EXTENT OF FACILITATION OF COMMERCIAL BANKING OPERATIONS BY COMPUTER-BASED OFFICE TECHNOLOGIES IN EKITI STATE
The study was carried out to determine the extent of facilitation of commercial banking operations by computer-based office technologies in Ekiti State. Six research questions and five null hypotheses were developed and answered in line with what the study sought to find out. The study employed survey research design for data gathering through the use of a structured questionnaire. The population for the study was 300 bank employees made up of 90 commercial bank accountants and 210 commercial bank supervisors in the three senatorial districts. Due to manageable size of the population, the entire number of the bank employees were involved. Therefore, there was no sampling. A sixty structured banking operations questionnaire item was developed from the reviewed literature and used for data collection. Three experts validated the instrument. To obtain the reliability coefficients of the instrument, split-half technique and Cronbach Alpha method were employed; a Cronbach Alpha coefficient of 0.85 was obtained. The data collected were analyzed using frequency, mean and standard deviation to answer the research questions while t-test hypothesis was used for testing the null hypotheses. The findings of the study revealed that the computer-based office technologies have facilitated the commercial banking operations to a large extent in: current account, savings account, deposits and withdrawal, cheque clearing, credit facility and interbank in Ekiti State commercial banks. The findings of the t-test analysis on the five null hypotheses tested (summarily) showed that there were no significant differences in the mean ratings of the responses of the accountants and supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated commercial banking operations in current account, deposits and withdrawals, cheque clearing, credit facility and interbank operations in commercial banks in Ekiti State. Based on the findings, the study recommended that commercial banks should employ computer-based experts or specialists to handle most of the complex networking problems of internet connectivity in order to solve the frequent network failures and service delays; that professional development of commercial banks employees(accountants, managers and supervisors) must be a continuous process; that opportunity should be given to the employees of commercial banks by the management to upgrade their computer-based office technology skills through in-service training to enhance their versatility, efficiency and productivity and that the commercial banks in Ekiti State should come together to establish bankers‟ training school. Candidates sent to the school from time to time to acquire required training and retraining for the accountants and supervisors. This, if implemented, will provide the trained manpower to the commercial banks in the State.
Background of the Study Computer is an electronic machine that manipulates data in accordance with a predefined sequence of instructions. The computer is capable of manipulating data to produce the desired result due to the component parts. The components includes: input unit – for data entry, the processing unit – for data execution within a nanosecond (high speed), the memory unit – for large data/record storage and the output unit – for retrieving of information. Computer has better performance over normal office equipment like fax machine, typewriter, telephone and others. Therefore, the present adoption of computer into all facets of human endeavours such, as manufacturing industries, education, health care, banks and others is inevitable which now increase efficiency and productivity. This computer adoption is referred to as computer-based office technologies. Computer-based office technologies are the modern handling of information by electronic means which involves its access, storage, processing, transportation or transfer and delivery. The computer-based office technologies have transformed many of the offices from paper and cabinets to digitized and efficient information dissemination offices which the banking industry has also embraced. Computer-based office technologies have numerous forms of applicative tools in different human facets. Computerbased office technologies in commercial banking operations will be restricted to the following applicative forms or aspects in the context of this study. These includes: Microcomputers, Automatic Teller Machine, Automatic Clearing House System, Online Processing System and Branch-networking System. According to Osuala (2001), a bank is a financial institution authorized by it‟s charter to perform certain functions. It collects surplus funds from the general public; safe guards them and makes them available to the true owner when required or loan out the fund at interest to those who need them. Similarly, a commercial bank is a privately owned bank that provides a wide range of financial services/operations also, both to the general public and firms. The principal financial services include operating: cheques, current account, savings account, receiving deposits, taking in and paying out notes and coin and making loans (Perry,2000). Commercial banks in Ekiti State have been using the computer-based office technologies and other electronic machine to aid the series of their operations in order to cope with the demands of the numerous customers. But to what extent has these modern technologies (computer-based office technology) make better the commercial bank operations in Ekiti State. Akinlolu (2007), pointed out that, commercial banks are still being faced with lot of challenges of these computer-based office technologies. Such challenges include: failure of machine, wasting of customer‟s time, long queue, fraud, wrong data records, misappropriation of statement of account, lack of customer-to-bankers banking relationship, uncleared cheques, network failures, very slow service rate and others. Therefore, the perceptions of the bankers on this issue need to be verified especially, by the accountants and the supervisors. Perception is the way an individual understands a particular phenomenon or situation. Therefore, the way the accountant; who is a person charged with the responsibilities of collating, recording and communicating of financial information and the preparation of analysis for decision-making purposes in the bank, will be different from the way the supervisor understands the phenomenon. A supervisor is a bank worker charged with the responsibilities of overseeing the totality of the bank both the human and operational services. Both the accountants and the supervisors understand the extent of facilitation of