E-banking (Online Banking) and Its role in Today’s Society
The world is changing at a staggering rate and technology is considered to be the key driver for these changes around us (Papers4you.com, 2006). An analysis of technology and its uses show that it has permeated in almost every aspect of our life. According to Tero et al (2004) many activities are handled electronically due the acceptance of information technology at home as well as at workplace. Internet can be seen as a truly global phenomenon that has made time and distance irrelevant to many transactions. According to Heikki et al. (2002), the transformation from the traditional banking towards e-banking has been a ‘leap’ change.
The evolution of electronic banking started from the use of automatic teller machines (ATM) and has passed through telephone banking, direct bill payment, electronic fund transfer and the revolutionary online banking (Alter, 2002). The future of electronic banking according to some is the acceptance of WAP enabled banking and interactive-TV banking (Petrus & Nelson, 2006). But it has been forecasted that among all the categories, online banking is the future of electronic financial transactions. The rise in the e-commerce and the use of internet in its facilitation along with the enhanced online security of transactions and sensitive information has been the core reasons for the penetration of online banking in everyday life (Papers4you.com, 2006). According to the latest official figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS, 2006) indicate that subscriptions to the internet has grown more than 50% from 15 million in 2000 to 35 million in 2005 in the UK. It has also been estimated that 60% of the population in the UK use internet in their daily lives.
The fundamental shift towards the involvement of the customer in the financial service provision with the help of technology especially internet has helped in reduce costs of financial institutions as well as helped client to use the service at anytime and from virtually anywhere with access to an internet connection. According to theorists (Walfried et al., 2005) customer evaluation of the electronic services is influenced by attributions of success and failure in inter personal service situations. The use of electronic banking has removed the banking personnel that facilitate the transactions and has placed additional responsibilities on the customers to transact with the service. Although the use of E-banking is provided for the benefit of the customers but these changes require increased work or involvement on the part of customers. These and other factors might be seen as lesser service provided in terms of customer service. But these assumptions would be wrong if the customer knows the value of using the electronic service.
Thus it can be concluded that a fit between task i.e. the banking; technology i.e. the user interface and its reliability; and individuals i.e. the customers and their knowledge about using the service, is the key to successful E-banking services (Zigurs & Buckland, 1998).