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Investing the Factors Required for a Successful E-Banking Implementation in Developing Countries: Case Study of a Nigerian Bank

By Chidoflow Mar 28, 2011 2763 Words
Background
Technology is the powerful force that drives the world into a converging commonality. (Levit, 1992). According to Combs et al., (1992). Technology has been one of the most indispensible and vital factors for the development of mankind since the beginning of time. Technology is of no doubt very beneficial to man because it brings about easier and more convenient way of doing things. The successful use and implementation of Information and communication technology (ICT) in developed countries has raised expectations in many developing countries that ICT can be used to enhance productivity and efficiency, hence creating a faster development in their environments (Krishna & Walsam, 2005). Okpaku (2003) suggests that ICTs combined with knowledge management hold much possiblity for driving the development process. Developed countries adopt technology and manage it properly but this is not so easy for developing countries. Walsham and Sahay, (2006) stated that the key challenge with respect to ICT is to address the issues concerning the people who are unable to access the technologies and use them efficiently. ICTs are very necessary to developing countries. But the question is how beneficial are ICTs for these developing countries? (Walsham & Sahay, 2006). Developing countries find it very tasking to implement ICTs and there have been several cases of failure due to several issues. Heeks (2008) suggests that educational systems in developing countries are often inadequate to meet the challenges faced in those countries, thus causing failure in the implementation and management of newly invented technologies. These new technologies include e-commerce, e-banking etc. Electronic banking is generally regarded as a way of providing banking services to customers with the internet, at a reduced cost to the banking industry and better convenience to customers (Pousttchi & Schurig, 2004). It is obvious that people are reacting positively to the invention of electronic banking because it is really convenient and it aids flexibility in banking. It has also made work a lot easier for the bank staff because customers can attend to minor issues such as accessing their account balance and viewing their statement of account from their homes or offices. E-banking consists of several technologies and channels, which include telephone banking through the use of both landlines and cell phones, direct bill payment, electronic funds transfer (EFT), and, most recently, PC or online (internet) banking (Lassar, Manolis & Lassar, 2005). Online banking and other electronic payment systems are new, and the development and diffusion of these technologies by financial institutions is expected to bring about a more efficient banking system (Akinci, Aksoy & Atilgan, 2004). Chou and Chou (2000) identified five elementary services linked with online banking, these services are checking of account balances and transaction histories, payment of bills, transferring funds between accounts, requesting credit card advances and ordering cheques. Before the innovation of electronic banking system, banking could only be done traditionally i.e. in the bank. That caused problems such as long queues, inconvenience, time wasting etc. One had to always go to the bank to perform transactions. This was really inconveniencing and time consuming, thus this lead to the invention of e-banking. Electronic banking provides flexibility in banking i.e. anytime and anywhere banking. These benefits provide comfort, convenience and user flexibility in making bank transactions. Due to the advent of electronic banking, banks now have a centralised network thus enabling transactions to be carried out in any branch, not necessarily where one opened their account, also transactions can be carried out without the customer been physically present at the bank (for example, using the ATM). The omission of the middlemen (i.e. workers) in the electronic banking procedure is beneficial to the bank in terms of reduced labour costs and increased productivity in the banking operation. The banking consolidation done by the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2005 which caused 89 banks to merge to 25 banks brought about change in the banking industry (Salawu & Salawu, 2007). The consolidation was done due to issues such as poor quality of asset, foreign exchange trading, high level of dependence on public sector benefits, low capital base etc. This consolidation also brought about new technologies such as e-banking as the newly merged banks were now under a new management of young professionals and they were trying to get a competitive advantage over their rivals in the banking industry. However, some banks have adopted the technology but others are yet to adopt this technology. Why is this so? According to Mbaika et al., (2004), Online banking in developing countries is yet to receive substantial attention amongst researchers, thus, this echoes the general lack of information systems research in sub-Saharan Africa. The only researchers of electronic banking in Nigeria are Gao and Owolabi, (2008) and Ayo and Ota, (2008). However, there is lack of research into the factors required for a successful e-banking implementation in Nigeria. There is also lack of case studies reporting the experience of organisations who have implemented e-banking in Nigeria. This gap in the research is a problem for banks, because the limitations in relation to this area usually mean difficulties for them in the planning and implementation of e-banking (Daniel, 1999; Southard and Siau, (2004). Hence, this research aims to help address some of these gaps in the current body of literature. Critical success factors (CSFs) approach will be used in this research because it is a well-established technique in IS which is appropriate in carrying out a research like this. According to Rockart (1979) CSFs are the limited number of areas that will ensure successful competitive performance for the organisation if these factors are satisfactory. The CSF approach represents an accepted top-down methodology used for corporate strategic planning which is capable of highlighting key information requirements of top management (Rockart, 1979). Cheng (1999) explained that if CSFs are noted, management can take certain steps to implement new business models such as e-commerce more effectively. Holland et al (1999) adopted the CSF method for enterprise resource planning systems implementation. Ang and Teo (1997) recommended the use of CSFs for strategic IS planning. Although this technique is quite old but it is still being widely used in evaluating new technologies (see for example Sung, 2005). Hence, CSfs is considered the most appropriate technique to use in carrying out this research.

