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The world continues to witness rapid technological changes which directly impacted positively on global economy. The technological change corresponding had impact on our operating environments. The forces of globalization have continues to advance. While competition in banking industries across the world grows more intense by the day. Nigeria’s banking industry has not been spared from the growing competition. Banks now have continued quest to open up and develop more markets, and the on-going conversion of some merchant banking operations to commercial banking operations. Unlike yesteryears, banking is no longer localized. This is because the whole world has become a global village due to many factors.
Perhaps the most prominent of them all is the triumph of free market economic policy adopted by many nations of the world over the controlled economy.
Many nations are removing barriers in international business relationship thereby bringing the whole business communities together and closer.
Another important factor is the development of information technology that facilitates international business, by this bank customers become more informed and very sophisticated in their demand for banking services.
These growing competitive pressures among bank made it increasing necessary for Nigerian banks to diversify their income base through increased efficiency as well as seek to grow their volume of business to which the adoption of global outlook and strategy becomes key imperative. It is therefore easily understood that now is the time to examine globalization as it affects the Nigeria banks. Access to technological is a significant improvement that has been recorded in the use and deployment of technology in the banking industry over the last decades.
The rate at which information technology is being developed in the world is astronomical.
Technology is changing fast and things are happening. It is a fact that Nigeria is seriously lacking behind if the level of infrastructure in this country is carefully considered.
We would achieve nothing and remain far behind the others if drastic decisive and highly profitable economic measures are not taken immediately. That is why we support the advocate of the privatization of NITEL and NEPA. Most banks are still for from implementing technology based strategies able to see them through competition in banking market is most other countries. If Nigeria banks therefore, consciously set their minds on a global strategy. It would then be possible for them to purpose a technology strategy that enables then to offer a wider and more competitive range of services in other countries.
Commitment and ability to deliver quality services is a major improvement in services delivery that has been recorded in the banking industry.
Quality service delivery requires a strong commitment on the part of any bank that intend to achieve, its commitment is however, not enough, the ability to deliver is just as important.
Many factors determine the ability to deliver, key among which are the financial resources base and access to technology. The existence of the physical infrastructure is also critical. What should therefore have leveraged banks efforts served more cost to their operations. Efforts must be made to achieve significant improvement in infrastructure in the local environment.
This would enable banks to perfect their technology and product offerings here at home before seeking to export to other markets.
It will also enhance price competitiveness when fully developed and functional. It will reduce the cost of production thereby attracting capital in flows. And it will surely bring to the market better/improved system of banking operations better work culture by employees and consequently better quality of end products.
Information technology is a general expression covering computers, telecommunication and electronics voice communication, data processing and transfer other electronic gadgets are some components of information technology as the technology, which supports activities involving the creation, storage, manipulation and communication of information together with their related method, management and application. Therefore, information technology may be seen as the broadly technology need to support information systems.
The advent of electronic teller system, electronic fund transfer through internet, DIALUP system, Email, computer machine and On-line Network has enable customers to conduct transactions with minimal contact with bank personnel, through the use of internet. Technology multiplies the output of a single worker. It leads increase efficiency of production and helps to reduced real prices. Effective service excellence is what most customers of bank now want.
Today’s discerning bank customers expect to cash his cheque from any branch of his bank, which can only be effective if the banks achieve on On-line network connection of their branches. Customers that own personal computers now demand home banking service where they can make inquiries on their account and produce their statement of account through the use of Dialup.
To cope with such challenges, Nigeria commercial banks need more sophisticated automation system. The study explores the factors leading to failure of Nigerian to fully adoption of information technology and propose the means to a more effective utilization of technology in the packaging and delivery of customer’s services.
1.2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND – UBA PLC
The United Bank for African Plc (UBA) was established in October 1961 as a result of the conversion of the existing British and French bank into a Nigeria Bank.
The British and French Bank was first established in Nigeria in 1949 at the time of transformation in 1961, the bank had eleven branches.
