Role of internet banking in enhancing cross border business in East Africa
East Africa Community provides a large platform for multinational corporations, with the midyear population projection in the EAC region estimated at 133.1 million persons in June 2010, representing a 2.8 percent growth from 129.5 million projected in June the previous year. Kenyan Banks have been in the forefront of taking advantage of the EAC integration to access the large market. The influx in internet connectivity has provided banks operation in the East African Region a tool for doing business and a means of providing new services through internet banking. The purpose of the study thus sought to determine the extent in which internet banking has played to enhance cross border business in East Africa. The study adopted a cross sectional survey approach aimed at researching the transactions carried out over the internet in all commercial banks operating in Kenya, and whose transactions transcend the Kenyan borders. All commercial banks operating in Kenya as at 2012 were studied. The data in this study was collected using a questionnaire, which had been carefully structured to cover variables which were able to answer the research question. The respondents to this questionnaire were the branch managers in headquarter branches of the banks within Nairobi. Data analysis was carried out using quantitative method through descriptive statistics and qualitative methods. The study found out that contention that the influx in internet connectivity has provided banks operation in the East African Region a tool for doing business and a means of providing new services through internet banking. The study found out that Kenyan banks significantly expanded their staff numbers to drive the growth of new business-lines and products as the business landscape shifts away from the traditional drivers of growth. The study also found out that banks have introduced internet banking, mobile banking and other e-banking facilities, to enhance delivery channels to their customers and the use of internet banking has gradually increased from recent past. The study concludes that a wide customer base is established among the banks in terms of internet banking. The uptake of internet banking is high and gradually increasing over the years. Aside from the wide customer base, internet banking has further enhanced customer satisfaction through improvement in a variety of aspects including convenience, personalized service, and efficiency, resolution of complaints and cost-benefit analysis to a very large extent. With an enhanced business environment and competition, there has been increase in size of local banks brought about by pressure on banks to expand their products and services to people who do not have bank accounts as well as those who are under banked. Internet banking can thus be said to enhance cross border business in East Africa.