1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY.
Development in a country can be measured in terms of its overall social, economic and political development. But no matter how developed the country is, it cannot be self sufficient, there is an everyday urge to improve in the social relationship, economic development and in politics.
In Nigeria, during the pre-colonial era, there is always an interaction which starts mostly from trading activity which enables the country to exchange what it has for what it requires. Trading was carried out among the various tribes that made up the present Nigeria nation through the primitive methods of trade by barter system which is the exchange of goods for services. Likewise, objects like shells, cowries, beads, etc were adopted as means of exchange. However, as society grew more complex, these crude methods of exchange became insufficient. Coins and paper notes were introduced and these made it easy for any amount of goods and services to be acquired at the exchange of such coins and paper notes.
Thus as the nature of businesses became more wide and complex, it became very imperative for all sectors to be connected with a modern means that would be simpler, faster and more convenient. This gave birth to the modern day banking system using information technology. The banking industries are now getting connected with the information technology facilities which make banking operation, service and business activities easier, faster, more efficient, and more effective for individuals and organizations alike to transact businesses. The impact has become far reaching to the extent that organizations jostling for relevance in a competitive environment cannot help but embrace the potentials of the e-revolutions.
Information Technology (IT) is a man-made resource, embracing principally the electronic technologies of computers and telecommunications (voice, data, and video), and comprising of both electronic hardware and computer software. The significance of IT in today’s successful organization cannot be underestimated. It plays a major role in the success of the organization in today’s highly competitive world by providing easy and fast means of collecting, storing, retrieving, processing, transmitting and distributing information. There can be various other factors that determine the success of a firm, and a firm may use various strategies to pursue the path of success. However, fast and easy access of information through the use of IT is very important to the firm because it influences all the other success factors, and the competitive strategies cannot be practically implemented without its support. Therefore, no business-firm that minimizes the use of IT can attain the topmost position in its business. This is very much true in the case of financial institutions, which include commercial banks.
Commercial banks have a major role in the economic development of a country. They are the major financial intermediaries between the sources of funds and the users of funds, and their business is heavily dependent on information related to the fund market, which includes fund suppliers, fund users, brokers; information related to the central bank, and Ministry of Finance directives that they have to follow; and information related to their competitors. Besides, their business also includes providing financial information to their customers. Hence, commercial banks are highly information intensive, and the use of IT by them, for easy and fast means of information collection, storage, retrieval, processing, transmission, and distribution of information, should have extensive contribution to their performance.
The use of IT is widespread — from the most developed countries through the developing countries to the least developed countries, although the extent of overall use is directly related to the level of development. Commercial banks, since they are highly information intensive, have invested in IT extensively. Even in a country like Nepal, a developing country still at the lower rungs of the development ladder, new banks in the near past years started their operations with computerized systems. In Thailand, another developing country that is trying to climb on to the developed platform, commercial banks have computerized operations, and many of their services/products are IT based. In developed countries like the US and Canada, IT has become a necessity for financial institutions if they want to survive in the market, and the financial institutions keep on trying to come out with new services/products which are IT based, Pritam (2002).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM.
The advent of information technology in the operations of the commercial banks in Nigeria among other sectors has brought about several noticeable developments but at the same time, it brings about its attendant problems. The questions this research work intends to answer are as follows:
How has information technology aid banking operations?
Why are banks unable to strictly comply with the mission statement /corporate mission? With information technology, some bank management does not adequately plan to meet the services quality. For example, the required number of customers to be attended to by a cashier within the daily working hours to guide against long queues is neglected- this causes delay in service delivery time leading to long queues in the banking hall.
Why is high incidence of bank fraud borne information technology? This fraud ranges from ATM card fraud, internet banking fraud, email and text message fraud, fund transfer to untraceable offshore accounts, among others.
Does huge investment into information technology in banks have a proportionate profit return?
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Does information technology lead to organizational profitability and efficiency?
2. Can information technology improve customers’ satisfaction?
1.4 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY.
The main objective of this study is to examine the effect of information technology on operations of commercial banks in Nigeria, while the specific objectives are:
1. To know whether information technology has contributed to the profitability and efficient of banks in Nigeria.
2. To find out whether information technology system has increase customer satisfaction.
1.5 HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY.
Hypothesis is express in null form
Ho: Information technology system can lead to bank profitability and Efficiency.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY.
This research will enable banks to identify ways of remaining competitive in the global and domestic financial industry. It also helps prepare banks repositioning towards meeting the challenges imposed by global banking. Also, it is expected that the work will contribute to the bank’s future projections on strategies to be used in attracting depositor’s funds, reduce queues in the banking hall, the bank’s management policies.
Finally the research work will also be a contribution to knowledge in academic field and serve as a source of reference to researchers who would carry out research on similar study in the future.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY.
The research work covers the role information technology place on the banking operations of commercial banks in Nigeria with special reference to United Bank for Africa PLC. The period of the study is between 2004 – 2011.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY.
The major limitations of this research work are the constraints I encountered in the use of questionnaires for generating data information. Bank customers often find the efficiency of the operational system of the bank in different ways or perspectives; hence, it is not possible to determine the exact level of differences between belief and practice in the banking operation.
The bank staffers are not ready to give out information in any form particularly in writing as it may be required in the case of questionnaires due to secrecy. To get information or data from these groups of people, l had to exercise a lot of patience.
Due to time and financial capability, I am not able to cover all the products of the bank that has been made possible through information technology.
1.9 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF UNITED BANK FOR AFRICA (UBA) PLC.
United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc is the West Africa’s largest banking and financial services group as measured by asset base, number of customers, branch network and profitability. It provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services. The bank employs more than 17,000 staff (Core and support) who serve their over 6 million personal, business, public sector and institutional customers through their offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’ Ivoire, New York, London and the Cayman Island.
As a leading player in the African financial services sector, the banks aspiration is to fly the flag of African excellence within the global financial community and to be a role model to other African businesses. The United Bank of Africa (UBA) Plc has largely been a Nigerian and West African Bank. As the largest financial services company (by balance sheet size, branch network, customer base and profitability) in West Africa and the biggest listed company in Nigeria (by market capitalization, December 2007), the group has been recognized as a leader within the financial services industry in the region and a key driving force of the region’s economic development. UBA now has presence in seven African countries, spanning West, Central and East Africa, with main operations in Nigeria and Ghana, two of the most vibrant economies of Africa.
Africa and beyond.
UBA is intensifying its efforts to extend its reach beyond West Africa into the rest of the continent, as it pursues its vision to be the undisputed leading and dominant financial services group in Africa. Beyond Africa, the group’s aspiration is to be the bank of choice for all transactions involving Africans and Africa- related businesses, wherever these may be around the world. In addition to presence in the Cayman Islands, UBA is the only Sub-Saharan African Bank with regulatory presence in New York (Dating back to 1984). With the establishment of UBA Capital (Europe) Ltd, the Group’s London-based investment banking arm regulated by the financial services authority (FSA), UBA became the only African bank with dual presence in both New York and London. UBA Capital will be the Group’s beachhead for launching into the rest of Europe. In Asia, UBA is currently focused on the most populous and fastest growing economy in the region-China. UBA Group recently entered into the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with state-owned China Development Bank (CDB), China’s second biggest bank, on a partnership deal for financing long-term infrastructural projects across Africa, UBA (2007 Annual report).
International institutional investors.
The exiting prospects for UBA Group have attracted the attention of international investors seeking emerging markets opportunities, such as the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in March 2007. The private sector financing arm of the World Bank Group, granted UBA a US$50 Million convertible debenture loan as part of a US$75 million financing and advisory services package approved for the group. The US$50 million inflow was converted into equity on September 30, 2007. In May 2007, the African Development Bank (AfDB) took a US$50 million equity position in the UBA, the first time it has made a direct equity investment in a private sector organization on the continent throughout its 43-years history. In addition, a Global Depository Receipts (GDR) programme jointly placed and managed on the international securities markets by JP Morgan Chase and Renaissance Capital raised approximately US$300 million from other international institutional investors, during UBA Group’s combined rights issue and public offer in April 2007.
