This study sought to examine the status, challenges and prospects of e-banking amongst rural dwellers in southeastern Nigeria. The researchers amongst other things asked questions such as what is the current status of e-banking in rural areas in eastern Nigeria. What are the challenges bedeviling e-banking in rural areas in rural areas in Nigeria? The study is anchored on Technology Acceptance Model and Diffusion of Innovation theory. The researchers adopted the mixed method research design by combining survey and interview methods.The population of the study consists of the five states in southeast Nigeria with a total of 24,738,393 from which a sample size of 399 for the survey aspect of the study was derived using Taro Yaemeni. As for the qualitative aspect of the work, the sample size of 20 respondents was purposively arrived at. The interview guide and questionnaire were used by the researchers to elicit data from the rural dwellers in the selected communities. Findings of the study revealed that rural dwellers make use of e-banking apps and platforms. Findings also revealed that 75.1% of rural dwellers make use of Point of Sale (POS) platform for their financial transactions. Further analysis also revealed that 72.85 of the respondents are afraid of that, as there are fraudulent situations attached to e-transactions. The researchers concluded that rural e-banking is more than just an abstract concept as many banking tools are breaking the boundaries of literacy, space and time to reach virtually all rural areas in southeastern Nigeria.
E-banking can be considered an integral part of e-transaction activities that exist in the e-commerce world which can be said to have brought about tremendous growth in the financial world (Ayodele et al., 2008). Currently, e-commerce has virtually taken over the financial business world dominating the corridors of commerce with the use of mobile phones and other e-transaction tools such as Automatic Teller Machine (ATM), Point of Sale (POS),USSD, and so on (Donne & Tellez citied in Agenyi, 2013). With the introduction of e-transactions primarily the mobile banking apps (Agenyi, 2013), e-transactions seems to appear to be more affordable, accessible, and much more reliable with regards to banking services rendering in different countries, especially in a developing economy of a developing country and its rural areas (Waverman et al., 2005) with the aim of encouraging and fostering financial inclusion of all at all levels of the society.
What can be referred or rather regarded as one of man’s greatest invention of times and ages (Bartleby, 2020) that have and will continue to stand the test of time that is ‘world wide web’ (WWW) also known as the internet has over the years completely transformed and overhauled the day to day operations and activities of different sectors of a nation’s life; the business world not exempted (Bhanot et.al., 2005) which have become an indispensable part of human’s existence and daily living. It is therefore not wrong to say that a lot of positive investments have been fostered with regards to electronic banking and financial platforms serving as outlets in many developing countries and its economies (Chukwumah, 2017). E-banking in developing areas, with regards to this study (rural areas), cannot be over emphasised as ICT tools are becoming relatively cheaper, more customer friendly, accessible and on goes the list (Osatuyis & Andoh-Baidoo, 2009).
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