Subscriptions versus one-off purchases : the impact of fee-charging models on consumer privacy concerns

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-859
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Issue number4
Online published23 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023



Purpose - With the popularity of paid apps and increasing concerns about privacy hazards, this paper aims to investigate the impact of mobile services’ fee-charging models on consumers’ privacy concerns, and generate insights for app developers’ fee-charging strategies.
Design/methodology/approach - Three experimental studies including 550 participants were conducted. All studies were between-subjects designs and based on the context of financial mobile services. The implementations of fee-charging models were manipulated by both visualized and test-based stimuli.
Findings - The results reveal that consumers are less concerned about potential privacy violations when using subscription-based (vs. purchase-based) financial mobile services (study 1). This effect is mediated by consumers’ perceptions that app developers that charge subscription fees (vs. one-off prices) are more likely to be consumer-serving motivated (study 2 and 3).
Originality/value - This paper advances the current understanding of consumer response toward paid apps, by proposing and testing a novel attribution-based mechanism to explain why the implementation of a subscription-based versus purchase-based fee-charging model can result in more favorable consumer reactions. Furthermore, this paper identifies the implementation of contrasting fee-charging models as a market-related factor that affects the extent to which consumers are concerned about potential privacy violations, extending extant literature on consumer privacy concern.
© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Research Area(s)

  • Consumer privacy concern, Consumer-serving motive, Fee-charging model, Financial mobile services, Paid apps

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