Gone were the days when you used to take tallies in the banking hall before you could be attended to by the bank tellers. I remember vividly how I used to stay in an endless queue in my university days just to pay my schools fees.
As serious as the issue was then, you might not be able to determine whether it would get to your turn after a whole day in the banking hall. All these experiences were just like yesterday, and they had fast become a history. All these bitter experiences had vanished into thin air nowadays that we have a significant improvement in Information and Communication Technology(ICT). There had been several opposing points as to whether this area of human endeavour is a blessing or a curse. The few lines below will suffice if this is true or not.
Nowadays, most of the Banking operations can be performed within a twinkling of an eye from the comfort of your home or at the pressing of your phone without even entering the Banking hall using the USSD CODE. Although this might have its own challenges as there are many online scammers here and there as compared to those days, the points remain that you don’t need to curry the favour of the Bank staffs before you carry out a major transaction as it is now.
As I write, I cannot even remember when last I queue inside the banking hall to carry out any transaction. The fact also remains that the human interaction as far as bank transaction is concerned had been eliminated. There might be an issue of network problems where the money sent did not get to the destination accounts. The transactions are being reversed by some Banks immediately it occurs while for some other banks it takes a while.
Also, the ICT Sector has greatly promoted the cashless policy of the Federal Government. In those days, you would see big businessmen carrying millions of Naira around in sacks while trying to make a bulk purchase in their business transactions. This singular act exposed them to serious robbery attacks in their homes or on the highways, which led to the loss of lives frequently.
Embracing ICT in the Bank Sector has made business transactions easy and these men do not need to carry cash around anyhow again. As we speak, there are many bank customers that do not like carrying out online Banking transactions with their Banks until they get to their Banking hall, the time they will need the quick banking which ICT provides they won’t expect it. There is a very widespread belief that they are doing this for the fear of being scammed of their hard-earned money, but the benefits outweigh the flaws this system might bring.
COVID-19 has really impacted on the world economies, both great and small in no small measure. For the first time in recent history, Banks were giving out time-table on which branch will open and which branch will not. Some branches were even closed to their customers.
Salaries and other transactions were delayed as a result of these. Those people that can make payments without getting to the banking halls were the ones that embraced ICT in their Banking operations. There had been instances where unsolicited SMS were being sent to defraud the unsuspecting public but any customer that follows the guidelines provided by their Banks won’t fall victim of such acts.
The use of ICT in every field of human endeavour has opened a new vista on the rate of crime committed, despite this, the fourth industrial revolution will be driven by ICT as the experts had asserted. The NBS recently released its report, which shows the significant improvement on the contribution of ICT to the Nigerian economy. Whether ICT is a blessing or a curse will be determined by how we use it to our collective advantage.