Evaluation of the strategic use of information technology in the rural banking sector in Ghana (a case study of Nwabiagya Rural Bank)

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This study uses a case study approach to evaluate the strategic use of Information Technology in the rural banking sector in Ghana. The study covers a scope of nine years, from 1997 - 2005. That is, three years before the bank deployed ICT into its operations, the year of deployment and five years after the deployment. A combination of probability and non-probability sampling techniques were applied in selecting a total of 180 same respondents made up of 8 management staff of the bank, 48 other members of staff of the bank and 124 customers for the study. The analysis revealed that rural banks in Ghana lack the desired innovative technologies to support their operations and to survive the current competitive wave in the banking industry in the country. However, these banks especially the case study bank was able to strategically employ the very limited technologies that it has in place to gain some advantages in the sector. This it did by using the ICT tools of the bank to shorten customers waiting time, cut down, on its operating costs, provide convenient banking services to its customers and attracts a large customer base thereby increasing its sales volume and experience sharp increases in its profit level since the deployment of ICT into its systems. Two major factors were found to be militating against the accelerated deployment of innovative technologies in the sector namely: lack of funds and a restrictive ICT policy by supervisory bodies like the Bank of Ghana and the ARB Apex Bank. The study concludes that, ICT has a strong positive impact on the banks operations and therefore serves as a tool to attain competitive advantage in the banking industry.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Philosophy in Business Information Technology, 2008