Aim and Objectives
The aim of this research is to identify the critical factors required for a successful implementation of e-banking in a typical retail banking industry in Nigeria. Objectives
The objectives of this research are;
To indicate the factors that contributed to the successful implementation of the e-banking initiative and also the problems encountered during and after the implementation of e-banking in a Nigerian Bank (Diamond Bank plc.) •To explore how this bank dealt with managing a successful adoption. •To identify the factors critical to their success.

To identify the key lessons that came out of their experience during and after the implementation of this initiative.

Methodology
Research Question
This research will address the opinions of the top management of Diamond Bank plc. On the following questions, •What are the critical success factors of e-banking in Nigeria? •What possible measures can be taken by other Nigerian Banks in successfully implementing this initiative? •What are the possible factors that can hinder the successful implantation of e-banking?

Research Strategy
Anon (1989) defined research as a systematic study on a particular subject by investigating, using facts and collecting information. Bryman & Bell, (2003) described a research strategy as an overall direction to perform a business research. Organizational researchers are performing theoretical and empirical studies in many areas of research design, data collection and data analysis and methods of carrying out these studies are with the use of qualitative and quantitative methods (Lee, 1998). This research aims to be carried out using a qualitative research strategy. A qualitative research strategy will be used in order to understand this situation by investigating the perception of people and their behaviour (Anderson & Aydin 2006). Creswell (1994, p.15) defined a qualitative research as a process of inquiry of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of enquiry that explore a social or human problem. The nature of this research signifies that it is a field based research i.e. case study research. Issues such as obstacles to a business initiative in electronic banking demand investigation of real businesses in site (Shah & Siddiqui, 2006) Research Design : Case Study Research

This project is going to adopt a case study research in order to retain the complete characteristics of a real life event where the researcher has little control over the events (Yin, 2003). (Eisenhardt, 1989) described a case study as a research strategy that focuses completely on understanding the dynamics that are existent within single settings. The case study research is the mostly used when applying qualitative research method in information systems research (Myers, 1999). Using a case study method enhances the understanding of complex social phenomenon, also a deeper understanding of the issue (Meredith, 1998). A case study is focused on one instance of what is being investigated whether an organisation, an information system, a discussion forum, a department, a development project e.t.c. (Oates, 2006). Of all the existing case study designs, a single case study is most suitable for this research and it is going to be adopted. The rational for adopting a single case study is that it signifies a representative case for capturing the information and events, allowing the researcher the opportunity to observe closely and examine a phenomenon that is previously unconfirmed (Yin, 2003). A single case study allows the researcher to study the phenomena thoroughly to provide a rich description and understanding (Walsham, 1995). The case study approach is used to understand the problem being investigated by providing opportunity to ask in depth questions and to capture the richness of organisational behaviour. Thus the conclusion drawn from this procedure may only be specific to the organisation studied and may be unsuitable for other organisations (Gable, 1994). Despite some disagreements, researchers have come to a consensus that single case-studies are helpful for building inductive theory especially in the early development of a field of research like e-commerce in the developing world (Kshetri, 2007).

