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ASSESSMENT OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ON BANKING PERFORMANCE – STUDY OF ZENITH BANK PLC.
1.1 Background to the Study
Information has always played a prominent role in human activities. The robust development in science and technology has immeasurably increased the role of information in every facet of human endeavor. The rapid expansion of a mass of diversified information has given birth to the term “information explosion” and a rise to the scientific approach in information management and in the interpretation of the concept of information.
The concept has been broadened to include information exchanges not only among men but also among machines as well as the exchange of signals in the animal and plant worlds. The pace of change brought by new technologies has had significant effect on the way people live, work, and play globally.
Today’s business environment is very dynamic and experiences rapid changes as a result of creativity, innovation, technological changes, increased awareness and demands from customers. Business organizations, especially the banking industry of the 21st century operates in a complex and competitive environment characterized by these changing conditions and highly unpredictable economic climate with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the centre of this global change curve.
According to Harold and Jeff (2005), financial service providers must modify their traditional operating practice to remain viable in the 21st century and the decades beyond. Thus, ICT has emerged as a catalyst in the various industries of the world to aid the process and procedure required to ensure the realization of various organizational goals.
Indeed, the explosive growth in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have narrowed digital divide and turned business sphere to electronic world (e-World). Specifically, technological innovations have led credence to global transformation of operational dimension of traditional banks over a decade ago. Internet technology has brought about a paradigm shift in banking operations to the extent that banks embrace internet technology to enhance effective and extensive delivery of wide range of value added products and services. Consequently, Nigerian banks, especially the commercial banks, recognized electronic banking to be the most effective means of distinguishing themselves from other competitors by investing in sophisticated technology (Auta, 2010).
In the last few years, Nigerian banks have been witnessing tremendous success in the delivery of a wide range of value added products and services through e-banking and there have been evidences of increasingly acceptance of ICT application by banks in Nigeria (Ayo, 2010).
Globally, several studies exist on the application of ICT in banking and its impact bank performance. However, some of these studies provided mixed evidences.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become a very important aspect of today’s Banking and financial services delivery in Nigeria in particular and the world at large. The competitive nature of banking business has necessitated the emphasis now placed on ICT. In the developed societies, ICT is generally believed to have dramatic influence and is seen as continually determining the competitive nature of virtually all business. In Nigeria, the application of ICT to banking operations has become a subject of concern to all banks operating in the country and indeed, a prerequisite for global competitiveness.
As a basic prerequisite in the development of banking business, customer satisfaction holds the potential for increasing an organization’s customer base, increase in the use of more volatile customer mix and increase in firm’s reputation. The consolidation exercise in Nigerian banking sector has left customers with a wide range of choice for products and services.
Study by Keremati (2007) has shown significant and positive correlation between ICT and customer satisfaction and profitability. Although, the Nigerian banking industry is relatively slow in the adoption and utilization of ICT.
In view of this, this study seeks among other things to access the contribution of ICT on banking sector performance in Nigeria using Zenith Bank as case study.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to access the contribution of ICT banking sector performance in Nigeria. Other specific objectives include:
- To access the extent Zenith Bank has adopted ICT in their operations
- To determine whether the adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank has led to improved customer services
- To ascertain whether the adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank has led to increase in the profitability of the Bank
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions have been designed to elicit the desired response to achieve the objectives of the study:
- To what extent has Zenith Bank adopted ICT in her operations?
- Has the adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank led to improved customer services?
- How has the adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank led to improved profitability for the Bank?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following hypotheses were formulated and tested by the study:
Ho1: Adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank operations is not positive and significant
Hi: Adoption of ICT in Zenith Bank operations is positive and significant
Ho2: ICT adoption has not positively and significantly improved customer service in Zenith Bank Plc
Hi: ICT application has positively and significantly improved customer services in Zenith Bank
Ho3: ICT application has not positively and significantly improved the profits of Zenith Bank Plc
Hi : ICT application has positively and significantly improved profitability in Zenith Bank
1.6 Significance of the Study
The study will be of immense benefit to several groups of people both in the Nigerian banking sector and the academics.
Bank Management: First, the study will be of relevance to board members, bank management and staff in the banking sector in Nigeria espacially, for Zenith Bank. The aim of every bank is to achieve maximum level of returns on investment