Sunday, 6 August 2017

Information Technology As An Instrument For Marketing Of Financial Services


1.1    Background to the Study
Over the years, many innovations have taken place in the world. The most striking and most celebrated is the aspect of information technology. Organisations today are confronted with rapidly changing market condition indicated by high merger rate and strong competitors. Under these conditions, traditional management approaches that focus on financial figures and on centralised, analytical planning methods are considered to be insufficient for effectively steering the organisation in a dynamic environment. Hoffman (2002). Recent management support approaches like balanced score card is aimed at providing a broader view of organisational performance.

Adewoye, (2013) said that the role of technology in the “information age” is well recognised by banks, businesses, industries, governments and as such has completely woven in to their organisational structure and strategic planning process. Previous research work shows that information technology has become the nervous system of banks today and as such Nigerian banks which do not have the means to deliver banking service online and real-time across all branches within the country and abroad will be termed uncompetitive.
Referring to Uchenna E.O. (1997 p. 1) on research and project methodology, he said that the information technology on marketing of banking services arose to challenge all other previous concepts in the banks, that information technology is the key to achieve organizational goals which consists of determine the needs and wants of target markets and the delivery of the desired satisfaction more effectively an d efficiently than competitors.

Quoting from Nwankwo Eze A. (1998) an article written on 25 September, which says many banks in the past strive to improve their counter services by employing more staff to cope with increasing number customers. This did not yield such result. With the advance of information technology banks have been able to automat some aspect, if not all their operations and thus has resulted in lower cost in terms of paid salaries to staff waiting time of customers. With the help of information technology accounting information system, the decision making processing, loans and credit evaluations and other banking services have been very efficient.          
The integration of banks structure, business processes and strategies by the use of specialised information technology is considered a vital part of performance management concept. It has to be ensured that, strategic changes trigger modification on the business process level and the supporting information technology, and that innovation on the information system initiates the adjustment of the company strategy (Jayshree 2013).
Organisations in the financial sector especially banks strive to achieve creation goals for the benefit of their owners or clients. These goals may be expressed in terms of objectives which include among others, increasing revenue, improving services rendered, expanding the customer base, minimising cost of operations (Becker, 2006).
Nigerian economy yearns for development. Irrespective of the fact that she is blessed with enormous natural resources, she remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Banks today are looked upon as vehicle of change for a much needed economic growth and development as it behoves on banks to develop the most effective means of delivering effective, efficient and quality service that will help drive our awaited economic success. These can be made possible if and only if information technology is properly put to use in the banking sector.
Information technology has been acknowledged as the life wire of banks in the financial sector as it promotes and facilitates the performance of banks in the country. These therefore call for a pre-requisite need to embrace information technology. It is in view of this that this research work attempts to examine the impact of information technology as an instrument to market financial services.
1.2    Statement of the Problem
Promoting financial services has come of age and as such, competition has alerted banks to look for innovations that will keep their customers and even win more. As a result of the need for efficiency and effectiveness in the banking sector, the web is introduced and used mostly for commercial purpose through internet banking and information technology. The adoption of information technology in banking sector is owing to the fact that, linguistic barriers needed to be put to an end to enable easy and cheaper communication during transaction, to foster customer-bank relationship, increase customer satisfaction, improve operational efficiency, reduce the running cost, reduce transaction time, give banks competitive edge, provide security to investors fund and promotion of other financial services.
Despite the adoption of information technology in banking sectors today with its numerous objectives, observation has however shown that, not all the objectives have been realised and felt by users. The quality of services rendered by the First Banks, have been attracting criticisms from people of all works of life.

According to Jarret (1998 p.35) which says that in the past, a large potential proportion of banking marketing were handled manually, thus requiring relatively large labour forces to handle marketing activities.
He also said that most banks do not put their customers in the prime place as they supposed to be. There is now keen competition and to compete means to apply the marketing of information technology. Are these criticisms justified or are they just a mere rundown of the banking industry, because they are making profit in an area of economic slump?