E-Banking Services UBA is the clear leader in the deployment of solutions across electronic channels in West Africa. As at 30 September 2008 it has 1,256 ATMs, 3,296 POS machines deployed. Outside of Nigeria, they had a further 55 branches and 76 ATMs. During 2008, UBA processed 10% of the total value of all POS transactions in Nigeria. In 2008 UBA also pioneered the deployment of cheque-deposit ATMs into the Nigerian market. In May 2009, UBA again pioneered the first cash deposit ATM in Nigeria. These successes will be extended to the rest of Africa.
UBA remains the only bank in Nigeria with a full electronic platform for payroll administration for corporate clients. Going beyond payment of salaries, corporate organizations are given a convenient, secured electronic alternative to managing employees. Some of the banks e-banking services include: U-Direct, U-Mobile, EMS, BankCollect, PayDirect, U-Pay, SMS/E-Mail Alerts, U-Dividend monitor, E-Dividend, Dubai Visa Solution, Etranzact, Schools Online, EduPortal.
Achievements UBA has maintained a consistent and solid financial performance in its long history. They have a history of leading and pioneering innovations in the Nigerian financial sector. The following are parts of the bank’s landmark achievements:
UBA was the first among international banks to be registered under Nigerian Law in 1961.
UBA is the first Nigerian bank to offer an IPO following its listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1971. UBA is the only sub – Saharan African bank (ex-RSA) with a branch in USA (New York)- set up in 1984. UBA was the first Nigerian Bank to introduce a Cheque Guarantee Scheme known as UBACARD in 1986.
UBA is the 1st and only Nigerian Bank to obtain a banking license in the Cayman Islands -1988.
UBA is the only Nigerian company with a GDR programme – 1998 (1st for a Nigerian Bank as a means of facilitating international investor interest). Best Domestic Bank in Nigeria (Euromoney 2000) UBA is the 1st Nigerian Bank to obtain a banking license in Ghana -2004. UBA led the consolidation in the Nigerian banking industry with merger of Standard Trust Bank Plc and UBA in 2005. UBA received excellent credit ratings (short and long term); Global Credit Rating (SA) AA+ and A+ in 2005. UBA was the first to introduce the Nigerian Government Bond Index in 2006.
UBA is the first ever Nigerian Bank to surpass the N1 trillion balance sheet size (including contingents) – 2006. UBA is the first Nigerian Bank to enter into strategic relationship with the international Finance Corporation (IFC). UBA is the first private sector organization in Africa to benefit from a direct equity investment by the African Development Bank. UBA is the first Nigerian financial institution to introduce a loyalty programme (the Lion’s Pride Reward Scheme). UBA Global Markets in collaboration with Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) was the first bank to introduce a mortgage bond backed by securitization of black Africa. UBA is the only Sub-Saharan African Bank (ex-RSA) with operations in the USA (New York established since 1984) and London. UBA is the largest e-banking footprint in Nigeria (Interswitch 2007). UBA is the largest Nigerian bank by assets, deposits, and branch, ATM and customers (Fitch. 2007). UBA is ranked Number One Bank in Nigeria (Agusto & Co, 2007). UBA is the second highest moving Nigerian bank according to The Banker world rank (The banker, July 2008).
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: – Is a term which generally covers the necessary of electronic technology for the information needs of business at all levels
MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEM: – The provision of information on staff, finance, production and so on.
GOVERNMENT: – Is taking urgent actions to bridge the digital gap and build opportunities using the information technology tool.
GLOBALIZATION: – The process of rapid economic integration driven by the liberation of trade investment and capital flows as well as rapid technology change in the information revolution.
MANAGEMENT: – These are people that ensure the acceptability of computer technology.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: – In bank industry started with an attempt to automate the process of banking services when was done through mechanization.
COMMUNICATION BANKS: – They are the financial intermediaries between the sources of funds and the users of funds.
DEVELOPMENT: – A country can be measured in terms of its overall social, economic and political development.