The concept of e-service (short for electronic service) represents one prominent application of utilizing the use of information and communication technologies(ICTs) in different areas. However, providing an exact definition of e-service is hard to come by as researchers have been using different definitions to describe e-service. Despite these different definitions, it can be argued that they all agree about the role of technology in facilitating the delivery of services which make them more of electronic services. It seems compelling to adopt Rowley (2006) approach who defines e-services as: “…deeds, efforts or performances whose delivery is mediated by information technology. Such e-service includes the service element of e-tailing, customer support, and service delivery”. This definition reflect three main components- service provider, service receiver and the channels of service delivery (i.e., technology). For example, as concerned to public e-service, public agencies are the service provider and citizens as well as businesses are the service receiver. The channel of service delivery is the third requirement of e-service. Internet is the main channel of e-service delivery while other classic channels (e.g. telephone, call center, public kiosk, mobile phone, television) are also considered.
Definitions and origin of the term e-service Since its conceptual inception in the late 1980s in Europe and formal introduction in 1993 by the US Government, the term ‘E-Government’ has now become one of the recognized research domains especially in the context of public policy and now has been rapidly gaining strategic importance in public sector modernization. E-service is one of the branches of this domain and its attention has also been creeping up among the practitioners and researchers. E-service (or eservice) is a highly generic term, usually referring to ‘The provision of services via the Internet (the prefix 'e' standing for ‘electronic’, as it does in many other usages), thus e-Service may also include e-Commerce, although it may also include non-commercial services (online), which is usually provided by the government.’ (Irma Buntantan & G. David Garson, 2004: 169-170; Muhammad Rais & Nazariah, 2003: 59, 70-71). 'E-Service constitutes the online services available on the Internet, whereby a valid transaction of buying and selling (procurement) is possible, as opposed to the traditional websites, whereby only descriptive information are available, and no online transaction is made possible.'