MPACT OF INTERNET TECHNOLOGY ON BANK’S PERFORMANCE AND CUSTOMER’S SATISFACTION
Internet technology is very popular and has many benefits for the users; however it does has some elements of security risks to the bank and its customers at large.
In this research work, I intend to look at impact of internet technology on Bank, its employees and the customers. More importantly, efforts were also made to research into various risks associated with this technology such as hacking, spam-email, phishing, identity theft or frauds and many others.
After critical look at this technology and its associated risks especially the identity theft, two sets of solutions were recommended. The first set solutions addressed physical access control while the second aspect deal with authentication through the process of fingerprint and voice recognition.
This project is trying to evaluate the impact of Internet technology on bank’s performance and customer’s satisfaction. Banking industry is the bedrock of economy, the state of Banks will dictate the state of economy. If it stables, so will the economy. The present global economy recession attests to this statement. Technology innovation like Internet is groundbreaking in banking system. Transactions worth of billions of dollars take place in seconds in the electronic circuit throughout the globe (Castells, 2001). The banking and financial industry is transforming itself in unpredictable ways (Crane and Bodies 1996). Prior to the rocket of technology in banking sector, the function of the branch was very unlike the function of present branch. Earlier before the 1970s, the structure of the branch and functions were similar to one and other. Product offerings were equally the same and branches were only avenue for customers to make bank transactions. Majority of these banks were only relying on one or two branches but with many staff and cashiers. Customers were subjected to long distant travelling before they could carry out banking transactions. Face to face traditional banking was only means to process bank loan, make lodgements and withdrawals and customers were subjected to long queue in the banking hall.
But the increase in the level of banking technology made the banks started a process of metamorphose that proceed till the end of the 20th century. As part of process, many channels of distributions were introduced. Among these channels are Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Internet banking, Telephone banking, call-centre, electronic funds transfer, wireless banking, and voice messaging systems, videoconferencing and many others.
Rapid growth and development in internet technology over the last four decades have great impact on organisations. The impact was highly noticeable in area of services, products offering and business processes. Banks have use internet technology to cut operations costs, increase qualities, efficiencies and improve value-added services to the customers. Also, investment in technology gives competitive advantages to some Banks leading to some banks have opportunities to perform better than their rivals. Banks through the innovation of internet technology were able to provide better and cheaper services than traditional system of branch banking. Apart from these, level of banking transactions were equally increased, Convenience and twenty four hours banking services were also witnessed in banking system. More importantly, the level of communication within and outside the banking environment were equally improved, access to the right information and high quality of services were not compromised. The banking environment became more friendly and flexible.
Information that can only available through the means of technology became an important aspect of the banking. Many people argued that it was advance in technology of 1990s that made it possible to develop those channel of distributions and system that allowed the banks to render an unprecedented high quality services.
In final analysis, this research work assess an aspect of banking that is lacking in Traditional Bank – an online banking and its impact on customer satisfaction and bank’s performance.
1.1 AIM AND OBJECTIVES
The research on Internet technology in banking and acceptance of modern banking by customers have been viewed in different perspectives but few aspects of this topic are left with little exploratory. There is little research on the effects of Internet technology on banks’ profitability and customer’s satisfaction. Many researchers did not fully agree that Internet technology has immensely affected the profitability level of the banks. The rationale behind this is to offer a better understanding on how internet banking is evolving.
This study intends to achieve the following objectives:
1. Research the problem of identity theft and card authorisation
2. Evaluate the problem concerning lost revenue
3. Research the other work done in this area.
4. Proffer solution to the problem of identity theft and card authorisation.
5. Implementing solutions and the cost benefits
1.2 CONTEXT OF THE STUDY
Banks have use internet technology to cut operations costs, increase qualities, efficiencies and improve value-added services to the customers. Also, investment in technology gives competitive advantages to some Banks leading to some banks having opportunities to perform better than their rivals. This research work is focusing on two important key elements which are:
1) Impact of internet technology on Bank and its customers and;
2) Associated risks with internet technology with more emphasis on identity theft
1.3 EXPECTED CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
The expected contributions to knowledge of this research work are to identify various theft and card authorisation, evaluate the problem concerning lost revenue and proffer solution to the problems.
