MODERN TECHNOLOGY AND ITS IMPACT ON BANK’S CUSTOMER SERVICES
A powerful force drives the world towards a converging commonality, and that force is technology (Levitt, 1992). From the beginning of human era, technology has been one of the most essential and most important factors for the development of mankind (Coombs et al, 1987). During the last two hundred years, technological changes have often been related to economic growth in the form of new types of goods and services. Smith (1776) First wrote about technical changes in the form of new machines as one of the three important causes of increasing incomes more than two hundred years ago.
Modern technology can be defined as the modern handling of information by electronic means, which involves its access, storage, processing, transportation or transfer and delivery (Ige 1995). Research shows that modern technology affects financial institutions by easing enquiring, saving rime, and improving service delivery (Alu, 2002). Modern technology provides solutions to the needs of modern societies in health care delivery, library services, education, and communication networks within organizations, etc.
Some available modern technologies, which are presently used in the banking industry in Nigeria, are telephone, facsimile, telegraphy, wireless radiophone, Very Small Aperture Terminal Satellite (VSAT), and computer systems.
Inspite of these innovations, the level of banking technology remains relatives low, in terms of both international standards and local needs as in the case of linking of branches of individual banks by computer network, which has been achieved only by few banks, while interbank linkages by computer is absent. Besides, only a few banks have embraced technology based products such as automated teller machines (ATM) and other forms of electronic banking such as smart cards and electronic wallets. These inadequacies are traceable to a number of factors such as the economy’s downturn since the early 1980’s and its subsequent sluggish growth has not provided an adequate base for sustaining modern technology advancement in the banking industry; low modern technology skills and lack of the technology base needed for fostering the growth of indigenous banking technology, supporting infrastructures such as electricity and telecommunication which are needed for the effective use of modern technology in the banking industry, have been grossly inadequate; and the existence of an uncompetitive banking industry prior to the adoption of structural reforms in 1986 did not create the necessary incentives for innovations.
However, given the aforementioned traceable inadequacies the task here is to investigate modern technology and its impact on bank’s customer services (a case study of Zenith Bank Plc from 1990 to 2006).
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current wave in the use of modern technology to enhances services have raise various questions on the extent to which these increase affirms customer services in the Nigerian banking industry.
Although, much research have been made on modern technology in previous studies, but lack of literatures on its impact of literatures on its impact on customer services in the Nigerian banking industry points out that this problem have been addressed marginally. The following problem associated with this study include:
- The need to ascertain the promptness and efficience of services as perceived by customers through the use of modern technology.
- The perception of customers on the ease of conducting banking transactions through the use of modern technology.
- The need to ascertain the effects of modern technology on the interaction between cashiers and customers.
- Lastly, the need to ascertain the impact of modern technology on the productivity of the bank.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this study is to look extensively into the impact of modern technology on bank’s customer services, among which are:
- To identify the use of modern technology devices in executing bank operations and decisions at faster rate and with high degree of accuracy.
- To determine the impact of modern technology in the operations of the banking industry.
- To examine the effects of modern technology on the output of bank workers to the customers
- To assess the impact of modern technology in reducing the time spent by customers inside the bank.
- To assess the impact of modern technology on the revenue earned by Nigerian banks
- To assess the role of modern technology on the bank’s contribution to the national income of Nigeria.
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant because its findings should contribute to the argument on whether modern technology have an impact on bank’s customer services, at least within the Nigerian banking industry context. Policy makers will find the discussion and recommendation useful in the formulation and implementation of policies in the Nigerian banking industry.
Researchers who will work in a related topic in the future will find this study a useful guide as well as a reference point.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is limited to modern technology and its impact on bank’s customer services between 1990 and 2006 (a case study of Zenith Bank Plc).
The emphasis is to empirically examine the impact modern technology plays on bank’s customer services. The limitation that constrained this work includes limited financial resources, time, and paucity of data.
1.5 ORGANISATION OF STUDY
The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one provides the introduction, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, organization of the study, research hypothesis, and definition of terms. Chapter two discusses the review of related literature. Chapter three focuses on banking in Nigeria, role of modern technology in Nigerian banking industry and internet opportunities for Nigerian banks. Chapter four is used for analysis of data, evaluation, and interpretation of findings. The study is summarized with recommendations and conclusion ijn chapter five.
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following will be the hypothesis that will be used in the course of this study.
Null Hypothesis (HO): Modern technology has no significant effect on the waiting time (customer queues) spent in Zenith Bank Plc by customers to receive bank services.
Alternative Hypothesis (H1): Modern technology has a significance effect on the waiting time (customer queues) spent in Zenith Bank Plc by customers to receives bank services.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some terms used in this study but whose meaning can be misunderstood are clearly defined below:
- Banking: It is the businesses of receiving money from outside sources as deposits irrespective of the payment of interest, and the granting of money loan and acceptance of credit for the purchase of bills and cheques or the purchase and sales of securities for the amount other than or the affecting of transfer, clearing and such transaction as stipulation by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guidelines.
- Banking Industry: It is the combination or totality of all banks in Nigeria.
- Customer Service: It is any contract, whether active or passive, between a customer and a bank that causes negative or positive by a customer and this perception will be influenced to be negative or positive by the customer’s expectations of the contract having been met or disappointed.
- Electronic Banking: These are services rendered by the banks to its customers without the physical contact of both parties.
- Electronic Commerce: This simply means online buying and selling of goods and services. This sale and purchase of items including but not limited to flowers, books, magazines, newspapers, more sophisticated products and services such as buying and selling of shares of publicly quoted companies.
- Modern Technology: This is a term, which generally covers the modern handling of information by electronic means, storage, processing, transportations or transfer and delivery.