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Online Financial Trading among Young Adults: Integrating the Theory of Planned Behavior, Technology Acceptance Model, and Theory of Flow

Dr Saeed Pahlevansharif & Dr Navaz Naghavi

Faculty of Business and Law
Taylor's University

This paper aims to examine the mechanism that explains young consumers’ intention to perform online financial trading by integrating technology acceptance model, flow model, and theory of planned behavior. This study used a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based design. Using convenience sampling technique 471 samples were collected from young adults in Malaysia. All participants were placed in an online financial trading simulation prior to the survey. The hypotheses were tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling. The results revealed that intention to adopt online financial trading is driven by theory of planned behavior components which in turn are explained by consumers’ intrinsic (flow factors) and extrinsic (technology acceptance model factors) motivations, in which the latter plays a more important role in this process. Making profit or loss during the trading simulation may influence respondents’ attitudes and intention to perform online financial trading. The cross-sectionality of the data does not allow for confident causal conclusions. Data were collected from young adults studying in a university in Malaysia which limits generalizability of the findings. In designing a financial platform, practitioners’ focus should be on efficiency, user-friendliness, and providing functions that improve usefulness of the platform. Another implication is to be aware of the importance of prior experience and education in improving consumers’ use of financial platforms. Thus, improving consumers’ knowledge and skills of online trading would increase their market participation. A contribution of this study is investigating the mechanism that drives consumers’ intention to use online trading. More specifically, the current study by integrating three theories of Flow, TAM, and TPB examined how emotional and cognitive factors can inform consumers’ behavior, specifically, intention to perform online trading in the future.