This study is aimed at researching on effect of automat of the bank on the marketing of banking services.
It is vital to put the potential progress into prospective and recognized the current extensive use of automated system in banking services delivery. That the development of on-lime back- office terminal system liked to large main frame batch-processing computers has enable the bank to cope with rapidly increasing volumes of transactions that could not have been handled manually.

This cloudy atmosphere therefore provides a fertile ground for the researcher to examine impacts of information technology as an instrument of promoting financial services in Nigeria, using First Bank as a case study.
1.3    Research Questions
This Study was guided by the following research questions;
i)    To what extent does the application of information technology enhance promotion of financial services?
ii)      Does information technology enhance customers’ patronage?
iii)    Does information technology leads to customer satisfaction and loyalty?

1.4    Objectives of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to examine how the adoption of information technology is used by banks to promote and market their financial services they render. The study specifically aims to;
       I.   Examine how information technology has enhanced the promotion of financial services by Nigeria banks;   
    II.   To examine how adoption of information technology enhance customers’ patronage; and
 III.   To investigate the impact of information technology on customers satisfaction.

1.5    Research Hypotheses
Hypothesis are sets of assumptions formulated by the researcher, accepted or rejected personally on the basis of research findings Agburu (2001). The hypothesis to be tested in the course of this research work is stated strictly in their null forms as follows;

Hypothesis 1.
H1- Application of information technology enhance promotion of financial services
Ho- Application of information technology does not enhance promotion of financial services

Hypothesis 2.
H1- Information technology enhance banks customers’ patronage
Ho- Information technology does not enhance banks customers’ patronage

Hypothesis 3
H1- Information technology enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty
Ho- Information technology does not enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty

1.6    Significance of the Study
Every organisation is concerned with the best possible strategy to adopt in improving performance so as to guarantee sustainable growth that will lead to the achievement of other goals. In light of the stated objectives which this study is set to achieve, the following are the significance of the study;

It would justify the application of information technology on banking services delivery as it result to profitability of banks.

It would also help to find out the reasons why banks today have to forgo the former ways of operation to modern banking such as e-banking and as such identify the problems arising from the operational system of commercial banks in Nigeria.

The knowledge that would be gained from this research work will assist management of banks to appreciate the importance and use of information technology to achieve the overall efficiency and effectiveness in operation.

It would as well contribute to existing literature by identifying the major barriers to the adoption of this innovation on banking operation in Nigeria and suggest how to address them.

It would also be a valuation tool for students, academic institutions, and individuals that want to know more about the impact and relevance of information technology in Nigerian banking sector.

1.7    Scope of the Study
The focus of this study shall cover the role information technology play in promoting financial services rendered by Nigerian banks. Specifically, the information in this research work is limited to the activities of first bank Nigeria Plc.

1.8    Operational Definition of terms
INFORMATION: Information is a data that has been processed. It is also referred to data that have a particular meaning within a specific context, or data that have been processed in such a way to be useful to the recipients. Ayatse (2005).

TECHNOLOGY: According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary (7th edition) “technology is a specific knowledge used in practical ways in industry”. For example, designing new machines which are made to meet up the demand of current and future situation/trend.

MARKETING: Marketing is the human activities, which direct the flow of goods and services, from the manufacturers to the customers through exchange process which satisfied human want needs directly or indirectly.

BANKING: Banking is defined in the 1969 act as the business of receiving monies from outside sources as deposits, or respective of the payment of interest and acceptance of credits or purchases of bill and cheques, or the purchases and sales of securities claims respect of loan prior to their transactions for other or the effected of transferring and clearings, and such other transaction as the commission may, on recommendation of the central bank, by order published in the federal gazette designated as banking business. 

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: Information technology is the study or the use of electronic equipments especially computers for storing, analyzing and distributing in formation of all kinds, including words numbers and pictures.

AUTOMATE BANKING: Automate banking is the device which permits customers to deposit, withdraw or transfer fund during hours when the bank is closed.

SERVICES: There are separately identifiable intangible activities, which provides want satisfaction when marketed to customers and or industry users and which are not necessary tied to the scale of a product or another services.

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