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Tips On Improving Use Of Computer And Ict In Nigerian Banking Sector - Computers - Nairaland

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Tips On Improving Use Of Computer And Ict In Nigerian Banking Sector by VicJoh(m): 7:48am On Apr 06, 2015
Over the years, I’ve observed the steady growth of the deployment of ICT equipment and ICT services in the Nigerian banking sector. This, has grown banking operations beyond the expectations of bank customers, has brought much ease to banking operations and has provided more opportunities to business. Despite the gains so far, there is however the need for more deployment of ICT equipment and services in the banking sector and the need to also better some of the services already available. Some areas where such improvements are needed are highlighted below.

1. More computer systems in banks
All banks in Nigeria today make use of computer systems for their operations. This has brought much benefit to banking operations and has greatly reduced stress that used to be involved (especially for customers) in banking. One obvious benefit of computer systems in banks is centralization of customer database. This has made banking seamless; as customers can now do transactions on their bank accounts from any location (with a bank branch) in Nigeria.

Most visible areas of the use of computer systems in banks are cash deposit and withdrawal terminals. It can be seen that despite the reduction of time it takes customers to do bank transactions (due to the use of computer systems), there is the need to deploy more computer systems (and consequently staff) in many bank branches. Growing population in the country is a sure pointer to this fact. Increasing the number of computer systems for banking operations would increase the number of terminals for deposit/withdrawal, catering to more customers at a time; thereby reducing transaction time and increasing efficiency in banking.

2. Point of Sale (POS) service
Point of Sale (POS) service is a payment method where a machine (POS machine) is used to make payment (at point of making purchase) using Automated Teller Machine (ATM) card. When payment is made it goes directly as a deposit into the account of the business where the payment is made. POS is a very convenient solution for cashless economy and business transactions. POS can be used virtually in all business environments to make payments.

Before POS can be used a business must, firstly have an account with a bank and secondly seek POS service with the bank (agreeing to terms and conditions of the use of POS in the business.) Basically the business would have to pay certain charges to the bank for the use of the service. This is one way banks generate revenue.

Two obvious benefits, among many other benefits, of using POS are:
a. It eliminates the need for business owners to go to banks every now and then to make cash deposits.
b. It is convenient for buyers/clients because they also don’t need to go to banks/ATMs to withdraw money.

Although there are businesses in Nigeria today where use of POS can be seen, the deployment of POS is rather very low. If in Nigeria today, every restaurant, every grocery store, every boutique, every fuel station, every bus station, etc make use of POS services, the need to carry cash, and consequently the need to withdraw cash from ATMs and in banks, will hugely be reduced. This will further widen the penetration of computer technology into the banking sector in Nigeria.

To achieve such desired penetration of POS, banks need to come up with very favourable terms and conditions for business owners, especially micro, small and medium scale businesses. The charges for using POS service should be reduced considerably to favour them. This would provide better business solution to them and make them grow.

3. Automated Teller Machine (ATM) service
The use of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) has no doubt been a game changer in the banking industry in Nigeria. Furthermore the wide range of services (particularly payments) on the ATM platform has increased the value and use of ATMs in Nigeria. Variety of services on ATMs include cash withdrawal, statement of account (mini-statement), fund transfer, bills payments, subscription payments and mobile phone recharging.

The efficiency of ATM in Nigeria can be improved by improving the efficiency of the network to make them more reliable and improve error handling on them. Improved network reliability reduces errors. Improved error handling ensures that errors are reported, responded to and resolved faster, to the satisfaction of customers.

Furthermore, cash deposit ATMs should be deployed to enable customers to deposit money without actually going into a bank. This would decongest banks to a considerable level.

4. Network reliability
One feature that occurs in virtually all banks and all bank branches, almost on weekly basis, is the issue of “no network”. This typically describes a situation where computer network connectivity is in a poor state such that services dependent on it cannot be performed at such a time. This could be for several technical reasons. Moreover network downtime is an issue for computer networks all over the world. However, the shorter and less the downtime, the more efficient and reliable a network would be.

For banks to have more reliable and efficient networks there’s the need to have up to three different network options. When the major network connectivity is experiencing downtime, backup up network “one” could be switched to quickly to ensure banking operations do not experience any stand still. If both the major network and backup “one” are down at the same time, then backup “two” would most probably be available for use.

5. Error handling
No human system has been proven to be perfect. Computer systems (together with networks) have not been without flaws. However, cases of error in banking operations are very critical. For instance, there are reported cases of errors on the use of ATMs. Example, there have been many complaints about ATMs not dispensing cash to customers despite deductions made from their accounts on the transaction they made. This is especially at times when network downtime is experienced. When such is reported to banks, sometimes it takes several months for the issue to be resolved. To show how serious and recurring this problem is, banks have special forms (complaint form) to report cases like this.

Systems such as ATM should ALL be designed to work in a way that errors are logged and issues arising from such errors reported immediately and resolved within twenty-four (24) hours at most.

6. Online Banking
Online banking is a platform provided by banks on the internet where bank customers can carry out certain transactions such as fund transfer, make payments, check balance and so on. In some cases, such platforms are not robust enough and may be down some times due to technical issues. Banks should invest more in the maintenance and reliability of online banking. However, security of customers’ transactions must be guaranteed at all times. Online banking platform makes it possible for bank customers to carry out bank transactions from anywhere with internet connectivity in the world. It is also very convenient as customers can successfully carry out transactions in the comfort of their homes.

7. Banking Applications
Banks have started coming up with banking applications for their customers to carry out transactions on their accounts on the go. Such applications are targeted mostly at mobile platforms such as Apple iOS (i Operating System), BlackBerry OS and Android OS. The user-friendliness, reliability, efficiency and security of such banking applications must be ensured and maintained at all times.

Source: SecureWiseNG - http://securewiseng.:

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