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Influence of word-of-mouth and familiarity on diffusion and adoption of WeChat wallet in South Africa

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DOI: 10.25236/isrme.2019.098


Elizabeth D. Matemba, Guoxin Li and Baraka J. Maiseli

Corresponding Author

Elizabeth D. Matemba


The modern world has witnessed a significant growth of sophisticated mobile payment technologies in Africa. WeChat wallet application, for instance, was recently launched in South Africa to replace the traditional cash-based monetary systems, hence allowing consumers to conduct financial transactions electronically. This application, originated from China, has drawn wide attention of African consumers because of competitive and ease-to-use payment features it contains. Motivated by the huge demands of the application and by inadequacy of related studies in Africa, we have proposed a conceptual model demonstrating that familiarity of WeChat wallet and propagation of word-of-mouth (WOM) play a fundamental role in diffusion and adoption of a WeChat wallet feature, called Scan Merchant, in South Africa. The findings show that all hypotheses were supported, and that the proposed determinants could be explained by acceptance levels of variances: 58%, Scan Merchant; and, 53%, WOM. These promising findings imply that our model may be suitable for both theoretical and practical settings of diffusion and adoption of payment technologies in Africa.


Word-of-mouth, WeChat wallet, Scan Merchant, diffusion of technology, observation learning theory