Introduction Information about Jordan ICT development in Jordan Previous E-commerce studies in Jordan Research Methodology Results of Empirical Research Impact of research Conclusion and future research
Jordan has made considerable progress in its Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector. Fastest growing sector in Jordan. Expands by 50% every year. Security is a major barrier to the adoption of E-commerce by customers and Organisations. Customers and Organizations hesitant to participate in E- commerce.
Located in the Middle East. Population of 6 million. 91% literacy rate. Jordanian Internet users spent $370 million on products, services and online bill payments in 2011. A 92 per cent increase from $192 million in 2010, according to a report by the Arab Advisers Group. Guinness world book of records: Highest number of internet cafes located in a small region.
Amman Jordan. By Lara On February 17, 2011; Sleepless in Amman
This is defined in this context, according to Mr. Halaweh as 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.
According to McConnel International, Jordan was ranked medium to high in the year 2004 for E-leadership amongst other countries in the world. This ranking is further justified by strong governmental support, including his Majesty King Abdullah II. Along with various governmental figures, it is believed that the country will flourish through the advancement of information and communication technology (ICT). In the year 2000 the REACH initiative was developed by a branch of government known as the Information Technology Association of Jordan (INTAJ). Its main goal was to advance the country’s ICT sector on an international scale in order to generate not only substantial revenue, but more importantly a significant number of employment opportunities. The initiative was highly successful, marked by an exponential increase in participating countries; 53 in 2000 to 143 in mid 2006.
In that same year an e-learning program was established by the ministry whose sole aim was to enable citizens and businesses alike to access various government services with great convenience. A staggering 95 percent of all government ministries were implemented into this program. Some of the services offered included the download of forms and applications, however online governmental transactions were yet to be implemented. This e-learning program broadened its reach to the education institutions throughout the country. This was clearly evident in the introduction of Information Technology to secondary school curriculums; adding programming, e-commerce and IT courses. Even at tertiary level institutions where fibre-based campus networks were installed. This initiative even went as far as making computer, internet and programming courses compulsory for majority of their faculties.
In 2004, the Jordan telecommunication company commenced a ‘PC@every-home’ campaign in which computer packages were offered to citizens at a 40% mark down. These packages even included a modem, warranty and delivery. This campaign was aimed at increasing computer and internet facilities throughout the country. Moreover in 2007 another governmental initiative provided laptops for university students again at prices as low as £10.
An informal survey conducted by the Jordan telecommunication company to determine whether customers prefer online bill payment to which 79% agreed. This suggests that civilians were both willing and ready to engage in forms of e-commerce. The establishment of the E-commerce Information Centre (EIC) was a significant sign of the country’s quest for E- commerce awareness. This EIC was initiated in order to provide support for the private sector with respect to E- commerce system implementation. The Electronic Business Development Activity (EBDA) was yet another initiative devised to increase E-commerce awareness amongst Jordanian businesses by encouraging them to utilize IT in their business activities.
According to Titi in 2005, although most Jordanian businesses implement websites to promote their products, only a select few provide E-commerce facilities such as online payment transactions. There have been many laws and regulations implemented into the ICT sector such as the Electronic Transactions Act No.85/2001; which covers e-transactions, e-records, e- signatures, e-documents and privacy issues. According to Al- Mobaideen in 2009 however, the current legal environment was not established enough to adapt to the widespread ICT establishment.
The plethora of governmental initiatives mentioned above outwardly indicated the extent to which the government aims to promote IT utilization throughout the country, with seemingly great success. However the focus should be more towards the legal legislation which supervises its use.
From a customer perspective, security with respect to E-commerce is defined as “the extent to which one believes that the Web is secure for transmitting sensitive information”.
It is important to note that security can be perceived differently among various customers. What some users may identify as actual security may be ‘perceived’ security which is two completely different concepts. Actual security involves security mechanisms that promote security requirements such as; authorization, confidentiality, availability etc. can also be perceived by the user. What a customer perceives as security may be quite the opposite. These perceptions however can still play an important role in making the customer feel comfortable.
A survey conducted by Sahawneh in 2003 among 31 organizations revealed many factors which adversely affects E-commerce success in Jordan. Among these factors include a lack of security and legal mechanisms to protect online consumers from deceit. Many organizations also were not aware of the many benefits from engaging in E-commerce activities. Alsmadi conducted another study among Jordanian customers with reference to attitude towards utilizing the internet for online shopping. The results indicated that the customers were knowledgeable enough to conduct online shopping however their concerns were towards the security of these online transactions.
Another study conducted by Titi in 2005 was on the investigation of E-commerce adoption in Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). He concluded that one of the major barriers involved government regulations. The main factor identified by all these studies in relation to E-commerce adoption and implementation was that of security. Therefore a detailed analysis of these security concerns is of paramount importance to facilitate its adoption in Jordan.
Interpretive Case Study Semi Structured Interviews as the Main collection tool Followed the qualitative research prepared by Strauss and Corbin(1990)
Tangible features do not guarantee complete security Security insurance in E-commerce websites and the profits returned (Economic perspective) Physical security as a requirement for E-commerce security Security awareness, risk and time E-government is a prerequisite for successful E- commerce Actions concerning the psychological aspects of security Cooperative responsibility drives the effectiveness of Ecommerce security
Security concerns are not technical; they involve Operational, Organizational, Human aspects.
Security challenge pertains to psychological feelings of customers. Fears Misconceptions about e-commerce Negative stories of credit card usage Need for the government and IT companies to develop a secure EPS which is managed nationally in Jordan as an alternative to the international ones
Directs the decision-makers in Jordan to speed the development of the e-government project. Promote the culture of using credit cards for online transactions. Need for a raising of national consciousness regarding security in e-commerce in order to foster its acceptance and engagement in it.
For future research, it is worth conducting a comparative study of two developing countries, where new and further insight might be expected to emerge and contribute to extending the body of knowledge.
The author mentioned that previously there was little research addressing this security issue in Jordan from the customer and organizational perspectives.