PROSPECTS AND CHALLENGES OF MOBILE BANKING TECHNOLOGY IN NIGERIA Mass …
Today, the advancement of mobile technologies has provided an opportunity for financial service providers in introducing new financial innovations. One of the emerging financial innovations introduced by financial providers is mobile banking or m-banking. This study evaluates the customer?s perspective of the adoption or introduction of m-banking in Nigeria. Questionnaires were administered to customers of banks to obtain their perspective on m-Banking. A sample of 100 students (customers) selected at random were employed for this study. The customer?s perception was found to be overwhelmingly positive. The most appreciated feature was ubiquity and the overview over bank account. Fast reaction to market developments often cited as one of the most attractive feature of mobile banking did not find high appreciation. Several factors including technical and security standards, regulatory and supervisory issues and business and legal issues were found to be the main factors that might hinder mobile banking implementation in Nigeria. Connectivity and secure communication platform and encrypted messaging system were found to be the factors that would enhance mobile banking implementation in Nigeria.
Technological developments particularly in the area of Telecommunication and Information Technology are revolutionizing the way business is done. Electronic Commerce is now thought to hold the promise of a new commercial revolution by offering an inexpensive and direct way to exchange information and to sell or buy products and services. This revolution in the market place has set in motion a revolution in the banking sector for the provision of a payment system that is compatible with the demands of the electronic marketplace (Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 2008).
In line with global trends, banking business in Nigeria too has been undergoing tremendous changes Since independence in 1957. The first step in the evolutionary process was the gradual deregulation of the financial sector, which commenced in the 1989. Then, in the 1990s the introduction of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) was considered as the first and most visible piece of evidence of the emerging electronic banking in Nigeria (Abor, 2008). This was then followed by the introduction of Telebanking, PC-banking and Internet-banking. The next imminent step in this evolutionary process inevitably appears to be mobile banking (M- banking). The use of a mobile phone to conduct payment and banking transactions (M- banking) is at an early stage in a number of developing countries. Because mobile banking uses the existing rapidly expanding mobile phone infrastructure, it has the potential to be deployed rapidly and affordably to expand access to financial services among
unbanked people. Access to financial services is one of the necessary ingredients to fight poverty (Otabil, 2008). Poverty alleviation is at the heart of most donor-supported programmes in Africa, and improving banking services through technology-driven initiatives could be part of pro-poor policies necessary to change the plight of the poor. A study by Bankable Frontier Associates (2006) has identified mobile banking as critical to poverty alleviation in developing countries.
In Asian countries like China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines, where mobile infrastructure is comparatively better than the fixed-line infrastructure, and in European countries, where mobile phone penetration is very high (at least 80% of the consumers use a mobile phone), mobile banking is likely to appeal even more (Wikipedia, 2008). This opens up huge markets for financial institutions interested in offering value added services. With mobile technology, banks can offer a wide range of services to their customers such as doing funds transfer while traveling, receiving online updates of stock price or even performing stock trading while stucked in traffic. According to the German mobile operator Mobilcom, mobile banking will be the “killer application “ for the next generation of mobile technology (Wikipedia, 2008).