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Bill Payment and Presentment System

Question:

Discuss about the Bill Payment and Presentment System.

Answer:

Introduction:

The modern corporate world has continued to experience rapid transformations as a result of increased technological innovations. For instance, most organizations have embraced the use of integrated management systems which have been able to reduce the number of employees required to do some basic administrative functions (Trivedi, 2015, p. 36). Therefore, most of the changes brought about by technological innovations impact the internal business operations of a company. Most businesses have shifted from the traditional methods which were labor intensive and have now become capital intensive due to heavy investments in technological developments in their company (Baptista & Oliveira, 2015, p. 422). The development of new machines and computer systems can, therefore, be said to have replaced human beings for most operations in companies. They can also be said to have increased productivity of the companies as well as increasing job mobility within the company.

The main factors driving the rapid technological innovations developed in the modern corporate world has been due to the increased adoption of technology by businesses and the increasing demand from various business clients for better services (Van der Boor et al. 2014, p. 1598). The rapid growth of information technology and has therefore forced most business companies to shift from the traditional strategies of compliance to services, to the development of better methodologies and business strategies. There is, therefore, an increasing need for firms or businesses to develop innovative technological models which will help them meet various client needs (Laeven et al. 2015, P. 15). For companies to remain competitive in their multiple markets or industries, it has become necessary for them to develop their technological resource base by investing in technical infrastructure.

However, less information has been provided by different authors showing the impact of these technology innovations in the banking sector. Therefore, the primary objective of this study is to provide an assessment of the effects of technological changes in business and especially in the banking sector by analyzing the Commonwealth bank as our case bank (Joachim et al. 2017, p. 2016). The knowledge will, therefore, be critical in helping accounting professionals and students on the impact of technological innovations and their evolution in accounting firms or businesses.

Commonwealth Bank Background Information

Commonwealth bank has grown to become an international banking or financial institution since its establishment in the year 1911 but was later privatized in the year 1996 by the Australian government. Since its establishment the bank has been able to diversify their operations and services to different countries such as in Asia, the United States of America, some parts of Europe, New Zealand as well as in Africa (Commonwealth bank website). The bank provides some services to their customers including retail services, funds management, and superannuation as well as insurance services. In the year 2015, the bank won an award for the best retail banking team in Australia.

Over the last two decades, businesses have experienced dynamic changes as a result of technological innovations and developments. Technological innovations have made significant impacts in accounting. However, effective integration of new technology has become costly for many businesses. Different scholars have engaged in research to determine the rapid growth of technology innovations in the modern corporate world but have not developed relevant studies to assess the impact of these innovative technologies in accounting and especially in the banking sector (Safeena et al. 2018, p. 333). Due to the insufficiency of enough academic resources to determine the impact of these technologies in small accounting firms, this essay will, therefore, focus on developing an understanding of the effects of innovation in accounting with particular reference to the Commonwealth Bank.

The primary research objective of this study is to provide an understanding of the impact of innovative technologies in business and especially in the banking sector through analysis of the commonwealth bank. The research will also seek to establish whether or not it’s appropriate for a company to adapt to the new technologies or should continue using their traditional accounting tools.

The research will also seek to provide an understanding of the contribution made by new technologies in improving the bank's relationship with their customers. It also aims to ensure whether the innovations technology is feasible for new markets and also establish any possible solution to in case the technology fails.

The research also seeks to understand any cost associated in the implementation of the new technologies and systems in the banking industry as well as establish whether the technology implementation is through the use of internet or not and the possible threats to the accounting innovations such as the hacking of the systems or even through attacks by viruses.

While technological changes have occurred in almost every part industry, the financial services industry has equally being transformed by the new technological innovations. As the business grows, the nature of their accounting activities has continued to become complicated. The preparation of financial statements has continued to become challenged and especially with the new requirements from the accounting regulatory authorities to maintain an accurate and fair view when preparing organization's financial statements. With increased technological developments and especially in software development, the accounting activities have been enhanced and therefore contributed to increased efficiency in the provision of quality financial information to various users of the report. As the corporate world grows, competition has increased which consumers are demanding quality products. The ability of a company to become innovative by embracing the appropriate technology has provided many businesses with a competitive advantage and increased their efficiency in service provision and meeting or satisfying consumer needs. This literature review, therefore, provides an understanding of some of the significant impacts of technological innovations in accounting concerning the Commonwealth Bank.

