The Role of Technological Revolution



The role of technological revolution has touched every aspect of people’s lives from shopping to banking. The changes have great impact on services quality and banking activities has enabled the banks to compete in the world markets (Siam 1999-2004, 2006).

The banking industry worldwide is witnessing a growing technology driven self-service by way of electronic banking (e-banking) through interacting with customers as a way of increasing productivity.

The use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) helps the banks in making strategic decisions by enabling better alignment of business to build better relationship with customers. ICT has enabled banks to provide the following services:

  • Automated Teller Machines (ATM) that have been installed at convenient places for customers to access their accounts anytime.
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) that allows different organisations to exchange transactional, financial and business information between their computer systems.
  • Plastic Cards designed to pay for goods and services without necessarily using cash and also to withdraw cash from ATM’s located worldwide.
  • Electronic Clearing Service (ECS) is a facility that allows fund transfer from one bank to another electronically. It can be used for bulk or repetitive transfers either by institutions for dividend distribution, salary, etc. and pension, or by individuals for regular payments to utility, loan repayment, etc.
  • Internet Banking as a channel of Electronic Banking (E-banking) allows the customer to do transactions through the bank’s web page in a flexible mode, i.e. at anytime and anywhere.

The flexibility of E-banking is a major benefit to customers because they are able to access the banking services at the comfort of their homes or offices and no more queuing at banks. For the banking sector, E-banking is a big investment on capital and resource though the initial acquisition of relevant infrastructure, standardisation and security are expensive, especially for small banks in developing countries, but not a big problem for big banks in developed countries. These also have to follow the standard legislative and regulatory issues set within a country to protect customers’ rights, especially the concerning data protection.

1.1 Background of Study

The role of internet has become unavoidable to business and society. Businesses and governments worldwide are always working on how to better utilise the internet in order to increase their penetration into the global market (Khan, Mahapatra & Sreekumar (2009). Banking sector has seen the use of Information Technology (IT) a better way of reducing the traditional way of investing and moving along the modern technological changes in order to meet up with the global market. The growing changes in technology bring economical and social consequences on our daily life and these changes brought about the Internet. The Internet provides services like, World Wide Web (WWW), Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) which are the core business services of E-banking. The banking sector has embarked on internet banking systems to enable their customers to access their accounts globally and in a flexible mode through their websites. This move to internet banking has seen banks reducing long queues as some customers can serve themselves either through the ATMs or through the website, depending on the type of service they want to perform. Though the banking has embarked on internet banking systems, it has not totally abolished the traditional banking activities. This is to allow those customers who need face to face help to still come to banks to get help on whatever activities or services they need either because they do not trust the web or because they are unable to do not know the technology used and fear to make mistakes.

Internet is used world wide for different things, some good and some malicious. This then brings in the issue of trust on the part of both the web site owners and users. Some users still prefer to go and queue in the banks because either they do not trust the web services or are unfamiliar with the systems and therefore feel uncomfortable to use e-banking. Trust should be built in order to encourage more customers to use the web site for their banking service needs. Trust can be categorised into tangible and intangible trust. Tangible trust is an implied trust that can be addressed by the use of digital certificates and SSL protocols and service level granularity. On the other hand intangible trust is something that can be formed or reinforced and is subjective, emotional and has a rational component. Trust can build or destroy the organisation’s reputation.

1.2 Motivation of Study

There has been considerable work carried out in the field of e-banking/e-commerce trust (Smith & French 2005); (Khalil 2007), however, there was a gap in their knowledge of cultural gap, especially in developing countries like Botswana. The motivation on this research is as follows:

  • The need to show the importance of localisation of e-banking site as e-banking is a new phenomenon in Botswana.
  • To make further studies on cultures of two ethnic groups within the same country as there have been very little research on this area. This is not the case with developed countries as the studies show that there has been localisation of e-banking to suit their target markets (Singer, Baradwaj and Avery 2007).

1.3 Aim

The main aim of this research is to examine how the Tswana and Kalanga ethnic groups of Botswana culturally perceive trust on a B2C e-banking website and to design an e-banking website for each ethnic group.

1.4 Objectives

The following objectives will be achieved through this study:

  • A research will be carried out on how cultural background influences the trust and use of e-banking services.
  • To relate the findings of the research in the design process of a web sites that suits the culture for Tswana and Kalanga ethnic groups.

1.5 Research Questions

The research study aims to test the following key questions:

  1. What is the impact of culture on the contents of e-banking site?
  2. How does culture affect online trust in e-banking?
  3. Is it necessary to consider culture, trust and usability in designing e-banking website?
  4. How does Tswana and Kalanga cultural differences affect e-banking?

1.6 Methodology

The research employs both primary and secondary data. Primary data will be collected through a structured survey which will be an online. The online survey will be through email where a link will be sent to the respondents in Botswana and UK. This method is chosen because it is flexible in that the respondents answer the questionnaires at their own free time and in a flexible mode of their computers. The other important thing is that it is cheaper to administer and responses are received more quickly and also that if there are any errors in the questionnaire it is easier to correct the errors.


