E-banking as a competitive banking strategy among lower level banks in Kenya
The main objective of the study was to establish how the lower banks in Kenya are applying ebanking as a competitive strategy. The study was guided by the following specific objectives of determining the application of e-banking as a competitive strategy among lower level banks in Kenya and to identify challenges facing lower level Kenyan banks in implementing e-banking as a strategy. To achieve this, the researcher adopted a descriptive research design that relied on both the primary and secondary type of data. The population of the study comprised of employees from low tier banks in Kenya from whom a sample of 100 respondents was picked, out of which 80 percent responded. Questionnaires were used as the data collection instruments while the collected data was analyzed using SPSS software. The analyzed data was presented and summaries in form of charts, frequency tables, and graphs. The study findings revealed that e-banking increases banks competitiveness through increased returns, speeds up customer service thus increasing revenue collection and sales volumes and the services are easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere hence convenient to many. The study findings also revealed that factors leading to customer preference of different electronic banking platforms are influenced by factors of security, efficiency, accurate records, convenience and accurate transactions. Finally, the study findings on the challenges facing banks in the era of new technology and innovation revealed that ease of use, meeting customer needs, efficient performance of transactions, convenience in terms of location, security of services as well as special service to displaced are outstanding challenges facing electronic banking thus the reason why the respondents are not generally satisfied with their respective banks. The findings led to a conclusion that e-banking increases lower level banks competitiveness through increased returns and speeds up customer service hence increasing revenue collection and sales volume. Additionally, customer satisfaction and service quality are among the most outstanding factors leading to customer preference of different electronic banking channels. The study recommends that more innovations be undertaken to enhance growth in this sector.The banking institutions should use the Importance/Performance grid as a strategic tool for the development of strategies as it gives a clear pictorial presentation of the factors that are critical for resource allocation. The banks should pay special attention to convenience by providing the customers with electronic banking service at points which can easily be accessible and also improve their ATM systems so as to minimize waiting time in the queue hence improving efficiency in the service delivery thus boosting customer confidence. Banks should also provide customers with a toll free number for purposes of handling customer complaints and general feedback about the electronic banking services to foster future development on electronic service.