1.1 Background of the Study
Globally, information and communication technology has become a key element in economic development of many countries in the world. Over the years, many innovations have taken place in the world, the most striking and most celebrated is the aspect of information and communication technology. Organizations today are confronted with rapidly changing market condition indicated by high merger rate and strong competitors. Under these conditions, traditional management approaches that focus on financial figures and on centralized, analytical planning methods are considered to be insufficient for effectively steering the organization in dynamic environment.
Irechukwu (2000) Itemized banking services that have been changed via the use of information technology as including opening an account, mandate on customers account, and transaction process and recording. Information Technology which is synonymous with computer communication technology in everyday language can be defined as technologies that facilitates the information cycle, comprising gathering, processing, disseminating and storing of information and as such information and communication technology encompasses a wide range of technologies such as telephone, computer, word processing application, web browser, servers, full text document, database and main frame computers. Its devices especially modern computer, email facilities and internet has therefore strengthened early modernization such as fax and telephone. Other technology devices include data recognition equipment, telecommuting and teleconferences using real time and services (Adeoti,2005).
Information and communication technology has provided self services facilities from where customers can easily complete their account opening documents directly online. Information technology in Nigeria banking system and operation has been acknowledge as the life wire of banks in the financial sector as it promotes and facilitates the performance of banks in the country. These, therefore call for a pre-requisite need to embrace information and communication technology. It is in view of this that this research work attempts to examine the role of information and communication technology on the performance of banks in Nigeria today. Information communication technology has played a prominent role in all areas of human life but the breakthrough of social progress and the vigorous development has immeasurably increased the role of information in every factor of human life.Igwe(2005)noted that the advent of the electronic mail and personal computers on every desk ,the internet and its application to banking have produced amazing results. It has also improved the overall processes of commercial banks performance in Nigeria, via the use of innovation and creativity pertaining to information technology by commercial banks. This as a result has led to smooth, easy and convenient way of banking with adequate and quality service to customers, which has also paved way for efficiency and effectiveness to banking in Nigeria. Banking has now become almost totally dependent on the computer.
In the past, a large but manageable amount of book-keeping was handled manually, but such has been the expansion in banking that a huge labor force would be needed to tackle today’s massive volume of book-keeping. The computer is necessary because there is no other way of dealing with the problem (Okonta, 2009).The application of information technology concept, technique, policies and implication strategies to commercial banking services have therefore become a subject of fundamental importance as it concerns all banks and a pre-requisite for local and global competitiveness.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
As earlier pointed out, there is delay in payment of cheques which lead to the adoption of ICT in banking system. Adoption of information and communication technology which suppose to ease banking transactions rather resulted to woes to customer. Most people complain of time wasted in banks. This occurs when there is power failure in banks resulting to slow down in operation.
Another problem that emerged was that banks do not have information backup to fall back on should there be any computer break down.
In investing in electronic banking, the country will need a large amount of financial resources in computer technology, obviously, the resource is in short supply in Nigeria, couple with high level of poverty. For an efficient functioning of electronic payment system, there must be availability of infrastructural facilities such as electricity and telecommunication network, however, power supply fluctuates and there is still constant failure links in networks.
Since early 2000s banks have been developing and introducing payment cards for their customers as well as deploy ATM’s cards. Usage was however low due to lack of interconnectivity i.e. switching platform to interconnect the ATM’s for card holders. This constraints are centered on the lack of supporting infrastructure such as erratic electricity supply , interdependent and lack of encryption on short message system(SMS) messages(Agbada,2008).
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to examine the role of information technology in Nigeria banking system. In this regard the specific purpose of this study is to:
- Determine the extent to which ICT products enhance the performance of banking sector.
- Identify the benefits banking sector derived from the adoption of information technology.
- Find out the challenges facing the banking sector on the application of information technology.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were raised to guide the study:
- What are the impacts of ICT products on operational performance of the banking sector?
- To what extent has the banking sector benefitted from the adoption of information technology?
- What are the challenges facing the banking sector in the application of ICT?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study cannot be over emphasized. It can be seen below:
The study will enables the banking sector see the need for information and communication in the day to day running of its activities and the contribution Information and communication technology has on the efficiencies of its service to their customers. It will also reveal the need for improvement in the use of various Information and communication technology so as to satisfy the demanding, desires of their customers and compete with their counter parts in the banking industry.
It will help to improve customer’s knowledge on the use of computer and other gadgets through which they can access their bank account and make any other payment in the world.
This will also be beneficial to students that will carry out further research work and also to Government for policy making implementation.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The research work is limited to three branches of First bank of Nigeria PLC in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms will be encountered in the course of this study and will be defined as operationally used in the study.
Computer: Is an electronic machine that can store, organize and retrieve information, perform calculations and control other machines.
Extranet: Extranet is a collaborative network that used internet technology to link with their suppliers, customers or other business that share common goals.
Information Technology: Is the study or the use in electronic processes for gathering and storing information.
World Wide Web: Is the system on the internet that allows you to find and use information that is held on computers all over the world.
Electronic Banking: Is the situation whereby transfer of payment is done via computers.
Automated Teller Machine: Is a machine that enables banks customers to withdraw money from their checking or saving account by inserting an Automated Teller machine.