Purpose: Most studies of mobile commerce (MC) adoption by individuals have focused on the influence of a set of factors at a single point in time, and thus, cannot capture the process by which the individuals progress from simple to sophisticated MC adoption. This paper aims to enhance the current understanding of MC adoption by using a process approach to investigate MC adoption progression among individuals and the factors influencing their decisions to adopt different MC activities of varying complexity levels over time. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research design was used. Data were collected through a series of semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 22 users of mobile devices to understand how they progressed in MC adoption over time and the factors influencing their decisions to adopt different levels of MC activities. The data were analyzed using qualitative data analysis techniques. Findings: The findings showed reciprocal influences between individuals’ perceptions and MC adoption. As individuals adopted and gained experience with basic MC activities, their perceptions of MC improved over time, leading to the adoption of more advanced MC activities. Originality/value: This research proposes a novel process approach and an innovative MC Adoption Maturity model to explain MC adoption progression over a time dimension. The model includes three levels of MC adoption maturity and explains adoption progression from one level to the next. The concept of MC adoption maturity will enable researchers to understand changes in users’ experiences and perceptions throughout adoption maturity progression. © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited.