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The past and beyond of mobile payment research: a development of the mobile payment framework

Lai-Ying Leong (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman - Perak Campus, Kampar, Malaysia)
Jun-Jie Hew (Faculty of Business and Finance, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman - Perak Campus, Kampar, Malaysia)
Lai-Wan Wong (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Xiamen University - Malaysia Campus, Sepang, Malaysia)
Binshan Lin (Business School, Louisiana State University, Shreveport, Louisiana, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 3 May 2022

Issue publication date: 2 November 2022




Mobile payment (m-payment) has existed for over 25 years; however, there is no standard framework to guide scholars and practitioners in advancing m-payment research in the digital accelerated era. With this, this study aims to develop an m-payment framework and to analyse the evolution of m-payment research from 1997 to 2021. These were achieved by identifying the motor themes, basic and transversal themes, the emerging/declining themes and the highly developed but isolated themes. In addition, the publication trends of m-payment research were also identified.


A total of 1,999 articles of m-payment were identified from the Scopus database and 8,125 keywords were grouped into 483 word groups for the co-word analysis. Thematic networks were generated based on density and centrality. Performance analysis was performed on the themes of the four quadrants in the strategic diagrams. The m-payment framework was then developed based on the evolution map and a practical guide was built from the framework.


The m-payment framework consists of four dimensions, namely behaviour, technology, risk, and context. Some themes were declining while at the same time, m-payment remains strongly relevant and can stand the test of time. Several new themes have emerged in the 2013–2021 sub-periods.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited in that the study only investigates from the context of m-payment.

Practical implications

This study has provided a research framework (i.e. the m-payment framework) with a practical guide for scholars and practitioners to refer to, thus enabling them to embark on future studies without any hassle. The m-payment framework was developed based on empirical data using science mapping analysis of 1,999 articles.

Social implications

The proposed m-payment research framework contributes towards more understanding of m-payment ten, usage amongst consumers and thus will help to reduce the rate of COVID-19 infection because m-payment is a contactless payment. Hence, the study may help in creating a safer and healthier society amid the unprecedented pandemic.


This study developed the m-payment framework based on empirical co-word analysis. A practical guide to extending the framework is also provided to guide the scholars and practitioners. Moreover, the evolution map for m-payment was created to understand the evolution of m-payment research. Practitioners may conduct market studies to unveil the factors that contribute to consumers' behaviours in m-payment in order to gain more understanding of the reasons behind their behaviours.



This paper forms part of a special section “Advancing Mobile Payment Research in the Age of Digital Acceleration”, guest edited by Garry Wei-Han Tan, Keng-Boon Ooi, Yogesh Dwivedi and June Wei.

We would like to mention our greatest appreciation to the Editor-in-Chief, Guest Editors, Internet Research Editorial Office, and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions and constructive comments. We would also like to express our heartfelt appreciation to the group of research assistants who have assisted in gathering the data needed for this research.


Leong, L.-Y., Hew, J.-J., Wong, L.-W. and Lin, B. (2022), "The past and beyond of mobile payment research: a development of the mobile payment framework", Internet Research, Vol. 32 No. 6, pp. 1757-1782.



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