Diffusion of innovation (DOI) Theory

This theory has been one of the most popular models used in the banking sector or even in other businesses to explain how and why the businesses adopt new technologies. In this case, diffusion is defined as the process through which technological or technical innovations are communicated over a given period to a specific group of people in the society (Chawla & Joshi, 2017, p. 626). Therefore according to this theory, the rate of diffusion in any business or organization is affected or determined by the innovations relative advantage, the complexity of the change, compatibility, trialability as well as observability.  In this case relative position is defined as the ability of a move to be superior to their predecessors, complexity as the ease of use and applicability of the difference, trialability as the knowledge of the changes to be experimented for different results while observability is defined as the ability of the shift to producing visible results (Zhou, 2018, p. 57). The theory is therefore very fundamental in our research as it helps us understand why banks adopt specific technical innovations. Thus one of the reasons is the relative advantage which means that most banks which have taken technological changes enjoy a comparative strength regarding better financial performance than those who have not.

The modern banking institutions have embraced the use of technical innovations to help them increase their efficiency in service delivery and improve their customer service experiences. Therefore, the various forms of banking innovations can be categorized into three; the independent customer innovations, the user-assisted innovations and the customer transparent innovations or technology (Tam & Oliveira, 2017, p. 1037). The customer independent technological innovations represent the banking innovations which facilitate or enable the customers to conduct and complete the financial transaction with the bank without relying on any human contact with the bank. Such innovations include the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), Internet banking as well as Phone banking.

Secondly, we have the user-assisted technical innovations in the banking sector whereby, the bank employees use a custom designed assisted technology to help customers complete transactions. A good example of these innovations includes; the Customer relationship management (CRM) systems. The system is used by bank call center, and customer service officers to help them understand the various customers’ profiles as well as provide instant responses to the questions (Ray, 2017, p. 67). On the other hand, customer transparent technological innovations represent the main banking operations which in most cases the customer will never get to use them but expect it. Such innovations include the Electronic Funds Transfer systems.

Impact of these innovative technologies in the banking sector

One of the major impacts of innovations technologies in the banking sector has resulted from the development and innovation of Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The ATMs systems have redefined banking services and especially in enhancing cost efficiency. This innovative technology has enabled the bank depositors with an opportunity to withdraw cash at more convenient times and places compared to during the banking hours (Tsou & Hsu, 2017, p. 480). The machines were initially developed as cash dispensing machines, however, with increased technical advancements they are now used to provide some services to bank customers. Such services include; making deposits and facilitates funds transfer between two accounts. They, therefore, help the customers in saving time compared to queuing in banks. They are cost effective and contribute to increased productivity compared to human tellers. They have increased banking productivity due to their ability to continue banking operations even after the banking hours.

The development of telephone banking has also impacted the banking sector. The telephone banking services allow customers to carry out banking transactions through the use of telephone known as the phone bank. The phone bank provides customers with increased convenience to carry out their banking transactions1 though expanded access as well as helping them to save on time significantly they could have used to visit the banking institutions (Irudayam et al. 2018, p. 519). The cost of offering telephone banking services is relatively cheaper and cost-effective than providing branch-based services. In most case, they can offer all the services provided by the Automated teller machines apart from cash dispensing functions. It is time cost saving and provides more convenience for higher productivity. Personal computer banking has also been one of the most growing banking technology innovations that have helped in enhancing service provision in the banking sector. Due to the rise or development of personal computers allowing people to access or work from their homes, many banking institutions have embraced the opportunity to develop and offer personalized computer banking services (Harriet et al. 2017, p. 363). It allows the customers to access their account information’s through a designed proprietary network developed through proprietary software installed in their personal computers. The technology can provide both the functions offered through telephone banking and Automated Teller Machines.