Data collection procedure
A bank that has adopted e-banking in Nigeria was identified from its website (Diamond Bank plc.). Managers and executives will be interviewed to carry out this research. Data will be collected by means of semi-structured interviews, observation and secondary data. Semi-structured Interviews

Interviews are the most often used data collection tools for qualitative research (Denzin & Lincon, 1998) Rubin and Rubin, (1995) described an interview as any verbal confirmation or dis-confirmation or any formal, informal or casual response to a question. Interviews will be applied as a primary tool for collection of data, as they provide detailed information about a particular research issue or question. The following people will be interviewed; the business unit manager, regional bank manager, IT manager, executive director (southern region), executive director (eastern region) and the project manager. An average of 25-30 minutes is scheduled for each interview. Interviews may take longer depending on how much information the interviewee is willing to render. These interviews will focus on the research topic. Observations

Oates, (2006) suggests that Observation techniques are used to increase the understanding of the subject. The participant observation procedure will be used to conduct this research. According to Yin (2003), participant observation means that the researcher will play a role in the case study for a period of time. The researcher will do this by visiting the bank and collecting important information from vital sources. Hence participant observation procedure will be used as a data generation method in order to discover what people really do, rather than what they stated they do when questioned. Thus, observation techniques will be used to observe interesting and useful insight of the issues related to e-banking in the organisation. Secondary data

Secondary data is collected through secondary research which is a major qualitative technique. Secondary research is a process of accessing and retrieving information from some material or documents which has been written or printed by some other person (Collis & Hussey, 2003). Secondary data that will be used in this research are company documents which are valid materials needed to acquire basic knowledge about the activities of an organisation and this set of information will be used to support findings from the observations and interviews. Thus secondary data is a combination of information from research and materials from existing literature such as advertisements, corporate annual reports, routine description, process tools and academic research papers. Data analysis

Most qualitative data analysis involves abstracting from the research data, the verbal, visual or aural themes and patterns that is considered important to the research topic (Oates, 2006). Qualitative analysis in this research will be analysed using thematic analysis and code development. Thematic analysis will be applied to the data which will be collected to ensure additional factors and emergent themes to be identified. Thematic analysis efforts on identifiable themes and patterns in social scenery (Aronson, 1994). To carry out this technique, firstly you have to record the interview sessions with an audio tape. The audio tapes will be later converted from audio to texts. Thus, from the conversation, patterns or experiences will now be documented. Secondly, all data which relate patterns into sub-themes will be identified. However, themes are identified by collating components or fragments of ideas and experiences, which often have no meaning when viewed alone (leininger, 1985). It is easy to see a pattern emerging when collating sub-themes to obtain a complete view of information. The final step will be building valid arguments for choosing these themes. This method will be carried out with the help of a computer aided analysis software tool. Software for computer aided qualitative analysis seeks to ease data management activities which are subject to errors and highly tasking when done manually, make analytic process more ‘transparent’ and liable, and support analytic process which otherwise will be cumbersome (May, 2005). However, software only helps in the organisation of the material and is not in itself an interpretive device (Cassell and Symon, 2004).

Ethical considerations
All behaviour in relation to the research was executed ethically and followed guidelines for research laid down by Brunel University. Also, permission was sought from all participants before conducting the research. All individuals involved in the research will be dealt with in confidential and professional manner. All results and findings will be kept in a secure location and were not passed on or used for any other purpose. All interviewees’’ information will be kept anonymous. The author will make sure his personal opinions and bias does not influence the research.

Appendix
Programme of Work
Research pre-phase (Estimated efforts: 3 weeks)
The author will find a suitable research question and secure a supervisor. After the finalization of a research question with a chosen supervisor, the author will contact informants in Nigeria and identify key people to interview. Milestone 1: Secure a supervisor and a research question.

Research plan and design (Estimated effort: 3 weeks)
The author will define a research approach and design. A conceptual frame work of the evaluation of findings will also be defined. All information gathered will be documented and a final deliverable will be completed, cross-checked and submitted. Milestone 2: Submit deliverable 1: Research proposal.

Prepare for data collection (Estimated efforts: 3 weeks) The author will contact the interviewees and make a date for interview. The interview guide and ethical approval form will be prepared. The participation information sheet will be prepared and pilot testing will be conducted for the interview guide. Milestone 3: Pilot testing of interview

Data Collection (Estimated effort: 4 weeks)
The author will hand in participant information to individuals involved in this research. Interviews will be conducted. All necessary documents relevant to this study in the bank will be collected and consolidated. Milestone 4: Interviews will be conducted.

Analysis and evaluation of findings (Evaluated effort: 3 weeks) All data collected from interviews will be analysed by the author to make sure data investigated are well understood and interpreted. All the analysed and evaluated findings will be consolidated. Milestone 5: Collate all analysis and evaluated findings.

Complete Report (Estimated effort: 4 weeks)
The work will be rounded up and conclusions will be written. Possible suggestions for further research will be made; data will be critically evaluated and proof read. Milestone 6: Submission of final report.

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