2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW
It is my intention to survey literature review to reveal the level of knowledge and understanding of people about identity theft. A number of text books, articles and journals internet search are used for this purpose. Among these are:
a) 50 ways to protect your identity and your credit card – Steve weisman
The book is well written very relevant to the study and well referenced. Various types of identity thefts were discussed. It also explains that the motive behind identity theft could be for financial gain, revenge or malicious intent. The book goes further to suggest some protection rules such as only the credit cards that needed should be carried in the wallet, the practice of online account statement should be stick to, personal information should not be given on phone to unknown persons, shredding documents that containing personal detail after use and so on. But these protection rules only addressed offline identity theft, the issue of online identity theft or frauds which common to credit cards were not addressed at all.
b) Business Information system (Technology, Development & Management) – Paul, et al
The book looks at the issues of identity theft, brand abuse and costs of identity theft. The three issues discussed are equally paramount important to this research. The book is good for academic and well referenced. According to the book, “the term brand abuse is used to cover a wide range of activities, ranging from sale of counterfeit goods, for example software applications, to exploiting a well known brand name for commercial gain. It was further stated that with regards to identity theft, CIFAS(www.cifas.org), a UK-base fraud prevention service, report that there were 80,000 cases of identity theft in the UK in 2006.The coated in the company’s web site showed that identity fraud cost UK economy £1.5b in 2005 and generates a revenue of £10m each day for fraudsters.
c) Identity theft literature review- Graeme, R.N &Megan M.M
It is a well written article and equally well referenced. In this article, the authors focused on two important issues, the first one is the cost of identity theft while the second one focuses on the issue of legislations. The two issues discussed are very relevant to this research. The authors look at various identity legislations passed to control the crimes of identity. (www.house.gov/apps/list/press/ca29schiff/062304idThef2.html).
d) Enquiry in to the credit card fraud in E- payment- Jithendra, D. &Laxman, G
In this article the authors look at credit card Hacking and types of credit card frauds. This article is not well referenced and authors failed to proffer adequate solutions at end of the discussion.
In my opinion, the article is much related to this research work but the sources of documents used to write the article cannot be easily traced because it is not properly referenced. However, it is very helpful reading in understanding the background of the topic.
e) Identity theft and credit card fraud – Sarah P. Miller
Sarah Miller’s article examines the various tactics the fraudsters use to commit credit card fraud. Some of these tactics are; opening a new credit accounts, existed accounts hijacking, skimming tactic among the other. The article also looks at various ways of protections against credit card fraud and come up with some of security measures to guard against credit card fraud in our society.
The article is appropriately written and very useful for this research. The source of the article is also quoted as http://EzinArticles.com/?expert=sarahp.miller .
f) Improving response time of authorization process of credit card system- Humid, siti Hafizan Ab
It is a journal of computer science published in February 1 2008. The journal discusses the issue of credit card authorization process. It also explains the pitfalls and benefits of credit card authorization. The journal is very briefs about the topic but all the salient points are well discussed. It gives a website as the only source but fail to give other reference. It is very pertinent to mention that the journal would have been a great assistant to the realisation of the objectives of this research work if it has been properly referenced but the beauty of this journal is that it serves as basis of understanding of the topic.
g) 7 precautions that minimize the Risk of identity theft – Jesse Whitehead
In this article, Jesse looks at financial costs of identity theft and estimated it to be $50 billion. He further explains that researchers are yet to discover a precaution that is hundred percent guaranties against the risk of identity theft. In final analysis, Jesse recommends the following precautions to reduce the threat of identity theft in our society. One, he recommends that social security number should not be disclosed to anybody unless otherwise require by law. Secondly, it was also suggested that social security number should not be carried all about. Shredding all important documents immediate after use is strongly recommended and more emphasis should be placed on e- statements from our banks and credit issuers. It was also suggested that a strong password and pin should be created and printing of Driver licence number on our checks should be highly discouraged.
The author gives this website as the source of article http://EzinArticle.com/?expert=jessewhitehead but no other reference available. It is very relevant to this project as important aspect of the topic is being discussed.
2.1 DEFINITION OF INTERNET
According to Paul et al, “internet refers to the physical network that links computers across the globe”. From this definition, the interconnectivity of many computer devices all over the globe is done through the world-wide computer network known as internet. These computer devices store and transmit information like World Wide Web and electronic mail (e-mail) messages. There are other devices like mobile computer, pagers, web TVs that are connected to the internet. All these devices are revered to as host or end system. Both electronic mail and world -wide web are network application programs that run on host or end system. Like other internet units, end system run protocols that regulate the sending and receiving of information in the internet domain. Internet has two major protocols popularly called TCP (Transmission control protocol) and IP (internet protocol).