The development of internet banking has also revolutionized the banking services in the modern corporate world. It provides bank customers with access to their bank accounts through a banking website and therefore enabling them to carry out some functions or transactions. It has improved convenience of conducting banking transactions and also offers increased flexibility and absolute control over their banking activities (Mullan et al. 2017, p. 1163). Service delivery through this system is both informational as well as transactional. The development of branch networking technologies has also impacted service provision in the banking sector. Branch networking is defined as the computerization and interconnectedness of geographically scattered banks branches into a unified system (Obeng & Peter, 2017, p. 161). This system can be in the form of a vast area network as well as in the way of the enterprise network. It has improved banking operations by facilitating or offering a quicker rate of inter-branch transactions and has also contributed to increased productivity. Its ability to curtail customers travel distance to bank branches helps n saving time which can be used in other productive activities. Lastly, technological innovations in the banking sector have contributed to the development of Electronic Funds Transfers at Point of Sale (EFTPOS).  This is an online system that allows the bank customers to transfer funds from their bank accounts instantaneously to merchant’s accounts when making purchases (Benhabib et al. 2017, p. 24). It has enhanced banking productivity by offering continued banking services even after the bank hours. It also saves the customers time and energy in getting to bank branches or ATMs for cash withdrawals. Such technical innovations have led to increased banking productivity as well as improved customer service provision.

Research Design and Methodology

Research design provides an arrangement of the various conditions for collective analysis of data that will be used to establish the relevance of the study. This research will, therefore, employ the use of exploratory design. The design is effectively applied to provide an analysis of a problem that has not been studied more clearly, and the researchers seek to provide or gain more insights of the subject under research (Bernini & Brighi, 2017, p. 9). It also aims to connect various ideas in a bid to understand the cause and effect of a particular phenomenon or try to establish what is going on. The design is appropriate for our study as our research problem has not been studied or lacks sufficient information about the impact of innovations in accounting.

For the active development of this research, the research methodology will use a mixed approach to qualitative and quantitative analysis. This is because the study will utilize both numerical and non-numerical data in analyzing the impact of technical innovations in the banking sector concerning the Commonwealth bank (Scott & Zachariadis, 2017, p. 192). The qualitative approach will help us analyze the non-numerical data while the quantitative method will be used to explain the numerical data obtained from the questionnaires as well as from the published information available in the Commonwealth bank websites relating to the impact of innovations in their accounting and overall banking performances.

This research has employed the use of both primary and secondary data in its analysis of the impact of technical innovations in accounting. The primary data is collected from the Commonwealth staff or employees as well as the bank customers. The secondary information is obtained from the company websites and annually published statements relating to the impact of technological innovations on the performance of the organizations and its contribution to improved productivity and efficiency.

Data collection method

 The method of data collection applied in every research is very significant in the determination of the reliability, validity, and relevance of the final results of the study. Therefore this research will employ the use of interviews in the collection of primary data in the form of designed questionnaires aimed at providing information related to the impact of technical innovations in Commonwealth bank (Cadarette et al. 2017, p. 156). The polls will be filled to supplement the information collected from interviews. The interviews will involve the Commonwealth bank staff as well as their customers. For the secondary data, the research will also embark on the use of surveys to analysis the published information of the bank official websites. The questionnaires will be developed aimed at addressing critical issues raised in the research questions to enhance the development of the research objectives (Alexander et al. 2018, p. 34). The items will be developed into two categories about the impact. One group will focus on the effect on customer relations and efficiency while the second category will be focused on the impact on the bank's productivity and efficiency.

A research ample defines the population in which the study is conducted. For active development or research proposal, a good sample should be selected based on their characteristics and size, sampling methods as well as the identified sampling frame (Bryman, 2017, p. 67). The research will d be developed on a sample of 200 people comprising of the Commonwealth staff and customers from different branches in Australia as well as in other international offices. The research sample will be distributed to various departments and customer base to avoid biases and to help us improve the reliability and relevance of the research results (Trende et al., 2017, p. 15). The sampling frame of this research will, therefore, consist of 100 staff members of Commonwealth involving 70 percent of the junior staff who engage with the innovations and the customers and 30 percent of the senior team who decide on the type of changes to implement in the banking institutions. The sampling frame will also consist of 100 bank customers using different innovations by the bank to access banking services from the bank. 20 percent of the customer's sample will be categorized to the customers using ATMs, 20 percent using internet banking and personal computer banking, 20 percent using telephone banking, 20 percent using branch networking services and 20 percent using the electronic funds transfer services. This information will then be sampled through cluster sampling for analysis.

