Discussion Papers

Alwin Mahler

Telekommunikationsdienste im Bankensektor - Ergebnisse und Analyse einer Primärdatenerhebung

Nr. 131 / Juli 1994 Summary This paper describes the use of information and communication technology in the banking industry. The results base on primary data collection conducted in a survey from nearly 400 banks. The emphasis of the survey lays on the telecommunications services, especially on the Value Added Services (VAS). The banking industry is a matter of interest for research in this respect because of the information-technology content in both product and process. Money is an "information" product and the very essence of money is not so much in its physical appearance as in the information it conveys. Because of that, banks are supposed to take a leading role in the use of new telecommunication services. The results show that especially the telecommunication based electronic fund transfer (EFT) services are used to large extent within the banking industry. Another widespread used VAS are online database services. This corresponds to results obtained in other industry sectors. Many banks indicate for all services a higher usage in the future. For EFT services, a share of 56 to 83% does so. This shows the significance of those services for the banking industry. For the more basic telecommunication services the percentage of usage are the highest for videotex (Btx/Datex-J), Datex-P, leased lines and modems. Concerning infomation technology equipment the survey shows that the banks are at a very high degree equiped with the necessary information technology equipment: 95% of the banks are using PCS and 30% have LANs. Regarding the analysis of factors that have an influence on the spread of VAS, the total of the balance sheet could be identified as a factor of major importance. This means that larger banks tend to use VAS earlier than small banks. Another influencing factor that could be identified are the number of branches in foreign countries. The analysis shows that the number of foreign customers has no impact. The survey makes clear that the usage of VAS varies for different types of banks. This is due, among other factors, to differences in the business segment portfolio and in the organisational structure. The results show a relatively high and homogenous use of VAS for the "Sparkassen" (trustee saving banks owned and run by local authorities) and privately owned universal banks. For the utilisation of some VAS, the banks use to a large extent their own systems. Beside the relatively high degree of vertical integration at the moment, it is believed that there will be a tendency towards disintegration and specialisation in the long run. This is mainly because of the economies of scale and scope inherent in information and communication technology based systems. Overall it can be said, that the increasing use of technology in the banking industry will change this industry. To mention some aspects concerning the influence: Rivalry within the industry will increase, the branch structure will have to change and there will be a tendency towards bigger and specialised banks. Only German language version available.

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