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Factors Affecting Intentions to Use Banking


Services in Yemen
ARTICLE in JOURNAL OF INTERNET BANKING AND COMMERCE DECEMBER 2013

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Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce


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Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, December 2013, vol. 18, no.3
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Factors Affecting Intentions to Use Banking Services in


Yemen
KHALED AL-QASA, PhD
Visiting Senior Lecturer, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Postal Address: School of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Maybank block Q
102, 06010 Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia
Email: khaled20767@yahoo.com; khaled@uum.edu.my
Dr. Khaled is a marketing lecturer in Universiti Utara Malaysia. He obtained a PhD
degree in management from Universiti Utara Malaysia (Northern University of Malaysia).
FILZAH MD ISA, PhD
Lecturer, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Postal Address: School of Business Management, College of Business,Universiti
Utara Malaysia, 06010 Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia
Email: filziah@uum.edu.my
Dr. Filzah is a senior sales and marketing lecturer in Universiti Utara Malaysia (Northern
University of Malaysia).
SITI NOREZAM OTHMAN, PhD
Lecturer, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Postal Address: School of Business Management, College of Business,Universiti
Utara Malaysia, 06010 Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia
Email: norezam@uum.edu.my
Dr. Siti is a senior lecturer at College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia.
MUNADIL K.FAAEQ, MBA
Ph.D student, Universiti Utara Malaysia
Email: monadelaa@yahoo.com
Munadil K. Faaeq, is a PhD student in UUM Malaysia. He holds his Master in MBA from
UUM, Malaysia. His main research interests include e-Government services, eLearning portals, e-Magazine, e-Universities, e-Commerce, e-Business, Teaching e-

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Government, Trust and security in e-Government, Use of e-Government methodologies


to prevent corruption, Information and Communications Technology, Legal aspects of eGovernment, Methods and tools for e-Government, Policies and strategies, Designing
web services for e-Government, Enterprise architecture for e-Government,
Interoperability frameworks in e-Government, Inter-administration and G2G issues.

Abstract
In developed countries and in some Middle Eastern countries, the issue of attracting
customers to use banking services has been resolved. However, in Yemen, where
majority of people refuse to use bank services in facilitating their financial needs, this
issue is still ongoing. In fact, it is one of the top issues that concern the Yemeni
economy. As a result, the present research attempts to minimize the gap between
studies by examining the factors that influence Yemeni consumers use of banking
services. These consumers are distinct from those in the developed countries, with
regards to their psychological, cultural and behavioral use of banking system. Data
collection was conducted through questionnaires distributed to university students and
analyzed through SPSS 17. In addition, the proposed hypotheses were tested
statistically through factor analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis. The
results highlighted the relationship between service quality, banking legal framework,
bank advertisement, which significantly and positively affected behavioral intention with
the exception of cultural belief. The latter played a negative but significant role in using
banking system in the context of Yemen.
Keywords: behavioral intention, service quality, legal framework, advertisement,
banking system in Yemen.
Khaled Al-Qasa, Filzah Md Isa, Siti Norezam Othman and Munadil K.Faaeq, 2013

INTRODUCTION
It is evident that the role of banks is significant to the economy of a country. Nowadays,
the economic development of a country depends on the effectiveness of its banking
system. Generally, banks mobilize savings from the surplus sectors to the clients in the
form of loans in order to bring about investments. This process is undergone such that
all savings are injected as investments. However, if people refuse to make use of banks,
a significant portion of the economic capital would remain stagnant (Rosly, 2005). In
Yemen, although there is notable governmental interest in the banking sector, owing to
its important role in bringing about economic changes, there is still shortage of deposits.
The Yemeni people are also still wary of keeping their money in the banks. In consistent
with this fact, on the basis of the Mayor of the Yemeni Central Bank, Yemenis opt for
keeping their money in their residences as opposed to interacting with banks.
The Mayor also confirmed that there exist only 600,000 bank accounts representing a
mere 2.7% of the Yemeni population.

