Electronic banking have long been recognized to play an important role in economic development on the basis of their ability to create liquidity in the economy through financial intermediation between savers and borrowers. It also offers financial services and products that accelerate settlement of transactions and in the process reduce cash intensity in the financial system, encourage banking culture, and catalyses economic growth.
However, for the effective functioning of the financial system, the payment systems must be safe and efficient; otherwise they can be a channel for the transmission of disturbances from one part of the economy or financial system to others. This is why central bank have been active in promoting sound and efficient payments system and in seeking the means to reduce risks associated with the system.
Nigeria historically operated a cash-driven economy particularly in the consumer sector, however the system has witnessed improvements over the years, and particular in recent times has moved from its rudimentary level of the early years of banking business to the current state of sophistication comparable to other economies at the same level of development.
One important reason for financial liberalization and deregulation is the need to develop a good payment system which promotes an appropriate mechanism for efficiency in mobilizing and allocating financial resources in the economy. The payment system occupies an important place in the development of a country economy, infact the level of development of a countries payment system is a reflection of the state or condition of the countries economy.
Nigeria payment system is paper-based and this accounts for the high level of cash in the economy (cash outside bank), the concept “payment system” has different meanings among writers the definition range from a more simple to a more complex definition.
According to Report on the survey of developments in the e-payments and services products of banks and other financial institutions in Nigeria payment system is defined as a system which consists of net works which link members, the switches for routing message and rules and procedures for the use of its infrastructure.
According to Anyanwaokoro M. (1999), in theory and policy of money and banking, payment system is defined as a system where settlement of financial obligations are done by the use of credit cards or even pressing some bottoms that transfer the amount in their bank to the account of another person through the computer.
According to element of banking by Orjih, J. (1999), payment system is defined as a which consists of different methods of payments which are cheques, credit cards, Bankers drafts, standing order, documentary credits swift etc for the settlement of transactions.
2.2 ELECTRONIC BANKING
It is a fact that today a good number of banks cannot use their IT (information technology) infrastructure to adequately deal with their immediate information requirements. Do such banks qualify to be called e-banks?
E-banking is about using the infrastructure of the digital age to create opportunities both local and global. E-banking enables the dramatic covering of transaction cost and the creation of new types of banking opportunities that address the barriers of time and distance. Banking opportunities are local global and immediate in E-banking
The benefit of electronic banking comprises a broad range of functions which includes;
Electronic mail (email) improves communication between individuals, external parties and between banks. The availability of online information provides bankers and customers with a powerful vehicle for research, banks can provide information and services on line, which customer can pay for and receive. Banking processes are made more efficient and cost effective by integrating other aspects of banking operations such as treasure management and financial control.
If banking functions does not require physical interaction it may drive the benefits of electronic banking.
WHERE SHOULD THE REAL E-BANKING BE?
First of all the bank must fully understand and appreciate the fact that the banking industry now exist, in a global village. It must therefore strive to provide local and global banking services using the infrastructure of the global village. Most current E-banking applications use the internet, the advantages of on line banking are in providing convenience and flexibility for customers, lets take a look at some.
Online banking allows customers to get current account balances at any time. Customers do not need to wonder whether a check of has cleared or a deposite has been posted at the click of a button, customers can easily check the status of their current savings and money-market accounts through online banking. Banks can provider immediate account enquires or statements online for customers.
Online banking gives the ability to pay bills electronically, customers can also download account transactions on line, it should be easy to import the transactions directly into typical PC programs at home or office, the transfer of money between accounts is another powerful application of online banking, online banking provides flexibility by allowing the customer to assess his finances from any part of the globe.
Most of the applications mentioned involved the use of internet, the internet is the infrastructure for the current age, but hold it? E-banking is more than just internet banking in the still evolving e-climate in the economy, it involves using the net to exploit new opportunities by transforming products and markets and business processes.
E-banking also means developing new relationship with customers, regulatory authorities’, suppliers and banking partners with digital age tools, for example, it requires all understanding. Customer/bank relationships will be more personalized resulting in novel modes of transaction processing and services delivery.
E-banking is essentially about banks using new age methods and tools to expand into new banking markets and grow. Creating a corporate online presence for your bank should be more than just buildings a website. It should be about building a web business for your bank, to do this effectively the people in charge, i.e. the CEOs not just IT directors and managers must have a deep knowledge of what E-banking culture demands.