Technological Dissemination in the Portuguese Payments System: An Empirical Analysis to the Region of Santarém

Technological Dissemination in the Portuguese Payments System: An Empirical Analysis to the Region of Santarém

Sara Pinto (Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal) and Fernando Ferreira (Polytechnic Institute of Santarém and CASEE - University of Algarve Portugal, University of Memphis, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/jhcitp.2010100104
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Abstract

Nowadays, few would contest that the contribution of ICT – Information and Communication Technologies – for the progress of the payments system in Portugal has been significant. The continuous irruption of new payment forms, as well as the emergence of more attractive and profitable offers, triggers countless changes. In fact, there has been an organizational restructuring of the banks, aiming at achieving higher efficiency levels, resulting from the use of ICT. In broad terms, the payments system in Portugal has been revealing high levels of modernity. However, is that adhesion to ICT similar in all the regions that are part of the Portuguese territory? The main goal of this study focuses on an empirical analysis which allows to investigate the degree of convergence, regarding the technological dissemination for banking purposes, between the region of Santarém and the national trends.
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Methodological Framework

ICTs have changed the Portuguese payments system, with the operations being easier and less costly (Ferreira & Cravo, 2004). Different institutions, such as SIBS – Sociedade Interbancária de Serviços – and the BP – Bank of Portugal –, have been revealing evolutions at the national level, betting on new channels of services distribution and in the introduction of new payment forms, which has changed significantly the consumers’ preferences. Presently, these preferences are even more evident, being the ATM – Automatic Teller Machine – and the payment cards the main choices of the bank clients (BP, 2007a). In national terms, both the ATM and the Homebanking service are in an expansion stage, with an ever growing number of adherent clients (regarding the national trends of adhesion to these services, see SIBS, 2008a). The banks’ investment on ICT has triggered changes concerning the number of employees per bank branch, causing for their decrease, however increasing the demand levels in terms of workers’ competences, knowledge and qualifications (APB, 2009).

Basically, this research aims at comparing what occurs in the region of Santarém to the rest of the country. For data collection, a questionnaire was elaborated (see Appendix), following the guidelines proposed by Hill & Hill (2005), and settled in four blocks: (1) a first block composed of questions related to the characterization of the present tendencies; (2) a second block composed of questions which may allow to investigate on the expected benefits; (3) a third block with questions that may allow to analyse the innovation of the payment system and, finally, (4) a fourth block composed of questions aiming at characterizing the inquired sample.

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