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In addition, the maximum checks that are circulated annually are reported to be 500-600
thousand. These facts came from a study conducted by the Malaysian company, SIRIM
Berhad 2010 (Swidi, 2011). It was reported that majority of financial transactions take
place external to commercial banks (Al-Mushrqui, 2009) and this highlights the
requirement for an in-depth study in this sector and an examination of the influencing
factors.
As such, the present study attempts to determine the significant factors influencing
Yemeni consumers behavioral intention to interact with the banking system through the
investigation of university students. This segment of consumers was selected because
university students in Yemen constitute people who are in the age range from 20-31
years. This age range is considered to be the largest demographic segment of societal
consumers (Rugimbana, 2007). This age range make up for a significant proportion of
the Yemeni population that constitutes around 22.2 million people as of 2007 and with a
yearly growth rate of 3% (Library of Congress, 2008).
It is therefore a great benefit to examine and understand the factors that impact the
peoples behavioral intention to interact with banks. This study attempts to shed a light
on the understanding and awareness of the variables that could potentially impact this
important segment to use banking system in Yemen. This study investigates the factors
that could influence peoples behavioral intention to interact with the banking system.

LITERATURE REVIEW
Behavioral Intention

Majority of studies have utilized behavioral intention as the dependent variable


(Bounding et al., 1993; Zeithalm et al., 1996) as it is considered a robust ability in
predicting human behavior that is important in the achievement of actual behavior
(Zolait, Matilla and Sulaiman, 2008).
The intention of the consumer can be two ways favorable or unfavorable (Zeithalm,
1996; Ladhari, 2009). Favorable intention leads to forming a bond with the service
provider and an inclination to purchase products/services from the provider and an
increased market share. Contrastingly, unfavorable behavioral intention results in the
probability of the consumer to brand-switch, his/her disinclination to purchase, the
spread of negative word of mouth (Zeithalm, 1996). Researchers stress that financial
success hinges upon the level to which consumers display favorable behavioral
intentions towards the provided services (Maiyaki and Mokhtar, 2009). In the present
study, four variables were examined as antecedent factors of behavioral intention to
make use of banking services in Yemen. These antecedent factors are service quality,
banking legal framework, bank advertisement and cultural belief.
Perceived Service Quality

Service quality has currently achieved the position of a significant aspect of the service
industry particularly in banking services which has exhibited increasing competition
(Pont and McQuilken, 2005). Additionally, it allows the bank to gain a competitive edge
over its competitors (Pont and McQuilken, 2005). In this context, the services that banks
provide should go over the expectations of the consumers (Amarjit, Falschner and
Shachar, 2006). Moreover, service quality is deemed as a success and survival factor in

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the banking industry. It has been acknowledged as a key element of the consumers
intention to obtain financial services and has hence been examined (Patricio, Fisk and
Cunha, 2003).
Majority of studies revealed that poor services predict customers switching banks (Lees,
Garland and Wright, 2005). For instance, Schmidt, Bergsiek and Kolesnikova (2008)
showed in their study that 40% of American customers in the U.S. switched their banks
owing to poor services. In a similar study, Allred and Addams (2000), also revealed that
50% of total respondents switched to other banks owing to service issues.
The quality and intention to use product/services relationship has been examined in
literature. In these studies, quality played an antecedent factor to the intention of the
consumer (Andronikidis, 2009; Gottlieb, Brown and Drennan, 2011; Lee and Beeler,
2009; Ravichandran, Bhargavi and Kumar, 2010; Shaharudin et al., 2011). Consumers
positive perceptions of service quality have been proven to accompany intention to use
services/products. Contrastingly, negative perception of service quality results in lack of
purchase intention of products/service (Kouthouris and Alexandris, 2005).
Banking Legal Framework

