Ofﬂine and online banking –
where to draw the line when
building trust in e-banking?
Kenneth B. Yap
University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, and
David H. Wong, Claire Loh and Randall Bak
Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of situation normality cues (online
attributes of the e-banking web site) and structural assurance cues (size and reputation of the bank,
and quality of traditional service at the branch) in a consumer’s evaluation of the trustworthiness of
e-banking and subsequent adoption behaviour.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from a survey and a usable sample of 202
was obtained. Hierarchical moderated regression analysis was used to test the model.
Findings – Traditional service quality builds customer trust in the e-banking service. The size and
reputation of the bank were found to provide structural assurance to the customer but not in the
absence of traditional service quality. Web site features that give customers conﬁdence are signiﬁcant
situation normality cues.
Practical implications – Bank managers have to realise that good service at the branch is a
necessary condition for the promotion of e-banking. They cannot rely on bank size and reputation to
Originality/value – This is the ﬁrst study that examines how traditional service quality and a
bank’s size and reputation inﬂuences trust in e-banking.
Keywords Trust, Customer services quality, Electronic commerce, Banking
Paper type Research paper
Online banking, also commonly known as internet banking or e-banking, has
experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. In 2006, Pew Internet and American
Life Project reported that nearly half of internet users in the United States – 63 million
adults – bank online (Fox and Beier, 2006). Nonetheless, the authors note that the
growth rate in e-banking has not kept pace with that of internet usage and attribute
this gap to the lack of trust among bank customers, particularly among internet users
age 65 and older. News headlines about e-mail scams, identity theft, and “phishing”
that undeservedly distort consumer perceptions may be one of several reasons why
such a lack of trust persists (Gerrard et al., 2006).
The authors of this study propose that this lack of trust can be overcome with a
better understanding of factors that can boost customers’ trust for e-banking. It is
important for bank managers to understand that trust has to be developed and they
can do so with a combination of traditional and online measures. This proposition is
particularly pertinent in the current context because e-banking features prominently in
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Received March 2009
Revised October 2009
Accepted October 2009
International Journal of Bank
Vol. 28 No. 1, 2010
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited