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EJISDC (2011) 47, 3, 1-13

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ADOPTION OF E-COMMERCE IN JORDAN: UNDERSTANDING THE SECURITY CHALLENGE
Mohanad Halaweh College of Information Technology, University of Dubai, P.O. Box 14143, Dubai, UAE E-mail: mhalaweh@ud.ac.ae

ABSTRACT Security is a consistent barrier to the adoption and implementation of e-commerce for customers and organisations. Prior research into the adoption of e-commerce and Internet banking has reported many other challenges and barriers that hinder the acceptance and engagement in e-commerce transactions. However, few research studies have attempted to address each challenge separately in depth, in the hope of solving the difficulties, making improvements and obtaining insight into each factor/challenge, which will ultimately enhance the adoption of e-commerce. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to focus on the security challenges by exploring the nature of this factor from both a customer and organisational perspective within Jordan. An interpretive-qualitative research was adopted in this research, which helps to understand the phenomenon in its natural setting. The results of this research provide decision makers (businesses and IT managers) and companies that run an online business in Jordan insights into the current situation of this factor (security), which will enable them to implement effective strategies to address this factor. Keywords: E-commerce adoption, security perception, Jordan 1. INTRODUCTION Security is a consistent barrier to the adoption and implementation of e-commerce for customers and organisations (Hawkins et al., 2000; Antón & Earp, 2000; Daskapan, 2001; Kesh et al., 2002; Labuschagnce & Eloff, 2002; Jarupunpho & Mitchel, 2002; Albuquerque & Belchior, 2002; Suh & Han, 2003; Katsikas et al., 2005, Allahawiah et al. 2010). Within Arab countries, according to Aladwani (2003), Internet security was ranked the first concern for customers and business managers with respect to e-commerce usage. Most of the existing research that has been conducted in Jordan confirms the security concerns in e-commerce and Internet banking, but without exploring the issue in depth (Sahawneh, 2003; Alsmadi, 2004; Al-Sukkar, 2005; Titi, 2005; Siam, 2006; Al-Qirim, 2007; Allahawiah et al. 2010). This barrier (i.e. security) makes Jordanian organisations and customers alike hesitant to participate in e-commerce, thus restricting the growth of e-commerce. Very little research has addressed the security issue in Jordan from customer and organisational perspectives; a field in which there is a current lack of empirical research. As the target of this investigation is Jordan, it can be said that Jordan has made valuable progress in the ICT sector, but in regard to e-commerce, adoption and growth are still hindered by factors which notably include security. Therefore, once sufficient security is provided and perceived to be in place, the adoption of e-commerce should improve. In Jordan, no previous research has considered e-commerce security from both the customer and organisational perspectives. This research investigates the adoption of e-commerce from a security viewpoint, because it is an important and consistently influential factor in its success. The remaining of this paper is organized as follows: the next section provides background information about Jordan. Section 3 outlines its recent development of
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Promoting ICT in Jordan has received support from his Majesty King Abdullah II.com/ipa/A0107670. and less costly) services.org/pdf/gitr/rankings2007. GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT JORDAN The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is situated in the Middle East and has a population of 6 million. refers to the scope and nature of government and organisations effort to promote the networked world within the country and to promote the country as a regional or global centre in the networked world. Section 7 provides discussion and Section 8 provides a conclusion and future research. 1-13 2 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and of e-commerce. One street.e. 91% of whom are literate1. with a mission to promote and advance the Jordanian software and IT service industry in the global market. Section 5 presents the research methodology and Section 6 presents the key issues emerged from the empirical results.net The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. many conditions are present for the conduct of e-government and e–business. LLC (2002)4.intaj.openarab. Eleadership.com 5 www.infoplease. 3. Jordan has been ranked 57th of 122 on the Network Readiness Index in the Global Information Technology report 2006-20072.html www.net/en/node/349 4 http://www. more accessible. and internationally competitive ICT sector that can successfully attract investment and generate high value jobs”5. and indicates that investment in technology and Internet cafés is worthwhile.intaj.weforum. 2. Jordan is mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records (GBWR. Section 4 reviews the key e-commerce research previously carried out in Jordan. This also shows the eagerness of people to utilise Internet services. telecommunications companies. with regard to e-readiness Jordan’s ‘eleadership’ is rated medium to high compared to other countries in the world. The Ministry of ICT initiated an e-government program in September 2000. has more than 200 Internet cafés. whose goal is to develop “a vibrant. support and application. ICT DEVELOPMENT IN JORDAN As reported by McConnell International. Members of this association include companies working in Jordan in the fields of software development. 3. export-oriented. in this context. businesses and governments) to use ICT and the usage of ICT amongst these stakeholders. Intaj has grown from 53 organisations in 2000 to over 143 in mid-2006. value added assembly organisations and companies that distribute ICT products and services6. supported by both public and private sectors. from government ministers and from business leaders. which indicates a strong trend toward the increased usage of the Internet. The REACH initiative was devised by the Information Technology Association of Jordan (INTAJ) and supported by the Ministry of ICT to develop the IT sector in Jordan. faster. as the demand is high. 2001)3 as having the highest number of Internet cafés located in a small region. This decision was translated into what is known as the ‘REACH’ initiative. who have worked to set goals and strategies for the adoption of ICT in Jordan. which is 500 metres long. According to this report. His Majesty perceives ICT as the greatest potential to Jordan’s future success and growth. to increase the government performance and efficiency. the city of Irbid.org .EJISDC (2011) 47. The aim of this program is to enable businesses and citizens to obtain better (i.mcconnellinternational. 1 2 www. This assessment is based on a composite of three components: the environment for ICT offered by a given country.ejisdc. the readiness of the community’s key stakeholders (individuals. In 2000 the government of Jordan made ICT a national priority.pdf 3 http://www.net 6 www.

pdf 10 http://www. software. schools. and. (2006) explored the impact of ICT on higher education in Jordan. Recent research has been conducted by Al-Mobaideen (2009) to assess the ICT diffusion in Jordanian universities. Their research results assured that the use of technology improved students’ communication skills and enabled them to be more independent.org/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E. Another development of ICT at the schools level is the EDUWAVE project. universities. In schools. has not yet been achieved (Elsheikh et al.jo www. The initiative comprises two tracks: e-education in schools and e-education at university level. 3.pdf The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. As a result. the ability to download forms and applications.gov.000 government employees commenced in 2004 and staff have been trained to the International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) level10. He found that ICT is practised in Jordanian universities in both the academic and management environment. 7 8 http://www. The package includes delivery. To increase dissemination of computer and Internet facilities among citizens. These factors are: strategies and policies. In addition. industry. infrastructure and networks. This initiative is still in progress. and culture. which has been deployed in schools to provide access to an e-portal for students. which is committed to investing in education.ejisdc. all of these with full information about services.lb/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E. It also improved the motivation and confidence level of students.e.escwa. IT. He pointed out that the most successful efforts to incorporate ICT innovations in Jordan have occurred through the government. At the tertiary level. At government level. modem and dial up or ADSL access. computers and the Internet are used in schools and have been connected through the schools network. teachers and parents. and that ICT is considered public policy. There are 20 universities in Jordan offering degrees in IT subjects and more than 15 colleges preparing students to work in the IT sector. all public universities have completed their fibre-based campus networks. an ICT literacy programme for 20. e-commerce and programming language courses are now taught in secondary schools.un.pdf 9 www. 2003).moict. the Jordanian government has 95% of its ministries online. However. An e-learning initiative was begun in 2002 and has been implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.org . 1-13 3 and to ensure transparency in government procedures and processes7.escwa. This allows access to student data. and enabled them to express their feelings and ideas more openly with others. Computer and Internet skills courses and one programming language are compulsory in Jordanian universities for all students in most of the faculties.org. Jordan Telecom has launched a ‘PC@every-home’ initiative in 2004. all courses and grades via a central webpage8. the transactional stage of e-government) to making secure payments for a service and tax.e. offering packages consisting of a personal computer. and the ability to communicate with citizens and businesses via email (i. publishing stage).EJISDC (2011) 47.org. Tubaishat et al. to encourage people to purchase. funding and sustainability.. the programme aims to introduce IT courses within the curriculum and to facilitate the required infrastructure. So far. He also identified a set of critical success factors that would act as enablers for the successful implementation of ICT in Jordanian universities.lb/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E. online governmental transactions (i.escwa. warranty and Internet help disk for support. The application of ICT in Jordanian business. Ecommerce courses also are taught in universities. government departments and households is clearly occurred (Sahawneh. 2008). Distance learning activities have been initiated among some universities9 and some have recently set up wireless networks.

However. starting at £10 per month. However. pharmaceuticals.org. 4. according to Al-Mobaideen (2009).jo 13 www. most business organisations have websites to promote their products and services and to contact their customers (Titi. Regarding intellectual property law.lb/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E.org.ejisdc. This suggests that many people have the ability and willingness to engage in e-transactions. An informal Internet survey was conducted in 2007 by the JordanTelecom Company concerning landline telecommunications.pdf The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. Several Jordanian companies have deployed e-commerce applications. Another initiative offered by the government in 2007 was to provide a laptop for each university student. Asked if they would like to pay online. it is important to indicate what security means in the context of this research. a technology friendly country that is familiar with ICT initiatives (Mofleh et al.un. 3. It aims to regulate the storing. Other laws and regulations have also been implemented in the ICT sector.org/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E.. confectionary. 1-13 4 its price is estimated to be at least 40% lower than the market price.jordantelecom. When combined.g. From a customer perspective. car and hotel reservations and auction websites. more effort needs to be made regarding the e-government project and the legal legislation that organises the use of ICT. e-records. The EIC is responsible for executing the rolling out of the training programmes. and based on empirical research. whereas 21% said that they preferred to pay physically12. the Jordanian people have become familiar with. and continues to be. which has been adopted by firms in fields such as transport and delivery (e. 2003). Jordan joined the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 200413. e-signatures. The above developments indicate two main points: the government has undertaken several initiatives to promote IT in Jordan in various sectors and levels.org . Secondly. For example. In Jordan.EJISDC (2011) 47.lb/wsis/reports/docs/Jordan_2005-E.pdf 14 www. 2008). e-documents and privacy issues14. accessing and use of valuable intellectual property information in IT. the law of electronic works (Electronic Transactions Act No. making it suitable for people on low incomes. flowers. 2003). to explore customers’ preferences. LITERATURE REVIEW: PREVIOUS E-COMMERCE STUDIES IN JORDAN Before reviewing previous e-commerce research in Jordan. the aforementioned developments and initiatives indicate that Jordan has. websites providing facilities for such etransactions are still very few in numbers. Hence. E-commerce awareness has been achieved through the establishment of an Ecommerce Information Center (EIC) in the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI) in December 2000.escwa.escwa. 85 (2001) covers e-transactions. and are willing to use technology in their daily activities. and for providing guidance and support to the private sector with regard to the implementation of e-commerce systems (Sahawneh. Electronic Transaction Law No. of the 741 respondents. again at subsidised cost. However. as payments start at £15 per month spread over three years11. 79% said that they would like to pay bills online. Royal Jordanian Airlines and Aramex). The Electronic Business Development Activity (EBDA) is a national initiative supported by the European Commission and executed by the EIC at the ACI in order to address the dissemination of e-commerce awareness in the business community of Jordan and to encourage firms to introduce IT into their activities (Sahawneh. 2005).pdf http://www. commodities. the legal environment is not well established to cope with ICT diffusion. including online payment. Other companies provide the ability to pay bills online for such services as mobile and landline telephone networks. 85/ 2001) should be implemented.escwa. the perceived security of an e-commerce transaction can be defined as “the extent to which one believes 11 12 http://www.

another study was carried out by Alsmadi (2004) to investigate the attitude of Jordanian customers towards using the Internet for online shopping. because the local language is Arabic and the majority of websites are in English. 3. or through the presence of a padlock in the corner of their browser. to judge whether they had problems with language or to assess their level of knowledge about e-commerce websites.EJISDC (2011) 47. For example. then this perception is not related to the actual security requirements and technology. It had two important results: firstly. Other influencing factors include trust. Actual security is represented in the security technology and mechanisms that fulfill security requirements: confidentiality. which prevents the consumer from using the Internet for trade with unknown and/or unseen parties. if the customer perceives that using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protocol. most Jordanian consumers are likely to have enough knowledge and skills to use such Internet services.2). through the appearance of “http” followed by an “s” in the address bar. the issue of the security of online transactions was a key factor limiting people’s willingness to make greater use of online shopping. A study. there is a lack of awareness in organisations of e-commerce benefits. Secondly. this study was conducted in 2002. He states there is an absence of security and legal mechanisms to protect transactions and consumers from deceit. many websites now support two languages. conducted by Sahawneh (2003) among 31 organisations using survey method. A limitation of Sahawneh’s study was that it investigated only the opinion of companies. for example. authorisation and authentication. some users’ perceptions may include actual security. there is a difference between the concept of perceived security and actual security. this provides a perception that is relative to actual security where the SSL is used for data encryption. so it is difficult. Al-Sukkar (2005) conducted research into the adoption of Internet banking in Jordan. no specific survey has been completed with regard to security perceptions in e-commerce. The following studies of e-commerce and e-banking adoption are of particular relevance to Jordan. p. based on the viewpoint of the participant’s organizations. The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. if a customer perceives that the presence of a company address (location and telephone) or customer support via live chat over an e-commerce website means that the website is secure. The first is cultural resistance. therefore.org . It is merely a ‘feeling’ that the website is credible in the user’s own mind. Some perceived security is divergent from actual security. As stated by Sharma and Yurcik (2004). being termed the perception of reality (actual security). Internet security was ranked the first concern of customers and business managers in Arab counties. However. However. even though some perceptions are very different from the actual security controls. he found that among the main concerns of customers and banks were security and privacy. In essence. Customers were not consulted. integrity. In contrast. they are still important. found that many factors hinder e-commerce success in Jordan. Security perception is a subjective issue. such as a credit card. but other related studies include that conducted by Alsmadi (2004) to investigate the attitude of 500 Jordanian customers toward online shopping. He found that language is another limiting factor. especially those that are initiated from Jordan and other Arab countries. that a particular e-commerce site is secure. and e-commerce has progressed substantially in the subsequent eight years since the study. which means that its meaning differs from one user to the next. the look and feel of a website plays a significant role for users’ perceptions of usability and security. for example.ejisdc. availability. a technique for ensuring the security integrity requirement. For example. In Jordan. In addition. According to Aladwani (2003). such as Jordan in regard to the use of ecommerce. 1-13 5 that the Web is secure for transmitting sensitive information” Salisbury (2001. However. He found that the issue of security of online transactions was a major factor limiting their willingness to make greater use of online shopping. risk and security. nonrepudiation.

5. both guiding by previous literature approaches and by exploration of fieldwork. 1995) has been adopted in this research in order to explore the perceptions of customers. such as concerns about privacy and data security. A recent research. businesses. While the study provides useful information for NGOs and explores useful issues regarding e-commerce. with respect to connectivity and infrastructure.ituarabic. 1-13 6 Siam (2006) also reports that the majority of banks in Jordan that had introduced online services agreed that confidentiality and privacy were necessary for the success of the electronic banking business. by Allahawiah et al. the JCC is reported to deal with the VeriSign certification authority in order to have the SSL feature in its payment gateway. this research has not investigated this factor in depth and has not provided insights about security concerns from customer's side. the case study is unrepresentative. The interviewed staff of JCC reported as stating that the concept of e-commerce is not yet widespread in Jordan. introducing harmful viruses to the network. besides other factors such as customers’ readiness. 3. Finally.pdf The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. all interviewees were JCC employees. It did. the study did not specify whether the nature of security was considered in terms of perceptions. the Jordan Chamber of Commerce (JCC). using a survey of 100 firms with around 500 respondents. Al-Qirim (2007) conducted a single case study to explore the adoption of e-commerce in a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO). they mentioned some incidences of misuse of the Internet among the organisation’s employees. Firstly.EJISDC (2011) 47. identify a perceived gap in security and privacy in relation to e-commerce. or of something else. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY An interpretive case study (Walsham. Al-Qirim (2007) states that the current unavailability of an e-payment gateway in Jordan was a barrier to successful e-commerce. NGOs and non-profit organisations have different objectives and considerations from commercial firms. Therefore. human capital and innovative capacity in the IT industry. Titi reports that most of the respondents agreed that ensuring security would help in the adoption of e-commerce and influence their decision to do so.org/PreviousEvents/2006/ICTindicators2/files/Doc14-Jordan. However. Security is a consistent barrier to the adoption and implementation of e-commerce for customers and organisations. awareness and knowledge. Jordan has so far performed well with respect to the ICT sector. However. (2010) found that security concerns of payments barriers were the major factor affecting the adoption of e-commerce in the business in Jordan. while the basis of e-commerce for buying and selling services and products entails profit and competition. not merely in terms of population and sample. According to a report prepared by the Peppers & Rogers Group (2006)15 to assess ereadiness in Jordan compared with sixteen other countries. however. but in regard to the subject of the adoption and diffusion of e-commerce in Jordan. Titi (2005) conducted empirical research to investigate the adoption of e-commerce by Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) within Jordan. Where establishing SSL in Jordan would require huge investments. the researcher believes that it has some weakness. and the lack of legal and business laws regulating e-commerce.ejisdc. while the customers’ viewpoints were not investigated.org . The study indicated that there was no web security service in Jordan covering e-commerce infrastructure. which influenced the adoption of e-commerce. of security technology and infrastructure. this research aims to facilitate the adoption of ecommerce by exploring the nature of these security concerns. and IT personnel concerning e-commerce 15 http://www. In respect to security. He found that most of the major barriers were concerned with government regulations. Privacy and security issues were found to be among the main barriers to the success of e-commerce.

where the emerging issues constantly guide the researcher as to the nature of future data. this shows how such a significant role is played by the intangible indicators of security such as the fame or reputation of the website. The researcher also followed the guidelines of qualitative research proposed by Strauss and Corbin (1990). how well known it is. in that the sampling of new data is based on the analysis of that initially collected from the first interviews. and how it scores on rating schemes. it is difficult for even well-known websites to guarantee total security. what should the customer depend on to purchase online securely? In essence. In other words. were also used as the main data collection tool to achieve this goal. this leads to a reasonable enquiry: If no dependable criteria exist for distinguishing a secure website from an insecure one. and some of them are familiar with online transactions. its sources and the issues to be discussed in subsequent interviews. since this assures them that the website’s operators have assumed the responsibility to protect their data. 1-13 7 security. including managerial and IT staff from several businesses and IT companies. there are 12 participants from several organisations. Jordan). as another participant stated. Therefore.EJISDC (2011) 47. However.e. that their data is encrypted for transmission. The users/customers were selected randomly. This is a high priority for many customers in deciding whether to buy online. and that the website provides secure transactions.ejisdc. that the website’s identity is authenticated by a third party. none of this means that the company is able to completely guarantee that it will not be hacked or have its security breached. In addition. 6. means that the company will not deceive its customers. Interpretive research enables the researcher to understand the phenomenon in depth without being limited to certain predetermined hypotheses and factors that are defined from literature. and that this. It may be concluded that both tangible and intangible The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. 15 of the participants are educated and experienced with using Internet services.org . 3. This was asserted by the organisation’s view that customers’ concerns focus on the reputation of the website. It is important to mention that the participating organisational members were selected from more than one organisation. which is qualitative and subjective in nature. This research.1 Tangible Features do not Guarantee Complete Security The organisational staff pointed out that there is no way to determine whether a website is secure. which are open in nature. the researcher specified the group of interviewees who appeared most relevant to the study and based on purposive sampling. Typically. involves examining and identifying the meanings of security from the participants in order to gain an understanding of the phenomenon under study. as reported by one participant. for example. but keeping in mind that the participants should have at least some Internet experience in order to answer the research questions. so that issues can emerge from the natural setting of the context (i. Semi-structured interviews. this selection approach will enable a wide range of relevant issues to be examined from the viewpoint of many interested parties. A total of 27 participants were involved in this study. RESULTS OF EMPIRICAL RESEARCH Several issues and implications for e-commerce and security can be drawn from the empirical results. The reason is that issues were expected to emerge from commercial companies that could not be found within the IT vendor companies that are responsible for developing e-commerce applications. these have been organised into seven issues as follows: 6. The author presents and discusses only the interpretations and implications extracted from the gathered data of the issues presented in the following section. The justification for this doubt is that whilst tangible security features such as SSL or security certificates or “https” of the website may mean that its operator has an honest stance towards its customers. Specifically.

Logical security includes. Here. 2002). Then when they start to order products and pay by credit card or engage in other online transactions. 3. address. where the actual risk increases. At this point. This enables the customer to check whether the website is guaranteed by a third party before ordering any items. as indicated by those participants who suggested that it would take three to five years for e-commerce to become accepted as an ordinary purchasing phenomenon in Jordan. with customers believing that it is secure. their need to feel secure The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www.4 Security Awareness. 1-13 security features are important and need to be considered by customers. the security of transmitted data between the customer and merchant. step by step. Rather. However. so that if the security insurance for a certain website involved a higher cost than the total profit that the company would earn from providing online services.EJISDC (2011) 47. the entire profit might be spent. just as third-party institutions guarantee logical security (for example. As reported by some customers. 6. However. just to save $500”. the concept of security is expanded to encompass the safety of goods delivered to the customer. This does not come suddenly but gradually. 6. if the owner wanted to sell the same item on the Internet. their concerns involve whether the items will actually be delivered. then it would not be feasible to conduct business online. physical security.ejisdc. The initial difficulties that new e-customers face are how to deal with the new technology and how to overcome the problem of the digital divide. for example. as stated by Kesh et al. the shopkeeper would expect a profit of 5 to 10 percent on the item. 6. the customers begin to perceive some risks accompanying this activity. Risk and Time Time is an important factor in customers’ awareness of security. The participant also stated that if a certain item is sold in a shop for 50 JD. when he pointed out that “Some websites in order to reduce expenditure do not get a security certificate from VeriSign. and in some cases. This economic approach to security was also highlighted by another participant. the expenditure on e-commerce security should be lower than the profit earned by the company. such as through a fire). and whether the item is the right one. as defined earlier. Physical security here has a different meaning than traditional physical security (accessibility to both the computers and servers. (2002).3 Physical Security as a Requirement for E-commerce Security Physical security means that physical goods (not digitised products) should be delivered to the customer with a guarantee of certain conditions. or safety from such equipment suffering damage.2 8 Security Insurance in E-commerce Websites and the Profits Returned (Economic Perspective) In order to provide a secure channel for online payments. Only then can they start to deal with the promotional and service websites that require them to provide data such as their name. then part of that profit would go toward paying the EPG provider. For example. which are encrypted and guaranteed by a third party such as VeriSign. One customer indicated that such a perception comes with experience over time. not instantly.org . One participant assessed this loss as being likely to exceed the profit generated. a reference number can be used or certificates provided by a reputable shipping company. which costs money and reduces the company’s profits. Similarly. the argument concerning this issue involves neither logical security nor physical security (Kesh et al.. Thus. VeriSign provides security certificates). These conditions include the time of delivery and the conditional state of the purchased items. third parties also need to guarantee physical security through a secure delivery company. is another aspect that should be ensured. a commercial enterprise has to find an IT provider to integrate an electronic payment gateway (EPG) with the website. telephone number and email address. such as credit card details.

In addition. at least from any national business website that enables payment via a method similar to that provided by the egovernment portal. he or she can make a claim. they prefer to deal with a nationally known Jordanian company that has a physical presence in the marketplace. can be reduced by the physical company in a number of ways.org .5 E-government is a Prerequisite for Successful E-commerce It is arguable that e-government is a phenomenon that increases the awareness of participation in e-commerce and not the reverse. 3. Consequently. security is violated by the organisation. the psychological feelings that affect the user as a result of the nature of e-commerce. the initial success of e-commerce in Jordan correlates with the initial success of e-government.7 Cooperative Responsibility Dives the Effectiveness of Ecommerce Security Cooperative responsibility. which emerges as a core issue in this research. If payment is by a national electronic payment gateway that is secure and similar to that provided by the e-government website. For example. it involves situations where the organisation fulfils its responsibility to apply the best security technology and the customers are aware of security practices on e-commerce websites. Hence. In essence. Some other participants considered the responsibility to be mutual between the user and the The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www.ejisdc. This is in accord with the responses of some customers who stated that if they want to buy online. the volume of risk and the need for security awareness differ at each stage. 1-13 9 also increases. because they have already experienced the latter. providing a national EPG would also enable businesses to use it on their websites with an interface similar to that provided by the e-government portal. One participant pointed out that not all customers/users are familiar with international electronic payment systems such as PayPal or 2Checkout. 6. In such a case. related to anonymity and the absence of face-to-face interaction. given that customers do not completely understand the risk immediately. but rather step by step. For example. then it is easy and feasible for customers to buy online. rather than a single responsibility. Therefore. are deemed credible by such users.EJISDC (2011) 47. with positive perceptions concerning matters of security and trust on common EPGs. which conduct their business both online and offline. but if the organisation uses customers’ private data in an illegitimate way. and by changing the misconceptions regarding the use of e-commerce. enhancing the customers’ perception of security involves a sequence of time. So-called click-and-mortar websites. Therefore. 6.6 Actions Concerning the Psychological Aspects of Security It is necessary to change the way customers think and to reduce the effects the psychological aspects of security. means that the success of e-commerce regarding security involves the responsibility of different entities that are complementary to each other. performing electronic transactions securely and at a low cost. 6. by failing to fulfil its responsibility to protect customer data. and where every citizen who wishes to perform certain online traditional routine transactions such as paying bills or fees discovers that there is no other way to do this other than via the government’s website. this is a greater issue in countries where e-commerce is still in its infancy. This can be achieved by raising consciousness amongst users of what they should understand about websites and which security issues need to be checked and practised in order to reduce their feeling of fear. this would enable them to engage effectively in e-commerce. especially when attempting to buy a product that he or she has already seen or touched in the company’s physical premises. so that if a customer has a problem. both need to be accepted by customers and businesses. which changes their perceptions at each stage. It can encourage customers to buy online by offering discounts or vouchers and by explaining that the security of the website is insured.

The banks also have an important role in issuing cards for limited amounts. Warnings from the banks about the use of credit cards for online shopping are aggravating the psychological state of security.org . thereby encourages businesses to engage in e-commerce.. since everything provided by the government can be guaranteed. where the same electronic payment gateway that is used in e-government websites would be used by business. As a result. as well as making them cost-effective..EJISDC (2011) 47. thus enabling customers to use them for shopping online and reducing the level of potential The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. as a result gaining the favour and approval of customers. this would reduce business costs compared with using international overseas electronic payment gateways which are not accepted or known by customers. He stated: This [developing national EPG] would also give businesses in Jordan ability to integrate this web service into their websites.the popup window on the Visa page might worry him… the easiest scenario is that the bank takes this step. not the customer… (IT Manager) Banks play a significant role in promoting the culture of using credit cards to shop online. and this role still remains inactive in Jordan. 1-13 e-commerce selling company. one participant pointed out that his bank officer warned him about using his credit card for online shopping. so they just provide it based on request.ejisdc. convincing them that it was a secure way to pay online.. (IT manager) The mutual cooperation of financial institutions such as banks and Jordan Visa with other entities like EPG developers to facilitate the use of credit/debit cards for online payment is another form of responsibility. there is a need to ensure the correct consciousness in bank staff in order to promote the culture of using credit cards rather than frightening people about their use. one IT manager pointed out: We told the government: ‘If you want e-commerce success then it is not acceptable to perform the transactions in a traditional way…’ The government should move. one customer/user pointed out: 10 I think it is the company’s responsibility to respect their customers by giving them the information concerning security and telling them how to check the website. For example. This could cause confusion for the customer and here the bank has to tell the customer: ‘If you want to use the card online you have to register online first’ ….. For example one participant referred to the banks’ role by stating Banks in Jordan only allow cards to be used for purchasing online based on a request from the customer…. it is free for customers…. Now we propose a model for registration of all cards to buy online.. But the person himself also has a responsibility – he should learn about everything that’s new. For example. He also suggested providing a secure national EPG via government which gives companies the ability to execute their business securely through it. For example. Government support is also a complementary responsibility. Banks do not provide this service for all cards because they pay fees to Jordan Visa for each card. Therefore. 3. but the fees are deducted from the banks by Visa if the customer wants to buy online …the problem here is that the customer must register if he wants to use it online….

and misconception about e-commerce and negative stories of credit card usage. and urges the promotion of the culture of using credit cards for online transactions. the bank has an important role to provide customers with limited cards for small amounts like $300 so this reduces the risk. The research resulted in a number of issues that provide organisations with insights to guide them in the implementation of effective strategies to deal with the issues discussed in previous sections. whether integrating a website with national or international secure EPS. as establishing e-commerce as a purchasing phenomenon on a national level involves the integration and efforts of all parties. In essence. One of the assertions made in this research is that most customers interviewed still do not have these. there is a need for a raising of national consciousness regarding security in e-commerce in order to foster its acceptance and engagement in it. For example. seeking to identify the nature of security concerns from both of these perspectives.ejisdc. 1-13 11 risk. where this responsibility is still weak. similar research could produce the same results or extend it to new security-related concepts and issues if it is conducted within a context of similar properties and follows the same research methods. thus enabling businesses to execute online payments while being accepted by local customers and economically accepted by the business. since it impinges on the success of ecommerce. IT providers.org . directs the decision-makers in Jordan to speed the development of the e-government project. Although the results arise specifically from the Jordanian context. the economic approach to e-commerce security. 7. This was mentioned by one business manager: “In addition. 3. so there is a need to encourage a culture of using credit cards and for banks to provide facilities as they still complicate the procedures of using them in online payments in that the customer has to request this service from the bank. This research shows that the security challenge mentioned in prior studies pertains to the psychological feelings of customers including fears. banks and governments. the need for mutual responsibility is evident. focusing on tangible and intangible security features that serve as a stimulus for customers’ engagement on e-commerce. this study investigated the current perceptions and viewpoints in respect to ecommerce security.EJISDC (2011) 47. businesses and banks have to take their share of responsibility for increasing the awareness of security instructions. from defining the The Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries http://www. Theses issues are not technical. The government. and identifying new methods for mitigating the psychological state associated with customers. Theses issues provide insights to e-commerce companies. particularly in Jordan. They influence on the customer's perception of security and play an important role in implementation of security technology in ecommerce. it is not provided by default. Therefore. DISCUSSION Issues which emerged in this research provided insights about the nature of security concerns in e-commerce within Jordan. This paper shows them the security concerns and how to address the issues concerning the development of e-commerce websites. In essence. It also draws the attention of the government and IT companies to the need to develop a secure EPS which is managed nationally in Jordan as an alternative to the international ones. 8 CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RESEARCH Many previous e-commerce research studies have asserted that security is the main concern of both customers and businesses and a challenge to its success. features and usage in e-commerce. the assistance should be provided by banks as well”. The researcher has established procedures that were followed in the research. therefore. or do not like to use them for online purchases. but rather they involve operational. organizational. and human aspects.

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