ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF ELECTRONIC BANKING ON SMES
1.1 Background of the study
Most countries at all levels of development, small and medium scale enterprises (Small medium enterprises) have an important role to play in achieving the sustainable development goals, by promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, providing employment and decent work for all, promoting sustainable industrialization, fostering innovation, creating values and reducing income inequalities (OECD, 2017). For developing nations, sustainable economic growth is real poverty reduction. Thus, the interest in Small medium enterprises should be greater in developing countries due to high level of poverty and flexibility of Small medium enterprises as compared to other ventures.
In Nigeria, a developing nation with over 160 million people and over 65% of their populace being below 35 years (SMEDAN/NBS MSME Survey, 2013), it has become imperative for policy makers to seek development of national economy through Small medium enterprises rather than rely on the oil sector. This change in Nigeria’s economic policy direction is not limited to the depleting state of oil reserve but also because of the abundant potentials; availability of land, cheap labor, etc. of Small medium enterprises. Though the change of economic policies in favor of the Small medium enterprises has seen a considerable increase in the number of available Small medium enterprises, the contribution of this sector to the Gross domestic product (GDP) of Nigeria is low. The Education, wholesale/trade and manufacturing sectors which have the highest distribution of Small medium enterprises do not account for up to 50 % of independent contribution to the national GDP of Nigeria (SMEDAN/NBS MSME Survey, 2013). This low rate of contribution to the national GDP of Nigeria could be attributed to lack of access to finance, multiple taxation, access to market and obsolete technology that affect the ease of doing business in Small medium enterprises (SMEDAN/NBS MSME Survey, 2013). Inability of Small medium enterprises to access information communication technology (ICT) is viewed as the major challenge of Small medium enterprises to developing strong operations and expand their businesses (Dutta & Mia, 2009).
Economic sectors that apply advances in ICT are characterized by high level of efficiency, ease and convenience of operation. Inventions of the internet and mobile technology are key information communication technologies that have enhanced the manner of doing business in recent years. The growing number of applicants for internet has also been very crucial in product marketing and distribution in many businesses (Yang, Li, Ma, & Chen, 2018).