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M-Commerce Implementation in Nigeria: Trends and Issues

First Author's Name: Ayo, Charles K. PhD
First Author's Title/Affiliation: Head of Computer and Information Sciences Department of Covenant University, Ota, Ogun state, Nigeria, Africa.
Postal Address: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Author's Personal/Organizational Website: www.covenantuniversity.com
Email: ckayome@yahoo.com (please use to correspond with the authors) Brief Biographic Description: Charles, K. Ayo holds a B.Sc. M.Sc. and Ph.D degree in Computer Science. His research interests include: mobile computing, Internet programming, e-business and government, and object oriented design and development. He is a member of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), and Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN). A Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP), and a Cisco Certified Network Associates (CCNA). Dr. Ayo is a member of a number of international research bodies such as the Centre for Business Information, Organization and Process Management (BIOPoM), University of Westminister. http://www.wmin.ac.uk/wbs/page-744; the Review Committee of the European Conference on E-Government, http://www.academic-conferences.org/eceg/; and the Editorial Board, Journal of Information and communication Technology for Human Development.

Second Author's Name: Uyinomen O. Ekong (B.Sc, M.Sc.)
Second Author's Title/Affiliation: Lecturer, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria Postal Address: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Author's Personal/Organizational Website: www.covenantuniversity.com
Email: vekong1@yahoo.com
Brief Biographic Description: Uyinomen O. Ekong holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and M.Sc in Management Information Systems (MIS). She is currently a Ph.D student of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota. Her research interest include: Mobile computing, Internet programming, m-commerce and e-business and software engineering. She is a member of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Computer Professional Registration Council (CPN).

Third Author's Name: Fatudimu Ibukun Tolulope (B.Sc., M.Sc.)
Third Author's Title/Affiliation: Lecturer, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Postal Address: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Author's Personal/Organizational Website: www.covenantuniversity.com
Email: ibkfat@yahoo.co.uk
Brief Biographic Description: Fatudimu Ibukun Tolulope holds a B.Sc in Engineering Physics and M.Sc in Computer Science. She is currently a Ph.D student in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria. Her research interest is in the field of Data Mining.

Fourth Author's Name: Adebiyi Ayodele A. (B.Sc, MBA, M.Sc.)
Fourth Author's Title/Affiliation: Lecturer, Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Postal Address: Department of Computer and Information Sciences, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria
Author's Personal/Organizational Website: www.covenantuniversity.com
Email: ariyo_adebiyi@yahoo.com
Brief Biographic Description: Adebiyi Ayodele A. is a Ph.D student in Department of Computer and Information Sciences Covenant University, Nigeria. He holds B.Sc (Computer Science), M.Sc (Management Information System) and MBA. His current research interests are on data mining, requirement engineering and e-commerce technology. He is a member of the Nigerian Computer Society (NCS), and Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).

Visit for more related articles at Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce

Abstract

Nigeria was described as the fastest growing telecoms nation in Africa and the third in the World. The country had experienced a phenomenal growth from a teledensity of 0.49 in 2000 to 25.22 in 2007. This trend has brought about a monumental development in the major sectors of the economy, such as banking, telecoms and commerce in general. This paper presents the level of adoption of ICT in the banking sector and investigates the prospects of m-Commerce in Nigeria based on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Findings revealed that all banks in Nigeria offer e-Banking services and about 52% of the offer some forms of m-Banking services. The banks and the telecoms operators have enormous potentials and opportunities for m-Commerce but the level of patronage, quality of cell phones, lack of basic infrastructure and security issues pose a major threat to its wide scale implementation.

Keywords

m-Commerce, e-Banking, m-Banking, m-Business, m-Payment, e-Commerce and SWOT.

Introduction

m-Commerce is often referred to as mobile e-Commerce. It refers to all business transactions that are conducted on the platform of mobile devices and wireless networks. UNCTAD (2002) presents m-Commerce as buying and selling of goods and services using wireless hand-held devices.

Currently, there exists a number of wireless technologies and standards such as Bluetooth, 902.11, infrared, radio frequency identification (RFID) and contactless chips that offer transmission of transactions data from mobile devices to a POS terminal without swiping a card reader (m-Payment Forum, 2002). These have helped to offer seamless transactions as well as offering “anytime” and “anywhere” services.

m-Banking is equally referred to as mobile e-Banking. It is defined as the newest channel in electronic banking that provides a convenient way of performing banking transactions, which is also known as “pocket-banking”. Tiwari et al (2007), presents m-Banking as the provision and availment of banking and financial services with the help of mobile telecommunication devices.

The major distinction between the electronic and mobile business transaction prefixed as “e” and “m” is that the electronic medium offers “anytime access”, while mobile medium offers “anytime and anywhere access” to business processes respectively (Tiwari et al, 2006). While an electronic transaction is limited to computer networks that are stationary, mobile transactions refer to computer networks that may support both stationary and wireless connections. m-Commerce features are listed as ubiquity, immediacy, real-time, localization (localized contents using a global positioning system (GPS)), pro-active functionality (through SMS), and simple authentication procedure (based on a subscriber identification module (SIM) and personal identification number (PIN) (Buse, 2002).

