By Adelana Oluwatobi Michael
One of the areas Electronic commerce has proven successful in Nigeria is the electronic banking. Traditionally, banks have been in the forefront of harnessing technology to improve their products and services. The Electronic banking has been able to cover both computer and telephone banking, it refers to the use of information and communication technology by banks to render services and manage customer’s relationship more quickly and most satisfactorily. The Electronic banking has become an essential survival weapon and is fundamentally changing the banking sector in Nigeria.
The evolution of Electronic banking started from the use of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) and Finland was the first country in the world to have taken a lead in electronic banking as a means of enhancing service quality of banking services and also providing electronic banking to their customers for increasing customer’s satisfaction.
In the year 1998 and 2000, many banks in Nigeria established their websites with the aim of starting internet banking. Thereafter, many more sophisticated electronic banking instruments were introduced to enhance service delivery and customer’s satisfaction.
So, in the year 2003, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reported that Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Cards, Telephone banking, Personal computer banking be adopted by banks so as to enhance service delivery, enable customers withdraw cash from the (ATM) 24/7, decongest queues in the banking hall, aid international payment, personal banking transaction, request for online statement, or even transfer deposit to a third party account, it was also adopted to improve efficiency and effectiveness of the bank operations so that more transaction can be processed snappily and most conveniently, which will not in a small way impact significantly on the overall performance of the banks.
The success of Electronic banking depends squarely on customers’ satisfaction of the E-product and E-services. Customers satisfaction is one of the most essential customer reactions, and it relevancy is reflected in the capability to help in building up customers loyalty to the extent to which customers are happy with the products and services provided by the bank.
However, the customers expect to enjoy benefits of quick service delivery, reduction of going to the banks frequently, and reduction of cash handling which will give rise to higher volume of turnover, that is, the total amount of services rendered by the bank during a particular period of time. But unfortunately, the Electronic banking developments in the Nigerian banking industry seem not to have achieved their aims studies conducted in the country revealed that 47% of customers that utilize Electronic banking products and services are satisfied with the quality of the products and efficiency of the delivery.
Although, the influence of Electronic banking on customer satisfaction would differ according to the personal variable, for instance, gender, age, marital status, educational level, computer literacy and internet accessibility. Normally, waiting for service is a fact of life but excessive waiting can impair significant satisfaction and economic impacts.
Furthermore, it is unfortunate that the Electronic banking system has not significantly assist their customer, because you still find queues in the banking hall, people preferring to have their cash at hand, complaints from customers as regard non-availability of financial service, online theft and fraud, payment of hidden cost of electronic banking like Short Message Services (SMS) for sending alert, mandatory acquisition of ATM cards, non-acceptability of Nigerian cards for international transaction amongst others, the malfunctioning of the Automated Teller machines (ATM), e.g. Machine out of order, machine out of cash, no printing statements, cards get blocked, frequent breakdown of the ATM service, unreliability of the ATM service, lack of sufficient technicians in all banks who solve the breakdown of ATM, lack of sufficient alternative systems which substitute ATM service for the customers when temporary problems happen in the machine.
This reason has clearly shown that the Electronic banking services have not significantly improved their customer’s satisfaction; the primary challenge faced by the banks is to provide consistent service to customers irrespective of the kind of channel they use. The more a bank relies on Electronic banking delivery channels, the greater the potential for reputation risks. The major concerns of the electronic transactions are the issues of security and privacy.
In the developed countries like France, 3 out of 40 purchases online and the remaining 37 are reluctant to use online services and the reason is security and privacy which are the major threats to perform online banking. In this case, unless the electronic banking bringsincrease to customers satisfaction than the old traditional style of banking, customers may not be convinced that the electronic style of banking is good for them, with all this problem faced by the banking sector how can they persuade the old people of utilizing the electronic banking when they can perceive the risk of failure, complexity, security and lack of personalized service.
Therefore, the banks should improve their services delivery to justify the benefits of electronic banking products and services, and by doing this, customers interest would be aroused, the banks should also ensure good connectivity and power-based, that will enable them serve customers faster and more conveniently, the banks should make sure at no time should service cease as a result of network problem. Government should also provide adequate regulatory framework that will ensure customers protection and security of transaction; that way, banks customers’ confidence in the Electronic banking would be secured.
– Michael is a student of Mass Communication Department, Adekunle Ajasin University Akungbaakoko