Banking service forms one of the most vulnerable industries to various crises. This is the
reason why banking sector is considered one of the highly regulated industries in order
to provide a safety net where in customers and funds of the financial institutions are
safeguarded. This regulation for protection improves customers confidence and attitude
towards banking services and attracts potential customers towards the banking system.
It also attempts to secure the rights of the depositors against losing their money in case
the bank forecloses (Broaddus, 1994). Hence, the banking industry is considered as
generally unstable and regulation of banks is justified owing to their significant roles in
the financial system and the consumers concern over regulations (Niemeyer, 2006).
Despite the increasing interest of consumer protection throughout the world, there is a
basic difference of consumers protection between developed and developing countries.
In the former, consumers are provided with various options and the authorities have
confidence in the markets ability of delivering benefits to consumers owing to the market
mechanism as opposed to government regulation (Asher, 1998). On the other hand, in
the context of the latter, the situation is such that the market is immature and the
economy is still in its infancy. In this environment, consumers are depending more on a
government intervention model for protection (Al-Ghamdi, Sohail and Al-Khaldi, 2007).
In the context of Yemen, the Yemeni banking sector has faced various challenges
throughout the years. More importantly, the peoples lack of confidence in the banking
system in Yemen led to minimal deposits and considerable shortage in the rate of capital
(Al-Mushrqui, 2009). Consequently, the banking system in Yemen does not have the
ability to finance investments. However, currently, the central bank of Yemen has
established corporate law guaranteeing bank deposits in the context of baking legal
framework.
The primary role of this framework is to safeguard small consumers, attract the
confidence of the people to the banking system, establish strict and sophisticated
banking system and reinforce the confidence of depositors by guaranteeing their

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deposits. A strong banking legal framework has been established to encourage potential
consumers to join the banking system (Abdul Salam, 2010). Hence, the researcher
considers this factor as among the vital influencing factors that call for investigation in
the current study in order to understand its effect on consumers intention to use Yemeni
banking services.
Bank Advertisement

Advertising is a term that refers to the manner in which the company offers information
regarding its activities like products, services, pricing and delivery channel to current or
future target markets (Ennew et al., 1995). Advertising is defined as the way the firm
provides information concerning the quality and availability of its products and services.
Banks make use of advertising to promote awareness concerning their services. There
are various ways to communicate with the customers; for example, the Internet is one of
the most widely used ways that are employed to contact consumers to bank websites.
Potential consumers even have the opportunity to log in the websites and learn more
about the many services offered by banks.
Several studies that examined the association between advertising and the intention of
consumers revealed that the power of advertising on behavioral intention (e.g. Bae and
Choi, 2001; Chan, 2004; Rettie, Grandcolas, and Deakins, 2003; Soroka, Bodet, Young
and Andrew, 2008).
Advertisement is deemed to be a key factor in the banking industry. It is one of the most
rapid and significant tools used to inform current and future consumers regarding bank
products and services in order to promote awareness and knowledge of their benefits.
On a negative line of argument, Yemeni banks have failed to acknowledge the power of
advertisement and the creation of such awareness and knowledge among university
students. They also concentrated in using advertisement in the past few years following
some bank that started advertising campaigns to expand customer base (Al-Adhi, 2009).
Therefore, this study is an attempt to provide an overview of the impact of advertisement
on the Yemeni university students intention to use.
Cultural Belief

Culture is a term with various definitions, with each definition having its own aspect.
Culture is generally the basic determinant of the individuals behavior and desires, along
with his attitudes and perceptions. Various studies have considered studies as a
fundamental variable of human thinking. They consider culture as one of the key
variables explaining the psychological and behavioral differences in various societies
(Ifinedo and Usoro, 2009; Moon, Chadee and Tikoo, 2008; Rugimbana, 2007; and
Ubadineke, 2009). The objective behind these studies is to comprehend the pattern
forming individuals behavior in different groups. On the basis of their results, there are
differences in individuals behavior based on cultural belief (Jung and Kau, 2004). More
importantly, culture is deemed to be one of the significant factors in marketing in
knowing and understanding how people believe and thinking concerning specific product
or service (Liu, Furrer and Sudharshan, 2001).
In fact, culture does not only impact peoples thoughts but also their behavioral intention
to do a certain behavior in the future. In this background, examining and diagnosing

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culture belief is a key factor in consumers behavioral intention in the field of marketing.
In the Yemeni context, consumers have traditionally never welcomed the concept of
banking services for their saving, financing or investment. In other words, people refrain
from opening bank accounts unless they really need to do so and they refrain from
keeping bank accounts unless it is a necessity (Yemeni Times, 2008).
Hence, this factor requires in-depth investigation in the context of Yemen in order to
reveal its influence on individuals perceptions in using the banking system.