Initially, the bank had an authorized and paid-up capital of four million naira (N4m) and was owned by foreign banks, one each from France, United State of America, Netherlands and two from Italy. UBA Plc is the first bank in Nigeria to operate mobile banking services. These services were introduced to Lagos, Ibadan and Benin only.
The bank has been growing rapidly since inception in 1961. Its commercial income grew from 454,000 in 1962 at almost 4,000,000 in 1970 growing about nine times within nine years and to 2 billion in 1988.
1970, was landmark in the history of UBA Plc, when it became the first indigenous bank in Nigeria to issue shares to Nigerian public, the issue of 500,000 ordinary shares of 1.00 per unit was over subscribed five time. The multi-storey head office building along broad street in Lagos was inaugurated in 1971. In 1973, 37.87% of UBA shares was acquired by the then federal military government and five directors were appointed to service on the board.
UBA is one of the big banks in the country that have implemented inter-branch connectivity through their wide area network thereby enabling customers to do banking transactions at branches other than where their account are domiciled.
Today, UBA Plc is one of the three leading commercial bank in the country with over 200 branches spread over the country and New York branch.
During the financial year ended 30th March, 200, UBA Plc made over 3 billion naira before tax profit and also declared a bonus shares issued for all its shareholders. The 20 storey building of UBA Plc head offices comprises of over twenty five divisions each headed by an Assistant General Management who in turn report to an executive director.
1. Fund transfer Department
2. Customer Service Department
3. Cash Department
4. Administration Department
The operation in branch banking is headed by branch manager who directs all the activities in the branch. These are various account being opened for customers in UBA Plc such as;
1. Savings account
2. Current account
3. Deposit account
4. Loan account
Presently, UBA Plc has over 4,500 employees having different status.
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is growing inability of Nigeria banks to fully adopt information technology in the packaging and delivery of banking services. Although, most banks in this country claim to have computerized their operation, it is mostly in the area of automation of simple clerical procedures of balancing their ledger, deposit account, treasury and personnel.
There is a general belief that computerization is values a high cost which will reduce drastically the banks profit that should have accrued to the banks. The problem therefore is to find out if information technology has played a more positive role in the banking industry by improving performance, reducing cost of operation and in effect, increase profitability ration or not.
This problem is major constraints on the internal growth of banks, and the nation’s economic development, without more advanced banking technology Nigerian banks can hardly be an instrument for mobilizing foreign capital. In spite of the natural attraction for banks in general to emerging information technology, some banks executive were worried that they were not getting their money’s worth from their investment in information technology.
However, according to a recent study in Europe by Anderson Consulting and Pinis Europe Ltd (1994) those companies that manage and direct their investment properly realize significantly higher level of productivity and quick from their technology investment.
This improved productivity and quality in turn lead to higher profitability and shareholders values.
Generally, it is to assess the impact of technology advancement on the service delivery of those commercial bank that have embraced information technology in all its ramification. The foreseen loss in market share of our banks that do not embrace information technology will be inimical to the economic growth of the country occasioned the need for this study.
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of full utilization of technology advancement in the service delivery of Nigerian commercial banks with emphasis on UBA Plc. Identify the problems being encountered and suggest solutions to the problems to achieve this, it will necessary to review the concept of technological advancement, in modern banking and to establish the extent of application.
The challenges of problem experienced by banks in their pursuit for technological excellence will be fully analyzed and solution proffered, the relationship between technology and service delivery ability of banks will also be explored. It is believed that this study will not only contribute to the body of literature in this field, but will also be of practical assistance to both the computerizing and non-computerizing of banks in Nigeria.
The study will also find out how technology has affected the profitability of UBA Plc and problems associated with technology and analyze ways to overcome them.
1.5 SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
As the business environment become more competitive, there is a need to examine the factors that makes some banks more effective than others and their sources of their strategic advantage in the industry.
From practical perspective, this study will enable corporate organization including banks, policy makers and government to determine to what degree, full adoption of technology, affects the banking services.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
(a) What is the correlation between technological advancement or information technology and services delivery of UBA Plc?
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