E-Banking Strategies in Nigeria

E-banking strategies are primarily intended to solve emerging problems associated with the current manual banking operations seen in many geographical locations. The decision to implement depends upon the infrastructural, employee, and managerial functions capable of delivering the services with equal competency (Bryman & Bell, 2007). The traditional banking system has for a long time been associated with a constantly increasing human resource potential and timing issues that have resulted in the emancipation of efficiencies in the banking sector. The duty solely lies with the managerial team in line with solving these issues. “Most managers attempt to solve queuing problems by hiring more workers or procuring additional facilities to reduce the waiting time. These options must be considered with proper analysis of the queuing situation to prevent increase in the staffing cost and/or idleness of both human and material resources” (Agboola 2008). Consequently, the increase in the human resource of the bank has only led to more costs for the bank with regard to salaries needed to pay these employees and other significant factors, for example, during low seasons the same human resource becomes a significant problem for the bank in terms of management (Bryman & Bell, 2007).

In an attempt to find better solutions that are more manageable focusing on cost and management fundamentals, this led to the development of packages suited for the banking environment. As the internet industry continued to grow, the information and communication industry gladly embraced this concept. Business settings incorporated these measures into their system leading to the emancipation of e-business strategies, consequently giving birth to e-commerce. The banking sector adopted the same perspective leading to e-banking as a tool to improve access to services. Agboola (2008) observes that “Another strategy considered by most managers for efficient time management to improve banking services and reduce the waiting time is the application of information and communication technology (ICT). Again most managers have come to terms with the reality of proper analysis of the queuing situation to determine the type, nature and extent of ICT products required for effectiveness and efficiency.” This therefore, shows that the ICT component in the banking sector is an important in driving the desired output regardless of the position, size, and authority of the bank due to competition factors.

The advent of e-banking has gone through a slow transition leading to the development of several mechanisms in a progressive manner. Some of the initial developments in the emancipation of e-banking strategies include the Automatic Teller Machine. This is primarily because the automatic teller machine became the first electronic payment mechanism adopted towards the decentralization of banking strategies in Nigeria. In a certain research carried out, findings revealed the fact that the Automatic Teller Machine was the most preferred and used mode of electronic payment in the Nigerian context, which hampers the efficiency of electronic commerce (Ayo, Adebiyi, Tolulope & Ekong 2008). This reveals some of the bottlenecks that are hindering the growth of internet banking probably because of certain variables which could include fears of insecure transactions and an illiterate population.

The uptake of technological solutions in the Nigerian context is also subject to socio-political issues, the dynamics of investment strategies, foreign influence, among other economic variables. Depending on the relative effect of each factor this has a significant impact on the growth of e-commerce potential in different sectors of the economy. Among those sectors that are most affected include the banking sector by virtue of its position in the financial services sector. “Similarly, the internet penetration is still awfully low and is one of the major threats to e-commerce implementation. However, the nascent democracy enjoyed in Nigeria is faced with some teething problems, but is promised with time, relative political stability, direct foreign investment, improved economical atmosphere, improved social services and technological development more that ever witnesses in the country” (Ayo, Adebiyi, Tolulope, Ekong, 2008). From these issues, political stability and foreign direct investment appear to be interrelated issues, which have a direct impact in terms of communications infrastructure key in the banking industry.

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