RESEARCH FRAMEWORK AND METHODOLOGY


A review of the related literature and of the influencing factors on consumers behavioral
intention towards using banking services, this study developed the following conceptual
framework;

Figure 1: Research framework


On the basis of the above framework, the study hypothesizes that;
H1: There is a positive relationship between perceived service quality and students
behavioral intention to use bank services.
H2: There is a positive relationship between banking legal framework and students
behavioral intention to use bank services.
H3: There is a positive relationship between bank advertising and students behavioral
intention to use bank services.
H4: There is a significant relationship between cultural belief and students behavioral
intention to use bank services.

STUDY SAMPLE
The sample was chosen through random sampling method of the university students
and data was gathered through a questionnaire. A total of 598 questionnaires out of 850
were returned and thus making the rate of response 70.4%.

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Based on the assessment, the respondents have various incomes, the majority (39.1%
of the total respondents) of which earned between YR80,001 and YR100,000 in a
month, followed by 23.2% earning between YR60,001 and 80,000, 14.9% of the
respondents earned over YR100,001 and 12.9% of them earned between YR40,004 and
YR60,000. Moreover, 5% of the respondents earned between YR20,001 and YR40,000
monthly. Finally, only a few respondents 4.8% of the respondents earned less than
YR20,000 a month.
With regards to the age groups, 42.1% of the respondents are between 20 and 30 years
old, 39.6% are between 31 and 40 years old, 11.5% are 41 years and above and finally,
6.7% are under 20 years of age. Furthermore, out of 598 respondents, 470 were male
and the remaining 128 were female.
The respondents were requested whether or not they were bank customers. The results
showed that at the time of conducting the study, majority of them were non-bank
customers (94.8%) compared with their counterpart bank customers which constituted
5.2%. Details of the results are presented in Table 1.
Table 1- Demographic Profiles of the Respondents
Profile
Frequency
Monthly income in Yemeni Riyal (YR)
Less than 20000
20001- 40000
40001-60000
60001-80000
80001-100000
100000- over
Age:
Under 20 years
20 to 30 years
31 to 40 years
41 and above
Gender:
Male
Female
Bank usage
Bank customer
Non-bank customer

Percentage

29
30
77
139
234
89

4.8
5.0
12.9
23.2
39.1
14.9

40
252
237
69

6.7
42.1
39.6
11.5

470
128

78.6
21.4

31
567

5.2
94.8

The entire items were positively phrased and were gauged through a five-point Likert
type scale ranging from 1 strongly disagree to 5-strongl agree. Additionally, Cronbach
Alpha for the entire variables was over 0.7 and the items have factor loadings of over
0.5. These results show the validity of study measurements.

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DATA ANALYSIS
The correlation test results are presented in Table 2. The table shows the following
variable values; perceived service quality (r=0.121, p<0.01), banking legal framework
(R=0.103, p<0.05), bank advertisement (r=0.130, p<0.01), and cultural belief (r=0.511,
p<0.05). The finding reveals that the entire variables are significantly correlated with
behavioral intention.
Table 2- Correlations among summated study variables
Variables

DV

DV- Behavioral intention (BI)


1
IV1- Service quality (SQ)
.121**
IV2- Banking Legal Framework (BLFW)
.103*
IV3- Bank Advertisement (BA)
.130**
IV4- Cultural Belief (CB)
-.511**
** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
* Correlation is significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

