Can We Classify Cashless Payment Solution Implementations at the Country Level?

Dennis Ng*, Robert J. Kauffman, Paul Griffin, Jonas Hedman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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This research commentary proposes a 3-D implementation classification framework to assist service providers and business leaders in understanding the kinds of contexts in which more or less successful cashless payment solutions are observed at point-of-sale (PoS) settings. Three constructs characterize the framework: the digitalization of the local implementation environment; the relative novelty of a given payment technology solution in a country at a specific point in time; and the development status of the national infrastructure. The framework is motivated by a need to support cross-country research in this domain. We analyze eight country mini-cases based on an eight-facet (2 × 2 × 2) classification. A key insight is the distinction between local and national environments for solution implementations, and that there are no objective “low-tech” or “high-tech” payment solutions, but only those that must be calibrated by a country’s experience at the national or local implementation environment levels. Our analysis also revealed that implementing cashless payment solutions is complex, with each country and local context having its own set of challenges. Our proposed framework is a basis for policy-makers and payment service providers to developing insights related to the challenges of cashless payment solution implementation. Developing countries sometimes are able to leapfrog their legacy infrastructures by using mobile payment solutions, while developed countries need to appreciate the importance of barriers to implementation success, such as costs, settlement delays, and the habitual use of cash. We further note why business leaders should consider their approaches to payment solutions in view of the different degrees of local digitalization and national infrastructure development to support tech innovations in the digital economy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101018
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cashless payments
  • Classification
  • Country facets
  • Developing and developed countries
  • Implementation environment digitalization
  • National infrastructure development
  • Mini-case assessment
  • Payment technology solutions
  • Point-of-sale (PoS)
  • Technology solution novelty

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