1. General Introduction
Robust financial institutions provide an indispensable support to an economy. If the financial industry collapses, the whole economy is likely to collapse. This is evident from the current recession in the United Kingdom. In a bid to improve the activities of financial institutions, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has been found instrumental and is adopted worldwide. ICT involves the use of electronic gadgets, especially computers and their peripherals, for storing, analyzing and distributing data. In recent times, ICT is having a dramatic influence on almost all aspects of individual lives and that of the world. Technology has helped many business owners worldwide in running successful businesses. In the past decade, large volumes of paper were being used in offices. Data were collected and stored in loose hard copies filed away in cabinets or piled on office desks. This was quite cumbersome. With the advancement of business activities, a solution was developed to help many companies organize their work through ICT.
Now, electronic storage and accessing of information is possible. Data retrieval is easier than it used to be before the advent of ICT. Electronically stored information is easily referred to when need arises. This has been advantageous to most businesses because of ease of comparison between current data and historical data in the processes of monitoring and evaluating individual business activities.
Banks have adopted the new technology. Vast improvements seem to have been registered in bank service delivery. The inconvenience of queuing for bank services has been drastically reduced by the introduction of the auto-teller machines. Simple bank account data, like account balances can be retrieved easily from an auto-teller. The painstaking exercise of filling withdrawal forms, upon which any mistake will warrant refilling the forms and queuing again, has been costing the client the precious and irreplaceable resource, the time. The client used to leave the bank frustrated despite the completed transaction .ICT has brought a difference in the life of both the banker and the client. Its application is felt in every area of human existence. Therefore, its contribution to the world of commerce cannot be overemphasized (James Hall, 2012). Upon observing the apparent improvements in business activities in several organizations, the researcher was interested in investigating the actual impact of ICT in the banking business.
1.1 Background of the study
It seems ICT has influenced all aspects of banking activities. Information collection, storage, processing, transmission and distribution are all computer-based. There are widespread claims that ICT is the main driving force of the improvements in the banking industry. With the introduction of mobile phones and internet, clients enjoy many time-, energy- and money-saving products like accessing bank account statements, effecting cash transfers, paying utility bills, salary processing and mobile banking, just to mention a few, while clients are distances away using their time, energy and money in other productive engagements. However, ICT may not be the only technology that has brought successes in the banking business. Other technical and logistical dimensions might have had a significant influence in the very survival and successful operations of the banks, (Shuangtia, 2008).
National Bank (NB) appears to be the leading bank in Malawi. It was established in 1971 as a result of a merger of Barclays Bank DCO (Dominion Colonial Overseas) and Standard Chartered Bank. The latter originated from the Republic of South Africa, and was widely established in Africa. Therefore, National Bank is a product of the experiences and expertise of Barclays Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. National Bank is reputed for its nationwide social services and rigorous and uncompromising recruitment exercise....