IV1

IV2

IV3

IV4

1
-.070
.039
-.074

1
.057
-.039

1
.003

The direct impact of the components on intention to use banking services was tested
through multiple regression analysis. The four dimensions are illustrated in Table 3.
Based on the table, the four dimensions explain 29.3% of the variance in behavioral
intention. It is also evident that standardized coefficient beta for service quality is
significant and positive (= .095*, p < 0.05), which supports hypothesis 1. Standardized
coefficient beta for banking legal framework is also significant and positive (=.083*, p <
0.05), which supports hypothesis 2. Moreover, the standardized coefficient beta for bank
advertisement is positive and significant (.130**, p < 0.01), supporting hypothesis 3 and
for beta of cultural belief, beta is significant but negative (-.501**, p < 0.05), supporting
hypothesis 4.
Table 3- Summary of Multiple Regression Results for Attitude and Subjective Norm
Independent Variables
Service quality H1
Legal framework H2
Bank advertisement H3
Cultural belief H4
R
Adjusted R

Standardized Coefficient Beta


()
.095*
.083*
.130**
-.501**
.293
.288

Sig. F Change

0.000**

F value

61.316

Note: *p < 0.05, ** p < 0.01 Dependent Variable: Behavioral intention (BI)

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STUDY DISCUSSION
Service Quality and Behavioral Intention

This study focused on behavioral intention which is the basic vital factor in consumers
actual behavior. Behavioral intention studies form the basis of purchase intention
prediction (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1980). From this studys results, it could be understood
that service quality is among the predictors of Yemeni consumers intention to deal with
the banking system. Yemeni consumers are very particular about the way banks deliver
their services in an efficient way. This was highlighted in the result.
Yemeni consumers perceive banks as capable of performing efficiently and quickly. In
other words, when the students feel that banks are offering according to their
expectations of quality or beyond it, this may lead to their behavioral intention to use
banking services.
Although positive significant perception exists, the consumers may also base their
decision to use banking services on other variables/priorities. The students may not
depend only on the banks service quality but also other variables that could impact their
behavioral intention (Al-Hajri, 2008). These variables include trust, protection etc.
(Esmaili, 2011). This explains the need to conduct further research of variables in
Yemen in order to reach a certain level of understanding of the consumers behavioral
intention to use banking system.
In addition, real factors preventing consumers from dealing with banking services should
also be highlighted. The study result shows that legal framework is a critical issue
influencing behavioral intention. Legal framework shows how government intervention
protects consumers and facilitates an environment of confidence among consumers to
achieve economic stability. Several studies have also revealed the relationship between
legal framework and behavioral intention (e.g. Chang, 2009; Ferdous and Towfique,
2007; Tsai et al, 2007; and Wirtz et al., 2007).
The finding that highlighted the importance of legal framework and its impact on
behavioral intention indicates that legal framework can be used to encourage students to
use banking services. Nevertheless, based on the comparison between its influence and
the influence of other variables in the model as presented in Table 3, it is evident that it
has the least influence in predicting behavioral intention. This is still a remarkable result
for this study and as such, future research can examine this further.
The justification behind this weak predictive power of the legal framework and its impact
on the students behavioral intention to use banking services can be attributed to the
experience that Yemeni citizens have gone through in 2006. During this time, the Central
Bank of Yemen declared the liquidity of the Watani bank, which is one of the largest
banks in the country. Many of the bank depositors were affected by this liquidity and this
incident impacted the confidence of the consumers in financial institutions. The
consumers perceived the lack of protection from the government (Elaph Electronic
Newspaper, 2008).
Another study finding highlighted that bank advertisement has a consistent outcome with
that of prior studies with regards to its relationship with behavioral intention (e.g. Bae
and Choi, 2001; Chan, 2004; Rettie et al., 2003; Teng, Laroche and Zhu, 2007; Shenge,