Since this study involves the use of qualitative and quantitative data as collected from our sample population, it will also employ the use both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods. In the case of the qualitative data, the data analysis process will involve the organization of the data collected, description of the data, ordering or coding the information, displaying the summarized information, pattern identification and data interpretation. Such a process will help us understand our research objective through the different identified patterns. The analysis will involve the use of deductive approach by relying on the research questions developed to act as a guide for grouping and analyzing the data. For the case of our quantitative data, we will use statistical software’s or Microsoft excels to prepare the data for analysis (Hammersley, 2017, p. 46). The process will involve identification and analysis of the frequencies of the research questions and percentages of the response rate. We will then measure the change in that data through statically tool such as measures of dispersion or correlation. The data will then be presented through charts for comparison purposes.

Ethical Considerations addressed by the Methodology plan

Upholding high ethical standards has become the cornerstone of successful, meaningful research development. The ability to maintain the ethical standards determines the kind of response obtained especially during data collection. It defines the levels of interactions during the research as well the willingness to provide reliable information. This research methodology, therefore, aims at maintaining high ethical standards during the study through having an informed consent to the participants in the research process (Matusiak & Sposito, 2017. P. 755). Secondly, the methodology aims at ensuring that participation in the research is on a voluntary basis and not from coercion.  Most participants raise concern over the researcher’s observation capacity or limit cases. This is the case where the people conducting the research can be able to observe their lifestyles impacting the success of the study (Beecher & Henry, 2017, p. 6). Therefore, this methodology has ensured that the data will be collected through interviews at predetermined locations through which the participants will feel comfortable to contribute their ideas towards the issues being analyzed. The methodology aims at non-disclosure of the participant’s private information such as their names. In a bid to minimize the cases of deception which results from non-disclosure of the purpose of the research the methodology aims at providing a detailed explanation of the use of the study to the participants.

Conclusion

The above research methodology will, therefore, be instrumental in helping us obtain detailed information and also enhance our understanding on the impact of technical innovations in the banking sector and especially in our case organization, the Commonwealth Bank. The methodology can be used therefore by students to develop their research and enhance their knowledge of innovations in the banking sector and the factors contributing to the increased changes. They will be in a position to decide on whether to implement the new technologies based on their cost-benefit analysis or continue using the traditional accounting techniques.

List of references

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Trivedi, S.R., 2015. Banking innovations and new income streams: impact on banks' performance. Vikalpa, 40(1), pp.28-41.

Baptista, G. and Oliveira, T., 2015. Understanding mobile banking: The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology combined with cultural moderators. Computers in Human Behavior, 50, pp.418-430.

Van der Boor, P., Oliveira, P. and Veloso, F., 2014. Users as innovators in developing countries: The global sources of innovation and diffusion in mobile banking services. Research Policy, 43(9), pp.1594-1607.

Laeven, L., Levine, R. and Michalopoulos, S., 2015. Financial innovation and endogenous growth. Journal of Financial Intermediation, 24(1), pp.1-24.

Joachim, V., Spieth, P. and Heidenreich, S., 2017. Active innovation resistance: An empirical study on functional and psychological barriers to innovation adoption in different contexts. Industrial Marketing Management.pp.16.

Chawla, D. and Joshi, H., 2017. Consumer perspectives about mobile banking adoption in India–a cluster analysis. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 35(4), pp.616-636.

Zhou, T., 2018. Examining users' switch from online banking to mobile banking. International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, 18(1), pp.51-66.

Tam, C. and Oliveira, T., 2017. Literature review of mobile banking and individual performance. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 35(7), pp.1044-1067.

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Safeena, R., Kammani, A. and Date, H., 2018. Exploratory Study of Internet Banking Technology Adoption. Technology Adoption and Social Issues: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications, p.333.

Tsou, H.T. and Hsu, H.Y., 2017. Self-Service Technology Investment, Electronic Customer Relationship Management Practices, and Service Innovation Capability. In Marketing at the Confluence between Entertainment and Analytics (pp. 477-481). Springer, Cham.

Irudayam, S., Allison, T., Eastman, J.M., Gardner, M.J., Graham, A.C. and McCloskey, J.E., Diebold Nixdorf Inc, 2018. Movable platen in document handling systems for an automated teller machine. U.S. Patent Application 15/695,719.

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Trende, R.G., Mila, P.J., Conforti, C., Leathrum, P.J., Kinnunen Jr, C.A., Lock, B.D., Holton, M.T. and Stark, J.M., Mastercard International Inc, 2017. Method and system for processing messages in a bill payment and presentment system over a communications network. U.S. Patent 9,749,391.pp. 15.

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Commonwealth Bank Website; www.combankltd.com/

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