computer-based office technologies on the commercial bank operations in different ways. Such bank operations include: current account operations, savings account operations, deposits and withdrawal operations, cheque clearing operations, credit facility and inter-bank operations. Current account is an account operated by either a businessman or civil servant. Current account is an account where capital and regular deposit are made by the business associates and the employer. According to John and Alan (2002), current account is an active account in which deposits can be paid and withdrawal can be made in full through cheques. The bank issues cheque books and supplies regular statements, listing all transactions and the current balance to the individuals (depositors) operating such bank account. Similarly, savings account is a personal or deposit account. Any individual can operate such account either employed or unemployed. Savings accounts pay interest to the depositor, but have no specific maturity date on which the funds need to be withdrawn from a savings account up to the amount deposited. Therefore, the use of computer-based office technologies (microcomputers) in handling the current and savings account operations will reduce the use of sheets and ledger-checking and cross-checking before attending to customers. Delanda (2002), opined that computer-based office technologies (microcomputers) have facilitated the operations in current account and savings account such as checking of current balance, calculation of money paid in and preparation of statement of account, customer‟s personal data records and others. Deposits and withdrawals (credits and debts) operations are made on current and savings accounts but such as: cheque and teller clearing, checking of balance, paying and withdrawing the appropriate amount of money. According to Tilton (1996), deposit and withdrawal operations are the deposits and retrieving of money or other operations performed by the account depositors at any required time. The depositors operating one bank account or the other have access to make payment or withdraw from their account. In aiding these operations, Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) has been adopted to enable the depositor make payment and withdrawal electronically. The ATM works using magnetic plastic card. Each card has a personal identification number (PIN) that makes depositor have access to their account during any transactions. The PIN is a secret banking code known to the customer only. With this PIN transactions can be made on their account. Clearing operations involve cheque clearing, paying and accepting funds, presentation and exchanging of bank instruments. United Bank of Africa (UBA) (2007) explained a clearing system as a process by which commercial banks accept clearing documents/instruments from their customers (depositors) and present such instruments on the banks they are drawn upon on collection basis through the Bankers Clearing House. Automatic Clearing System which includes: magnetic ink character recognition, Pre-encode, post-encode, reader-sorter and others, have been adopted to facilitate the clearing system operations. According to Tilton (1996), credit facilities are the bank loans. The bank sells money by granting loans and charging interest on the borrowed fund. Most bank loans are secured with collaterals – depositor‟s assets which are not redeemable until the loan is settled on installment as agreed upon when the loan is contracted. Bank loans are the lending facilities available to the bank depositors such as overdraft, temporary overdrafts, Drawing Against Uncleared Effect (DAUE) and consumer loans, term loans, lease and others. On-line computer process, credit cards, cheques guarantee cards, among others are the computer-based technology facilities available in aiding the credit facilities in the commercial bank. Similarly, interbank operations are dealings in banking activities such as excess cash flow transfer, cheque payment loans and others, either within the immediate bank or with other bank branches. Branch-networkings have facilitated the inter-banking operations. Branchnetworking is an on-line system that links branches of the same bank together and other banks as long as those other banks are transacting on-line system. Aladesulu (2005) explained further that branch-networking is the process where all the bank branches computer systems and other peripherals are linked together through a Local Area Network (LAN) and with digital data communication system. LAN(s) are also bridged across a Wide Area Network (WAN), thus allowing high performance branch to branch, branch to other banks and branch to head office communications. This is turning the commercial banks to global service system. There is need, therefore, to find out the differences in the perceptions of the accountants and supervisors on the extent to which computer-based office technologies have facilitated the commercial banking operations in Ekiti State.Statement of the Problem Commercial banks in Ekiti State have adopted the use of computer-based office technology in most of the areas of the bank services/operations. Despite the adoption of computer-based technology, commercial banks in Ekiti state are still faced with challenges in some of their banking operations. Furthermore, the computerization of the banking operations ought to provide some level of satisfaction to the customer. According to Akinlolu (2007) customer ought to benefit some level of computer-based office technologies. Such customer‟s satisfactions include: easy access to current and saving account, instant access to loan facilities, less delay to clearing cheques, timely and prompt withdrawal of money and others. He lamented that such customer‟s satisfaction is not yet attainable. The use of Automated Teller Machines and electronic home banking systems in handling deposits and withdrawal operations has increasingly allowed customers to bank outside of traditional bank facilities for most of their usual transactions. The Customer encounters some problems such as: failure of machine, wasting of customer‟s time, long queue, fraud, wrong data records, misappropriation of statement of account, lack of customer-to bankers banking relationships and others. Persistence of aforementioned customer‟s non-satisfaction and unresolved banking operation problems may lead to mistrust and total failure of this adopted computer-based office technologies in commercial bank‟s operations especially in Ekiti State. There is need to determine the extent computer-based office technologies have assisted in facilitating those banking operations as perceived by the accountants and supervisors in commercial banks in Ekiti State.