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2008; Soroka et al., 2008). In the context of Yemen, Zolait et al. (2008) also found a
positive relation between advertisement and behavioral intention. This result of banks
advertisements impact on behavioral intention evidences its use in encouraging students
towards banking services usage.
According to Al-Adhi (2009), Yemeni banks have continued to ignore the significant
power of advertisement in encouraging students and consumers to use the banking
system. Banks only started paying attention in the last few years when they
benchmarked some banks advertisement campaigns in the hopes of increasing
customer base.
Banks should be proactive in making periodical surveys concerning consumers needs
and to promote their services to cater to these needs and to test the level of satisfaction
with their present services. This would improve their advertisement strategies and
develop their marketing strategies to attract more consumers.
The final finding revealed that cultural belief has a significant relationship with behavioral
intention with (=.-.501**, p < 0.01), indicating an inverse direction. Stated differently,
with increased cultural belief, behavioral intention to use banking service decreases.
This is consistent with Teng and Laroches (2007) result who stated that culture has a
significant but negative effect on consumer purchasing intention. In fact some results
concerning cultural factors impact on purchase intention were significantly positive while
others were negative depending on the culture of each society. This contention is
compounded by Liu and Mcclure (2001) who stated that consumers from different
cultures have different behaviors and intention towards specific product/services.
This result may justify why Yemeni people refuse to deal with the banking system.
Yemenis usually keep their money at home as interacting with banking services is still an
uncommon behavior in the Yemeni society (Al-Adhi, 2009). Additionally, Yemenis
perception of holding money in hand and trading in cash psychologically builds up their
confidence. Cash transactions therefore occur in majority of trade, even for durable
goods (Al-Mushrqui, 2009). Consequently, it is important that Yemeni banks exert more
effort in order to transform peoples attitudes towards banking services. This is
compounded by the fact that regardless of the prevalent Islamic society in Yemen,
majority of the banks still deal with Interest (Reba). The Islamic banks were introduced to
the country only in 2008 and to date there are only four Islamic banks (Al-Hamady,
2010).
If we examine the short life of the Islamic banks in comparison to traditional banks in
Yemen, it is evident that Islamic banks have taken considerable market share in recent
years indicating peoples readiness to deal with Islamic banks as they are governed by
Shariah (Islamic law).

CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY


The result gathered from the examination and analysis of the sets of variables in the
research framework, and the highlighted impact of the variables on the university
students purchase intention offer critical information to bank management and
practitioners.

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This is especially true for management and practitioners to realize and to satisfy
students priorities through bank services. On the basis of the results, the researcher is
convinced that cultural belief is the most critical aspect in the Yemeni banking system
and could even be one of the main barriers that prevent consumers to use banking
services.
This result may lead to monetary authorities to begin advertising campaigns in order to
change peoples cultural beliefs in a positive way. This campaign may enlighten them
with the benefits of the financial services. Monetary authorities can also use the findings
to develop a new culture of trust and confidence of consumers and to attract potential
consumers to make use of banking services.
Relevant parties should also cooperate to clarify to the Yemeni population the
advantages and usefulness of using banking services for themselves and for the
economy as a whole.

FUTURE RESEARCH
The banking system is described as an integrated process that requires examination of
various factors that could prevent the consumer from accessing the services. Hence, this
study attempted to determine the reasons why Yemeni citizens refrain from using the
countrys banking system. On the basis of the results, cultural belief was found to have a
negative impact on the use of banking services. Culture can be a critical factor in
transforming some basic aspects of the individuals attitude. This is a significant point
that calls for in-depth studies in a society like Yemen, where the majority of the
population (99.1%) are Muslims. It appears that people avoid using traditional banks
because of their involvement with interest-a practice that is forbidden in Shariah. Future
research can further examine this contention.

STUDY LIMITATIONS
This study has some limitations, specifically, based on the results of the relationship
between independent variables and the students behavioral intention to use banking
services. A huge difference lies in the response rate between the male and female
respondents. The male sample constitutes 78.6% while the remaining 21.4% were
female respondents. Considerable number of male respondents is explained by the
females non-cooperation in answering the questionnaire with some of them giving
various excuses. Therefore, the result of this study could display a higher rate of the
male respondents perceptions.

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