Communication links like coaxial cable, copper wire, fibber optics or radio spectrum link end systems together. Data transmission rate of all these links are not the same. This transmission rate is known as bandwidth and is measure in bit or second. End systems are indirectly join to one and other vial routers and a router receives information from the incoming communication links and send it to its outgoing communication links. The IP defines the format of receiving and sending information between the routers and end systems. The path on which information is transmitted is called route or path. The internet then utilises packet switching which gives room for multiple communicating end systems to share a path of a path simultaneously.
Connection of network to the internet needs to follow specific name and address and it must be run on the IP protocol. The arrangement of interconnection of the internet is from bottom to top. End systems is connected to local internet service providers by means of access network and this access network is refers to as local area network (LAW) or phone based access network. The local internet service providers are then connected to regional internet service providers. The regional internet providers will also connected to national and international internet service providers. This type of internet is called public internet. There are other private networks that cannot be accessed by public. It can only be accessed within the organisations and refer to as intranet. It also makes use of the same internet technology that public internet is using.
Another way of defining Internet is to look at its infrastructural that offers services to distributed application. Internet provides opportunity to distribute application on its end systems to share data with each other. The application could be inform of e-mail, file transfer, remote login, and world-wide web and so on. Web can be ran over network apart from the internet but this does not suggest that web is a separate network, instead it is one of the distribute applications that make use of services offer by the internet. Both connection-oriented services and connectionless services are two services offer by internet to the distributed application.
2.2 GROWTH OF INTERNET
Internet and computer networks began early 1960’s. During this period, telephone was commonly employed as means of communication. This telephone network utilises circuit switching to transmit information from a sender to receiver and since then, internet continue to grow from strength to strength. There are a number of factors that contributing to this development. Financial analysts observe that costs, competition, demographic issues and customer service are the major considerations that make bankers to constantly review their internet bank strategies. It is the belief of these analysts that demand for internet banking products and services will continue to increase. But the major task facing banks now is how to ensure that the benefits of internet banking outweigh its costs and the risks. The strategies adopted by each bank to increase its market share and cost reduction vary from one bank to another. Internet is a platform through which customers access accounts and general information. It gives customers information about various products and services offer by the bank.
2.3 RISKS OF INTERNET SERVICE
There are a number of internet threats around business world today. The threat continue to increase as internet become more acceptable means of conducting online business transactions. As banks so heavily rely on internet to reduce costs, so also they become more prone to some risks. Few examples of these risks are as followings:
Hacking involves attempting to gain unauthorised access to a computer system, usually across a network. Hackers only need limited programming knowledge to wreak large amount of havoc. The fact that billions of bits of information can be transmitted in bulk over the public telephone network has made it difficult to trace hackers, who can make repeated attempts to invade bank system. For instant, much damage could be done if people gain authorised access to bank’s network service. Hacker may gain access to bank’s internal network for two major reasons. It could be for monetary benefit which usually associated with identity theft where personal information as well as credit card details is obtained to perpetrate fraud. It could also come inform of malicious intent ranging from deletion of file, deliberate introduction of computer viruses into a system or forwarding vital organisation’s information to rival. Counter measure like dial-back security can be used to prevent this problem. It operates by requiring the customer wanting access to the network to dial into it identity themselves first. The system then dials the customer back on their authorised number before allowing them access. Also, system can have firewall to prevent unauthorised access into bank system. Firewall software is use to monitor and control all incoming and outgoing traffic to deny intruders gaining access to the information system.
b) Malicious Code
Malicious code like worms, Trojan horse program and viruses are written to penetrate a system in order to have access to confidential information or disrupting the bank network. Through the help of the code, Fraudster can enter the network of a bank without its knowledge and valuable information can be stolen in the process. This stolen information can be used to commit identity theft or fraud. This code attacks are very delicate in that they can replicate and spread themselves without human intervention.
This is a process through which an intruder has access to bank network. Usually, the intruders are employees of the bank who have gained access to the authentication information of a bank customer. Intruder could also be an external person who has acquires some skills to get the authentication information of the bank customer. When internal or external intruders have unauthorised access to bank network, vital information about customers can be obtained and later use to perpetrate frauds or commit crimes. To guard against this ugly incident, bank must restrict its employees to some areas of its network.