The rest of the paper is arranged as follows: the first section begins with a survey of related literature and a review of e-Banking services in Nigeria; the second and third section presents the objectives of research and the research instruments respectively; the next section discusses the research findings. Finally, the conclusion of the paper is presented.

Survey of Related Literature

Chiemeke et al (2006) conducted an empirical investigation on adoption of Internet banking in Nigeria. The study identified the major inhibiting factors to Internet banking adoption in Nigeria such as, insecurity, inadequate operational facilities including telecommunications facilities and electricity supply, and made recommendations on how Nigeria banks can narrow the digital divide. Also, the report revealed that Internet banking is being offered at the basic level of interactivity with most of the banks having mainly information sites and providing little Internet transactional services.

Similarly, Agboola (2006) investigated electronic payment systems and tele-banking services in Nigeria. The findings revealed that there has been a very modest move away from cash. Payments are now being automated and absolute volumes of cash transactions have declined. The result of the study revealed that tele-banking is capable of broadening the customer relationship, retain customer’s loyalty and enable banks to gain commanding height of market share if their attendant problems such as, ineffectiveness of telecommunications services, epileptic supply of power, high cost, fear of fraudulent practices and lack of facilities necessary for their operation were taken care of.

Ayo (2006) investigated the prospects of e-Commerce in Nigeria based on ability, motivation and opportunities (AMO) model and observed that virtually all companies in Nigeria have online presence. The paper reported the motivation and opportunities for e-Commerce as low based on lack of e-Payment infrastructure and access to ICT facilities.

Also, in an empirical assessment of customer acceptance of m-Commerce carried out in Germany, and reported by Buse and Tieari (2006) as follows:

• The highest mobile users are top management, followed by self employed, salaried class, students and others. Government employees were found not to patronize mobile banking.

• The most favoured reason for carrying out mobile banking is ubiquity, next is overview of bank account, followed by immediacy.

• The highest fear of customers about mobile banking is that of insecurity, next is cost, and uncomfortability.

Review of e-Banking Services in Nigeria

Table 1 presents the current e-Banking services in Nigeria. Virtually all the 25 banks that survived the recent recapitalization exercise engage the use of ICT as a platform for effective and efficient delivery of banking services. Consequently, electronic cards, Internet banking and mobile banking services are gradually being introduced. However, m-Banking activities are limited to mobile finance information, download or ringing tones and music as well as telematic services, particularly, vehicle tracking, theft protection and emergency services.

icommercecentral-Services-Nigeria

Table 1: Electronic Banking Products and Services in Nigeria Source [web sites of all the banks]

Mobile Commerce Applications

Commercial applications that were hitherto offered on the electronic medium of business transaction are currently been deployed on the mobile platform. The monumental growth of mobile devices all over the world, with over one-third of the world population having access to it has given prominence to m-Commerce (Charles, et al, 2007).

Some mobile applications as presented in Tiwari et al (2006) are modified as follows:

1. Mobile Banking (m-Banking)

• Mobile Accounting

• Mobile Accounting

• Mobile Financial Information

2. Mobile Entertainment (m-Entertainment)

• Mobile Gaming

• Downloads (music and ring tones)

• Downloads (video and digital images)

• Location-based Entertainment Service

3. Mobile Information Services

• Current Affairs

• Travel Information

• Tracking Services

• Mobile Search Engines and Directives

• Mobile Offices

4. Mobile Marketing (m-Marketing)

• Mobile Couponing

• Direct Marketing

• Mobile Newsletters

• Organization of Mobile Events

5. Mobile Shopping (m-Shopping)

• Mobile Purchasing of goods

6. Mobile Ticketing (m-Ticketing)

• Public Transport

• Sport and Cultural Events

• Air and Rail Ticketing

• Mobile Parking

7. Mobile Health (m-Health)

• m-Diagnosis

• m-Prescription

• m-Referencing

• m-Appointment

8. Mobile Payment (m-Payment)

• m-Purse

• m-wallet

• Micro payment

• Macro payment

9. Telematics Services

• Remote Diagnosis and maintenance of Vehicles

• Navigation Services

• Vehicle Tracking and Theft Protection

• Emergency Services

Objectives of Research

The primary objectives of this research are to investigate the level of ICT adoption in the banking sector and the prospects of m-Commerce implementation in Nigeria based on the SWOT analysis

Research Instruments

The SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis presents a simple framework for generating strategic alternatives from situation analysis. It stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It is particularly well-suited for addressing complex strategic situations within a very limited time frame (NetMBA, 2006).

The situation analysis addressed by SWOT is categorized into two, namely: Internal and External Analyses. While strengths and weaknesses are classified as internal, opportunities and threats are classified as external. Therefore, through SWOT, organizations can leverage their strengths, correct their weaknesses, capitalize on golden opportunities and develop strategies to reduce potential threats (Mycoted, 2006).

Thus, under strength, we investigated: available services and level of access; and under weaknesses, we investigated: patronage of mobile and SMS banking as well as their features. Similarly, for external analysis, under opportunities, we considered: the available mobile phones and types, access to web services; and under threats, we consider: quality of service, available infrastructure and security.

