While the financial relief efforts are struggling to keep up with the COVID-19 outbreak, there is a need for the diffusion of e-Zakat initiatives and work with fintech if governments truly strive to ensure that most vulnerable do not fall behind. The newly launched e-system – popularly known as ZAKATY (e-portal and smartphone application) – in Saudi Arabia is an example worth attention and study on how well people can accept and use the system and Zakat payer-centric e-services, especially amid such uncertain times. The purpose of this study is to explore how an extended unified model of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) can induce users to adopt the ZAKATY e-services provided by the General Authority of Zakat and Tax during this unprecedented challenge to pay Zakat online in an easy, fast and reliable way.
Drawing on a quantitative approach through an online administered survey, a total of 479 usable responses from individual Zakat payers were obtained using snowball sampling and analyzed through smart partial least squares (SmartPLS) software.
This study confirms the suitability and utility of the UTAUT model used in predicting Zakat payers’ intention to adopt the e-Zakat system and its services, indicating that the model possesses 72% of the predictive capability to explain variance in intentions. It also shows that all UTAUT constructs (i.e. performance expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions) were statistically significant, except for effort expectancy. Online trust exerted a significant moderating effect on the relationship between UTAUT constructs and users’ intentions to uptake the system’s online services amid COVID-19.
To keep pace with rapid digital transformations amid the pandemic, Zakat institutions, as governmental entities, are likely pursuing to identify the main determinants that influence people’s intentions to engage in adopting e-Zakat services. This could be eventually translated into maximizing the proceeds of Zakat funds by developing ICT-based infrastructure and introducing reliable and efficient e-services that can be adopted by users.
Given the scarce literature on the relevance of e-Zakat systems’ adoption, this work could serve as a building block and springboard for literature and future research by empirically examining an extended framework derived from the UTAUT theory in the Zakat context.
Emerald Publishing Limited
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