Technological innovation is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses. Anything from cloud storage to messaging systems helps organizations communicate daily tasks and enhances productivity. However, there are other applications of technology, which can revolutionize an entire industry. For instance, banking and financial operations are applying new payment approaches to ensure that consumers have a better experience while shopping. Online banking is becoming popular as well because it illuminates the need to visit an institution for information or transactions. This paper aims to evaluate the current information technology trends and their application by Citibank Tanzania.
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About Citibank Tanzania
Citibank is a multinational company operating in the financial industry across the globe. Its parent company is located in the US, while the Tanzanian branch was opened in 1995 (“Tanzania,” n.d.). Apart from the country in question, Citibank has many branches in the African region. For instance, there are divisions of the financial institution in Kenya, Zambia, and Uganda (“Tanzania,” n.d.). Citibank was chosen for this technology evaluation because its operations require the application of new solutions to perform, track, and protect financial transactions.
Current Technology Trends and Their Evaluation
Electronic banking is becoming increasingly popular around the world. Citibank states that it is among their primary operational objectives, as the company provides the service among usual “commercial finance, inter-bank transactions, investment services, deposits, cash management” (“Tanzania,” n.d., para. 5). While many countries are implementing the technology, some struggle due to legislative and political issues.
According to Mclntyre (2018), US financial institutions are struggling to provide their customers with adequate real-time payment services. It can be argued that the inability to implement this feature severely obstructs more advanced technology. Mclntyre (2018) points out that China, who has been a great example of innovation in the industry, did not have an established banking system prior. Citibank Tanzania does not mention providing internet banking or similar services to its customers, and this may be connected to the fact that a US bank owns the company.
Smartphone applications that allow accessing an individual’s financial resources are the next step in this process. While the idea is similar to internet banking, smartphone applications are more comfortable to use solution. Additionally, according to Goldstein (2017), with such devices, biometric scanning can be used to identify individuals. Therefore, it is easier to ensure data security with smartphones. Citibank Tanzania should focus on developing an application that would allow its clients to perform financial operations.
QR Codes and Alipay
Within the financial industry, the primary technologic innovation changes the approach to payments. The global society is changing its habits from using cash to credit cards, while current technology offers other solutions. According to McIntyre (2018), the banking industry is currently undergoing severe changes. China is a leader in this field because it is moving towards the application of technology that would illuminate both cards and cash. QR codes system and Alipay, which is a system introduced by China’s biggest online retailer, have had over a billion transactions done through them (Mclntyre, 2018). The new method is aimed at creating better ways for consumers to pay for their goods.
However, several factors are critical to consider before implementing QR payments or technology similar to Alipay. Firstly, the issue of security has to be discussed because the usage of Internet-based payment system subjects financial resources to the danger of hacking. IANS (2016) security measures have to be strengthened to ensure that users of e-payment and m-payment systems are not scammed. This is true for online banking as well, as the companies store relevant data on their resources. If improperly protected, it can be accessed by third-party individuals and used to steal money. While the technology is becoming extensively used by people, “newer forms of vulnerabilities will be exposed in the payment gateways” (IANS, 2016, para. 4).
MasterCard, a global financial institution mainly focused on maintaining a payment system, which applies for credit cards, has implemented QR code payment as well. According to the company’s website, they have developed MasterPass to correspond with the current trends in payment technology (“Introducing MasterPass QR,” n.d.). Citibank can benefit from this development as MasterCard provides support and guidance.
Upon having a contract with MasterCard, the company will receive the technology necessary for implementing MasterPass. This technology, although it applies the QR code approach, differs, as it is supported by one of the largest financial institutions in the world. Therefore, it can be argued that using newly developed payment systems created and sustained by large organizations that specialize in commercial operations is safer.
While several banks in Tanzania have incorporated MasterPass into their services, Citibank has not. Daily News Reporter (2018) states that Togo bank has introduced the technology in April. Lack of action from Citibank can be connected to the security issues mentioned above because creating proper infrastructure for such technology would require both financial and human resources. However, the company should consider implementing the system, as Daily News Reporter (2018) states that millions of Tanzanian’s are already using new payment solutions. By lack of action, the company can miss the opportunity to grow in the new financial market.
In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has been tailored for usage in many fields. According to McIntyre (2018), financial institutions can apply the technology by teaching it how to detect money laundering and other suspicious operations. Additionally, AI can be used to interact with customers, which can be useful not only in the banking industry. McIntyre (2018) and Goldstein (2018) state that bankers report an intent to utilize collaborative robots, which would work alongside humans within the next two years. This would innovate the customer service that these institutions provide.
While AI can be extremely useful in banking, Citibank may struggle with its application. The development of proper technology and robots would require significant investments that are unlikely to be given by a branch of a multinational company. If Citibank’s parent organization were concerned with the matter, considerable time would pass from the moment of implementation in the US to availability in Tanzania. Additionally, a similar security issue connected to personal information and possible hacking attacks can be applied to AI. The security systems have to develop and updated regularly. Therefore, currently, Citibank Tanzania would struggle with AI utilization within the establishment.
Overall, current information technology trends that can be utilized by Citibank Tanzania are internet banking, QR codes payments, MasterPass, and AI. Those can be applied to ensure that customers can pay for purchases without credit cards or cash. AI can help track suspicious financial operations and enhance the customer experience by acquiring collaborative robots in Citibank’s divisions. However, the primary concern with these trends is the security of data and the possibility of hacking. Companies have to continually update their measure to ensure their client’s money are not stolen.
Daily News Reporter. (2018). Mobile firm, MasterCard launch new payment system. Daily News. Web.
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Goldstein, P. (2017). 5 trends to watch in banking technology in 2018. BizTech. Web.
IANS. (2016). Digital payment providers at great hacking risk, need upgraded security: Experts. Indian Times. Web.
Introducing Masterpass QR. (n.d.). Web.
McIntyre, A. (2018). What’s next? 5 technology trends that will shape retail and commercial banking. Forbes. Web.
Tanzania. (n.d.). Web.