PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the implementation of a mobile network system for an Islamic microfinance institution, made in collaboration with a commercial bank in Malaysia. It also intends to highlight any emerging issues pertaining to the implementation of technology into the disbursement and repayment system of an Islamic microfinance institution from their clients’ perspectives. As Islamic microfinance industry is still growing in Malaysia, findings gathered throughout the course of study are also intended to boost further knowledge relating to this area.Design/methodology/approachBy using a case study method, interview sessions were conducted separately with clients of the Islamic microfinance institution. The purpose of interview sessions is to identify the benefits and problem that surrounds the usage of mobile banking into the repayment system for Islamic microfinance products. Data triangulation with various public documents was conducted to enhance the credibility and reliability of data, also to support the claims that were made by the respondents.FindingsIt was found that clients are quite satisfied with the disbursement process through a mobile solution. However, the same cannot be said with the repayment process. The difficulties in using the mobile solution pose a major threat to its success. As most clients are not born to be technological savvy, the lack of easiness in methods for the usage of a mobile solution for their transactions pushes them away from further exploring the benefits that can be brought in by the function. Other risks which were highlighted include concerns towards breach of trust and risks of robbery. Clients of the case study, on the other hand, are concerned that the transfer of cash between their meeting venues to the bank would expose them to the public who might try to take advantage from the situation.Research limitations/implicationsAs the current study had only focusses on mobile banking aspect of the repayment system for one Islamic microfinance institution, a multiple case study could be adapted to investigate various banking channels being implemented by different Islamic microfinance institutions in Malaysia and their current success.Practical implicationsBy highlighting several issues through this study, it is hoped that this Islamic microfinance institution would consider applying other means of payment that are available in the market that is not only cost-efficient, but also beneficial for clients of the institution.Originality/valueThis study highlights the setbacks in the usage of technology by clients of Islamic microfinance institution in Malaysia. Although many approved to the diffusion of innovation in Malaysian banking sector, the same has yet to be achieved in the Islamic microfinance industry, which clients are mostly technology illiterate.
international Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 5, 2016
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