1.1BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Information technology (IT) is a strategic resource that facilitates major changes in competitive behaviour, marketing and customer service (Kotler, 2007:312). In other word, it is the automation of processes, controls, and information production using computers, telecommunications, software and ancillary equipment such as automated teller machine and debit cards. It is a term that generally covers the harnessing of electronic technology for the Information needs of a business at all levels. Ifezue (2003:38) lists some banking services that had been revolutionized through the use of information technology as including account opening, customer account mandate, and transaction processing and recording. The financial service industry had been subjected to various major transformations due to advancement in computers and telecommunications. Information technology (IT) infrastructures are rapidly emerging as a vital factor in socioeconomic development and hence, have a crucial role to play in addressing development challenges. Onyeke (2008:319) wrote on the appreciation of information technology in Nigeria banks and pointed out that information technology is becoming the backbone of banks’ services regeneration in Nigeria. He cited the Diamond Integrated Banking Services (DIBS) of Diamond Bank Limited and Electronic Smart Card Account (ESCA) of Eco Bank Limited as efforts geared towards creating sophistication in the banking sector. He also discovered that banking in Nigeria has increasingly depended on deployment of information technology and that IT budget for banking is by far longer than that of any other industry in Nigeria. He contended that on-line system has facilitated internet banking in Nigeria as evidenced in some of them launching websites. Olakunori (2003:33) discovered that Nigeria banks since 1980s have performed better in their investment profile and the use of IT systems, than the rest of industrial sector of the economy. An analysis of the study carried out by African Development
Consulting Group Ltd (ADCG) on IT diffusion in Nigeria shows that bank have invested more on IT, have more IT personnel, more installed based for PCs, Local Area Networks (LAN), and Wide Area Networks (WAN), and a better linkage to the internet than other sectors of the Nigerian economy. In general, existing studies have concluded two positive effects regarding the relationship between information technology and banks’ performance. Firstly, information technology can reduce bank’s operational cost. For example, internet help banks to conduct standardized, Low Value-added transactions through the on-line channel, while focusing their resources into specialized, high value-added transactions through branches. Second, information technology can facilitate transactions among customers within the same network. In case of Automated Teller Machine (ATM), if available over geographical dispersed areas, the benefits will increase since customers will be able to access their account from any geographical location they want. This imply that the value of an ATM network increases with the number of available ATM locations, and the value of banks network to a customer will be determined in parts by the final network size of the bank.
High incidence of poverty, poor funding by the governments, lack of knowledge and expertise in the use of the new technology and poor condition of infrastructure especially electricity have bedevilled the contribution of information technology in the marketing of banking g services in Nigeria. These do not only impact on the activities of these banks but also their growth and profitability thereby affecting their rate of involvement in economic development in Nigeria. Another problem identified by the researcher is computer anxiety amongst the teeming population. This is more prevalent among the female gender as it is with the...