d) Denial of services
Banks nowadays rely on internet for effective communication within and outside organisations. In the process of communication, the bank is subjected to the risk of denial of services. Communication channels of the bank can be blocked, web page may be changed or the system employ to process online business transaction may be attacked. A denial of service attack is associated with an attempt by attacker to prevent legitimate users of a service from using that service. The situation forces the bank to close down services until everything return to normal. This kind of criminal activity was hardly experience until 1999 when the crime became cankerworms in our business environments. The effect of this criminal activity is very great most especially when bank so heavily depend on the internet for online business transactions. Huge amount of money could be lost to the fraudster through the attack. Attack on Amazon and Yahoo servers in the year 2000 was a good example. The servers of Yahoo was engulfed with series of attacks and “The attack was estimated as costing £ 300,000 in the lost advertising revenue alone” (Financial Time of November 17, 2000). Another popular of denial of service attack was witnessed in 2004. During this time, a group of fraudsters from Russian embarked on a number of denials of service attack on UK bookmaker. The attackers demanded for certain amount of money before they could stop the attack, but the organisation in question (bookmaker) was not ready to give them any money at that time leading to a great losses of about forty million pound. The effect was very terrible on financial position of the company that very year.
e) Brand Abuse
It involves sale of counterfeit goods like software application to exploit a well recognised brand name for commercial benefit. Fraudster can imbedded the name of reputable organisation into a bogus web page just to portrait the page as high rank one. People that search for this reputable organisation can be routed to the false web page where the counterfeit goods are sold. A lot of people have intention of buying genuine products and services but end up in buying counterfeit one through the brand abuse. The effect of this is that people pay high price for less quality goods and services. The brand abuse practice costs most UK organisations huge amount of money and cost continue to increase year in year out. People also are no longer sure that the goods and services buy over web pages are actually genuine one. Many people have been victims of counterfeit unknowingly but thinking that they have bought the original goods and services they intend to buy even at exorbitant price.
f) Credit Card Fraud
The use of credit card online has become a global phenomenal. This card is being use all over the world to make payment for goods or services purchase on internet, retail shops or restaurants. The proliferation use of credit card online makes the users expose to various forms of risks. The risk could be in form of using people’s personal information to open new accounts, hijacking existing accounts.
g) Opening of new account
After important details like name, date of birth, social security number is obtained, the fraudster can pretend to be another person in order to create new lines of credits. The victim’s name can be used to secure credit cards and it may not be known to victim that someone has taken credit card on his or her name. Some people in many cases get to know when they receive calls from debt collectors or when they apply for loan and it is not granted due to bad credit rating. Many people have been forced to pay debt they didn’t actually own through this process.
h) Hijacking account
Hijacking existing account is another method use to commit credit card fraud. Existing account can be hijacked by altering important details of the victims such as personal identification number, passwords, billing or mailing address. The purpose of this is to take perfect control of someone’s account illegally. The original owner of the account may find it hard to regain the control of the account. Even if they regain the control, fraudsters might have wreck serious havoc on financial reputation of the original owner of the account. It takes victims some time and money before they could clear their names from this mess.
It is very common in the restaurants, stores or automated Teller machine. Skimming is done through the use of palm-sized card -reading devices. This device is capable of swiping credit card information. It is very delicate in that it may not be noticed until the victims witness unsolicited charges on the statement account of their credit cards. Many of these devices can be planted into Automated Teller machine slots or strategic locations that are not visible to the people. The aim and objective of doing this is to illegally capture important details of targeted victims. The details collected through this method can be used to perpetrate frauds on customers’ accounts or use to commit crime in the name of the victims.
Phishing is another method that thieves use to lure people to supply their personal information through false e-mail and web sites. Customers may receive bogus electronic mail through a web site telling them to update their details. The web site may look like that of normal bank they use to visit. But when they access this web site, their account numbers and passwords will be demanded for. Both password and account number are collected through this method and later use to siphon money from customers’ accounts or credit cards. Barclays Bank and some highly reputable organisations were a victim of the crime in 2003.This method of stealing is hardly to detect because the e-mail and web site are made so similar to that of original banks. The only preventive measure is for the banks to educate their customers to ignore such e-mail whenever they receive it. Although this will not totally wipe out the crime because many online customers will still respond to such e-mail but additional measure like authentication which involves adding an extra field to a record with the contents of this field derived from the remainder of the record by applying an algorithm that has previously been agreed between the bank and customers will go a long way in countering this crime. Multiple passwords can also be employed to counter the problem. Furthermore, there are many more of internet threats around but this research work will focus majorly on identity theft and card authorisation.