Purpose of the Study The major purpose of this study is to determine the extent of facilitation of commercial banking operations by computer-based office technologies in Ekiti state as perceived by accountants and supervisors. Specifically, the study is to: (1) determine the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated current account operations in the commercial banks. (2) ascertain the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated savings account operations in the commercial banks. (3) determine the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated deposits and withdrawal operations in the commercial banks. (4) determine the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated the cheque clearing operations in the commercial banks. (5) ascertain the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated the credit facility operations in the commercial banks. (6) determine the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated the interbank operations in the commercial banks.
Research Questions The study will answer the following research questions: (1) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated current account operations in commercial banks? (2) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated savings account operations in commercial banks? (3) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated deposit and withdrawal operations in commercial banks? (4) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated cheque clearing operations in commercial banks? (5) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated credit facility operations in commercial banks? (6) To what extent have computer-based office technologies facilitated the interbank operations in commercial banks? Hypotheses The following null hypotheses will be tested at 0.05 level of significance. H01: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated Current Account Operations of the Commercial Banks. H02: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated deposit and withdrawal operations of the Commercial Banks. H03: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated Credit Facilities Operations of the Commercial Banks. H04: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated cheque clearing operations in Commercial Banks.H05: There is no significant difference between the Mean responses of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent computer-based office technologies have facilitated the interbank operations of the Commercial Banks.
Significance of the Study The findings of the study would be beneficial to the bankers in Ekiti State in terms of assessing and improvement of banking programmes and working in a relaxed environment. The customers would benefit in terms of speedy and efficient customer service delivery channels. The management would benefit in terms of efficiency and reduction of fraudulent practices. Banking and computer education students would also benefit in terms of knowledge of importance and application of computer-based office technologies on banking operations. The commercial banks in Ekiti State which are yet to adopt fully the computer-based office technologies office technologies into their operations, would benefit from the findings of this study by exposing them to the benefits derived thereof. They would see the need to hasten up in the application and utilization of the computer-based office technologies into their operations. The findings of this study would be useful for the ministry of commerce and industries. The ministry of commerce and industries would see the need to integrate computer-based office technologies into their operations. The Ministry of Education would also benefit from this study. This is because the need for integrating the study of computer-based office technologies into the school syllabi would be obvious. The general public would also benefit, especially those who have been victims of inefficiency and frustration in the commercial banking sector. The general public would develop better relationships with the commercial banks in the State. The industries would benefit by producing appropriate computer-based office equipment to improve the technologies. The whole country would benefit by moving in line with the modern office operations in the other parts of the whole world – that is dancing to the tune of globalization. The result of this study would also serve as a technological model for further research.
Delimitation of the Study The study will be delimited to the perception of Accountants and Supervisors on the extent of computer-based office technologies in all the branches of commercial banks in Ekiti State as it enhanced and facilitates the banking operations. The study is also delimited to the commercial banking operations in current account, savings account, deposit and withdrawal, cheque clearing, credit facility and interbank operations. The Administrative and Secretary operations are not included in this study due to space and time. The computer-based office technologies for this study include: microcomputers, Automatic Teller Machnie, Automatic Clearing House System,