CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of Study
The use, acceptance, adoption and application of internet technology to businesses to boast their performances are not something new. Saffu et al., (2008), states that there has been a significant increase in the use and application of e-commerce in businesses in the past decade. E-commerce has benefits such as reduction in costs, increased business opportunities, reduced lead time and providing more personalized service to the customers (Turban et al., 2008). Internet banking or e-banking is one of the many tools of e-commerce adopted by the banking industry. Tools of information technology such as internet banking have significantly improved the quality of services offered by the banking industry and/or financial institutions (Dawes and Rowley, 1998). Currently, there are thousands and thousands of e-banking web sites all over the world. Botswana is a developing country, located in the southern part of Africa. She has a population of just about 2 million. Being a developing country, internet technology has not been quite a thing for the citizens. Majority of people who get to use the internet are those in tertiary schools, work places and government departments, since they can get to use internet there. “In October 30th 2008, Botswana completed the multi-million pula Trans-Kalahari fibre-optic project, covering approximately 2000 kilometres. The project is expected to act as a catalyst to the growing ICT industry in the country.” (Botswana Guardian., 2008) This study focused on the information technology (IT) adoption in a developing country; Botswana, where internet technology let alone internet banking is still at its infancy stage, but could offer potential benefits and usefulness to the entire population and to the banking industry in the not so distant future. “The Botswana government together with that of Namibia recently contributed US$37.5 million each to secure the West African Cable System (WACS) landing point. The 14 000 kilometre cable will bring direct and fast connectivity between Namibia, Botswana, West Africa, the United Kingdom and the rest of the world with a design capacity of 5.12 terabit. These developments are expected to mark the beginning of cheaper bandwidth in the country. Both countries, Namibia and Botswana are at the dawn of an infrastructure revolution on the ICT landscape where broadband communication services will be further enhanced to benefit businesses, industry, internet community, academia and the entire population.” (Telecom Namibia, 16 February 2011) For the business industries in Botswana to stay competitive, they would have to implement e-commerce to enable them to be more competitive and efficient. This without any doubt includes the banking industry, which by no means have to implement and manage effectively the Internet banking services. The importance of e-commerce in Botswana is very critical since Botswana is a landlocked country and has no access to sea ports. “The Botswana government is looking at making the country the communication harbour in the region. Under the government of Botswana’s plans, developing e-business is a critical step and a vital pillar of the economy.” (Botswana Guardian., 2011). Given the importance of e-business and of Internet banking, it should be the key strategy of the banking industry in Botswana, just like in other developed and developing countries. Although the Botswana government is willing to spend money to invest on internet technology, thus improving e-commerce infrastructure, the ultimate success of Internet banking is still depending on consumers’ perceptions and whether they are willing to use internet banking. Therefore, users and/or customers ought to be willing to use, adopt and accept the technology. 1.2 Problem Statement
“Internet usage in Botswana remains very low as a result of the high cost to access it, the high cost of computer hardware and generally low levels of Internet...
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