2.4 IDENTITY THEFT
According to available information, identity theft and identity fraud are not new crimes. Both have been in existent for a while and continue to be among the fastest growing crimes in the UK. These two crimes can be perpetrated without a thief even burgling into your home or have physical contact with your computer system. The problem is likely to get even worse because of economy recession that grips all the nations. Information gathered from banks reveal that insurance fraud is increase by 17% and identity fraud seems to be following the same pattern. If bank customer identity is compromised he or she may find it hard to have good access to a loan, credit card or mortgage until everything is resolved. We are all victims of these crimes. We eventually pay highest prices in shops, highest interest rate on mortgages and higher premium on our insurance policies for no other reasons than this problem of fraud.
Government and corporate individual organisations have been making frantic efforts to reduce these crimes. But in spite of all these efforts, the rate of identity theft and identity fraud are yet to reduce and number of victims of these crimes are also increasing on alarming rate. According to (UK payments, the UK trade association for payments, 2008) card fraud losses total £609.9m, online banking fraud losses £52.5m and cheque fraud losses £41.9m. Furthermore, of identity fraud in 2007 was quoted to be 65,043 according to CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service. The 2003 survey of Federal Trade Commission (FTC) indicated that about 3.25 million Americans had lodged complaints that their personal detail was illegitimately used to get credit cards, obtain loans, rent apartment, and enjoy medical facility and some time use to commit crimes. Also, more than 5 million Americans were victims of credit card frauds where personal detail was used to obtain lines of credit and twenty five million plus have been victim of identity theft.
WHAT ARE IDENTITY THEFT AND IDENTITY FRAUD THEN?
Identity Theft is situation where by an individual’s personal information or confidential detail is steal by another person without their knowledge. But Identity fraud is committed when thieves use this information to secure credit, goods or other services in the name of targeted victim without his or her knowledge.
Another definition describe identity theft as “anyone who knowingly transfers or uses, without lawful authority, any name or number that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual with the intent to commit or aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law” (1998 identity Theft Act, U.S public Law 105-318).
2.5 REASON FOR IDENTITY THEFT FRAUD
Reports so far on various form of identity thefts indicated that fraudsters commit identity theft for a number of reasons. But the most common one are:
Many people commit identity theft simply because they want to cover their past criminal records. Some people in the past have committed one crime or the other and want to cover them to avoid arrest. A very good example of this scenario was that of September eleven terrorist. “All 19 of the September 11th terrorist were involved in identity theft in some way” (Willox and Regan 2002) many people were wrongly arrested because their identities have been stolen. Also, a number of people commit identity theft because they want to hide their bad financial records which denied them access to essential banks’ products or services such as bank loans, mortgage, account opening or credit card. In some situations, identity theft can be committed to avoid payment of existing debts. These type of people may want to enjoy normal life again and the only way they can achieve this is to masquerade themselves under the identity of another person. The effects of these criminal activities are that warrant arrest and prosecution may be issued in the name of victim customer.
b) Financial benefit
Investigation conducted from various banks indicated that many fraud cases reported in the recent past revealed that people committing identity theft for financial gain. In some cases, thieves steal personal information of innocent persons to open a line of credit cards accounts. Along the line many goods and services can be purchased in the name of targeted victims. In the same manner, details of another person can be used to secure loan from bank and account abandon later after fraudsters might have make a lot of money from the accounts of victims. A friend narrated his experience where fraudster obtained his personal details to secure a loan of about £10.000 from a commercial bank without his knowledge. The fraud discovered some months later when he received a letter from the bank that sum of £10.000 plus accrued interest is due for payment in his account. The fraudsters have used his identity to have illegitimate financial gain. The case took him some legal battles and time before he could exonerate himself from this mess.
Many banks have witnessed identity theft through the activities of their employees. Some employees of bank may collude with fraudsters to steal details of customers as retaliation to the termination of their appointments or the bad treatments they received from their employers. In this process, valuable bank’s information may be sold to competitors leading the bank to various litigations and financial lost. Also the reputation of the bank may be seriously damaged. The effect of this is decline in profits and low patronage of the customers.
2.6 TYPE OF IDENTITY THEFT
Many Bank customers have been victims of identity theft by one way or the other and type of identity will largely depend on the definition giving to it. But the most prominent one is credit card. Information available reveals that credit card fraud on internet has been seriously increase due to the opportunity offered by new improved internet technology. Apart from credit card fraud, there are other types of identity theft such as extortion, phishing, financial scam, avoiding arrest, organized identity theft and many others.
Fraudsters have many ways of extorting money from banks and customers but the two common one are cyber squatting and the threat of leaking customers’ information. Cyber- squatting, this method of extortion related to registering a bogus internet domain to