the impacts of personalization on e-banking usage decision process and the interactions between personalization and compatibility with past e-banking experience. Quota sampling was applied and different type of customers were approached in 30 branches of the commercial bank. Data were collected from a sample of 181 banking customers in a metropolitan region in southern China.


The results indicated that personalization leads to increased performance expectancy and decreased effort expectancy, which in turn lead to increasing intention to continue to use e-banking services. In addition, compatibility with previous e-banking experience and personalization produces an interaction effect on both performance expectancy and effort expectancy.

Research limitations/implications

The theoretical contribution of this study is to demonstrate how the contingent factor of compatibility moderates the impact of personalization, thus extending the UTAUT model in the area of e-banking service adoption. Implications are twofold: personalization influences evaluations of both utility and ease of use, and the effect is magnified when compatibility with prior e-banking experience is factored into the model. This is an important extension and future research should examine whether the same relationship holds in other industries using new technologies to deliver services. The UTAUT model, after extension by including the moderating impact of compatibility, works well in demonstrating the impact of various factors on the adoption of a new technological delivery system for a service.

Practical implications

This study has two significant implications for managerial practices. First, the study sheds lights on the segmentation of e-banking customers. Modern marketers know that the best way to engage with consumers is through personal messaging strategies and should make great efforts to identify customers before trying to reach them. In the e-banking realm, consumer banking preferences keep changing. With a clear understanding of the different consumer banker segments, financial institutions can identify which channels appeal to them. For example, some users are more likely than average to use e-banking. Second, this study helps e-banking service provider design different personalized e-banking service for different customers.

Social implications

This study sheds light on social value of personalization, particularly among those new to a delivery platform.


This study provides evidence demonstrating that personalization increases customer perceptions of performance expectancy and decreases effort expectancy, and that the effect is most profound for customers with limited level of perceived compatibility with past experience with e-banking. This paper extended the UTAUT model and research on ICT service innovation by providing more insights on the impacts of e-banking service personalization and the contingency impact of user’s background in e-banking context.