Survey Tools

Two research tools were employed. The first is an exploratory research based on secondary data obtained through the Net. The available 25 banks in Nigeria were consulted through the Internet to peruse the available services and the available information is presented in table 1. Similarly, the sites of the three (3) major telecoms operators in Nigeria were consulted and our findings are presented in table 2.

icommercecentral-Gender-Age-Educational

Table 2: Gender, Age and Educational Background of Respondents

Secondly, Survey questionnaire was administered to empirically assess the level of adoption of m-Commerce in Nigeria. A total of six hundred (600) questionnaires were randomly administered to business men, bankers, academics, students, and the general public. Five hundred and seventy-six (576) were returned, which represents 96% of the total respondents. Pertinent questions such as availability of mobile phones and types, web access through the phones, safety issues and convenience of banking, patronage of mobile services as well as major threats to m-banking were asked. The collected data were analysed based on descriptive statistics using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS).

Analysis of Result

Discussion

60.1% of 576 respondents are male while 38% are female. 1.9% did not respond to this question on gender. Majority of the respondents were between ages 31 to 50 years, which represent 60.1% followed by ages 21 to 30years with 23.1% and just a few were above 50 years of age. Similarly, 77.6% of the respondents were first and higher degrees holders, while the rest holds lower degrees such as National Diploma or National Certificate of Education. The educational background of respondents revealed that the population for this research is well educated.

Analysis of Strengths

Discussion

m-Commerce services are predominantly a function of the available telecommunications facilities. In Nigeria, there are three major mobile telecoms operators, namely, MTN, Celtel and Globacom. The operations have a total subscription base of about 38 million. About 52% of the 25 banks offer mobile banking on the platform of Globacom (Table 1). Globacom is the only indigenous operator, the last of the three to commence operation and the most innovative in terms of coverage, services, QoS, and m-Commerce services. Currently, all the banks in Nigeria offer one form of e-Banking or the other, while about 52% of them offers m-Banking, which involves mobile Internet access, account information, and funds transfer. The newly introduced 3 G GSM network, which is expected to become operational soonest will boost the quality of mobile services

Analysis of Weaknesses

Discussion

Presently in Nigeria, the types of m-Commerce services available are m-Banking and SMS banking. Only 16% of the respondents rated m-Banking as low and higher, while 17.5% rated SMS banking as low and higher. The advantages of m-Banking were listed as ubiquitous, fast reaction in market development etc. The level of patronage is low and it requires concerted efforts of the telecoms operators and the finance institutions to fast-track the development of m-Banking services to serve the teaming populace

Analysis of Opportunities

Discussion

It is very encouraging to observe from table 5 that 94.8% of the respondents have mobile phones. The distribution of the phones is 89.8% cell phone, 3.0% smart phones, 1.4% PDA and 1.7% others. However, only 24.5% of them can access the web through the phones. It is obvious that some of the cell phones have wireless access protocol (WAP) facilities for Internet access.

icommercecentral-GSM-Operators

Table 3: Major GSM Operators in Nigeria

icommercecentral-Mobile-Banking-Patronage

Table 4: Mobile Banking Patronage and Features

icommercecentral-Mobile-Phones-Access

Table 5: Mobile Phones and Access to the Web

icommercecentral-Threats-m-Banking

Table 6: Threats to m-Banking

Therefore, the number of telecoms operators that offer mobile commerce services should increase for improved access, and there should be improved awareness programmes to increase the number of subscribed customers.

Analysis of Threats

Discussion

The major threats to m-Banking include security of transactions and unavailability of basic infrastructure. 38.2% of the respondents considered security as a major threat, while 4.3% and 5.4% considered complication of services and cost respectively as other factors. It was noted that the cost of mobile telephone service is higher in Nigeria than other Africa countries. However, the operators may not be considering a downward review of tariffs because of lack of basic infrastructure to support the services, particularly, electricity.

Conclusion

All the 25 banks in Nigeria engage the use of ICT as a platform for effective and efficient delivery of banking services such as: electronic payment cards, Internet banking and mobile banking services are gradually being introduced. However, m-Banking activities are limited to mobile finance information, download or ringing tones and music as well as telematic services, particularly, vehicle tracking, theft protection and emergency services.

The banks and the telecoms operators have the strengths to offer better qualities of electronic and mobile services to the teaming populace of about 140 million. Currently, about 52% of the banks offer one form of m-Banking or the other, but the weakness is the level of patronage and fewer services. The level of patronage is low and it requires concerted efforts of the telecoms operators and the finance institutions to fast-track the development of m-Banking services to the populace. It is expected that when the 3G network is operational, it will boost m-Commerce activities in Nigeria but may require further investment in the quality of cell phones.

However, there are enormous opportunities for m-Commerce implementation in Nigeria based on the rate of growth and the diffusion of mobile devices. There is prospect for patronage but may be dependent on the available services. The major threats to m-Commerce services include insecurity, high cost of services and unavailability of basic infrastructure such as electricity among others.

References

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