2.1 E-Commerce and E-Banking

The development of Information Technology and the advent of internet have enabled traditional business activities to change into Electronic Commerce (E-commerce). E-commerce is a process that allows businesses and customers (B2C) to exchange goods and services electronically anytime anywhere, and it includes banking, stocks and bonds, retail shopping, movie rentals, etc. E-Commerce has opened a global market where businesses can reach their respective customers quickly and cost effectively (Li et al 2009). For trading to be successful in this virtual world, trust must be considered vital not forgetting culture. E-commerce includes inter-organisational marketing process in which the following relationships are observed: B2B (business to business), B2C (business to consumer), and C2C (consumer to consumer).

E-banking sometimes called electronic banking or internet banking is a system that allows people to conduct transactions and manage their accounts without necessarily going to the ‘brick and mortar’ banks. For customers using internet banking to access their account, they need to have personal accounts at the respective banks’ websites. For e-banking to be effective, banks should invest on IT infrastructure like Hardware, Software, Networking which include connection to the internet.

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) and personal computers have reduced the cost in favour of banks on paper work and labour force since customers use self services offered by banks. However, it should be noted that there are still some people who would want to be served by bank officials either because he/she does not know how to operate the banks system, does not trust it or want face-to-face interaction with bank officials.

2.1.1 Benefits of E-Banking

Electronic banking or online banking is the most popular means of e-commerce for millions people worldwide. Most banking products and services are now offered over the Internet. Banks have invested in robust information technology practices and secure-transaction technologies that have made electronic banking trustworthy. This has also created some benefits on e-banking as follows:

  • Convenience and flexibility as the customer is able to pay bills, shop and transfer money from anywhere at any time suitable to the customer as long as the customer has access to a personal computer and internet connectivity. There is no strictness of business hours as the services are available 24 hours every day unlike in the traditional brick and mortar where a customer has to observe working hours.
  • Customers are able to manage their customers as they are able to access their accounts and therefore can cross check their accounts anytime.
  • To the customer the only cost associated with e-banking is the cost of the time spent online which is usually charged by the internet provider.
  • There is also time and money saving as customers do not have to travel distances to their respective banks unless on crucial issues.

2.1.2 Limitations of E-Banking

As well as electronic banking have advantages there are some limitations too. Below are some limitations on electronic banking.

  • Some bank websites have too much information that confuses the customers and the customer may feel it is a waste of time as he/she does not get the information that he/she wants and may never bother to visit the website again.
  • The financial needs of the customer may not be quickly be predicted and therefore will take some time to be solved, which is an inconvenience to the customer.
  • Hacking and identity theft are on the rise this calls for a certain amount of trust placed on the banks by electronic banking customers. The system should be able to stand against hacking.
  • There is no Face-to-face interaction in electronic banking and some customers still need this type of service that are observed in a traditional bank to quickly solve or answer customers’ queries.
  • In case of internet failure the customer is unable to withdraw money from his/her account and unable to even use the ATMs or credit/debit cards.
  • Some banks charge for ATM usage by non-customers, therefore if a customer stays where there is not ATM for his/her bank, then he/she will be charged to using the facility of another bank.

2.1.3 Security and Trust

Security issues are a major concern for everybody using internet whether for banking purposes or not. There is an increase of security risks in the banking sector as their systems are exposed to risky environments. Confidentiality, integrity, privacy and availability are the core areas of security that banks and financial institutions must address (Jide Awe 2006).

This calls for banks and financial services authority to plan ahead in monitoring and managing the security threats. The security threats are classified in three categories; breaches with serious threats (e.g. fraud), breaches caused by casual hackers (e.g. web sites defacement or services denial (e.g. causes of web sites to crash) and flaws in systems design (e.g. genuine users able to see or use another user’s accounts). These threats cause serious financial, legal and reputational implications to the banks affected. Banks and financial institutions need to put in place security measures to respond to these threats. The security measures need constant update in order for them to cope with the ever increasing and advanced threats. The banks should also have sufficient staff who have security expertise in order to keep on checking and updating the banks’ systems. These threats bring in customers’ lack of trust on the electronic banking that is why some customers prefer to queue at banks to get services that they would have otherwise done through the internet.

Trust should be built in order to encourage more customers to use the web site for their banking service needs. McKnight, Cummings and Chervany (1998) define trust as “an individual’s beliefs about the extent to which a target is likely to behave in a way that is benevolent, competent, honest, or predictable in a situation”. Trust can be categorised into tangible and intangible trust. Tangible trust is an implied trust that can be addressed by the use of digital certificates and SSL protocols and service level granularity. On the other hand intangible trust is something that can be formed or reinforced and is subjective, emotional and has a rational component. Trust can build or destroy the organisation’s reputation.

Trust is very important and should be the critical area for each bank to consider because if customers do not trust a bank then the bank will be out of business. Trust on e-banking is crucial because it can make the banks to lose money and popularity if hackers are able to access customers’ accounts. It can be ensured by putting stringent measures on the banks systems and including in its website the symbols/signs and text that will make the customer aware of the security of the website. Some researchers believe that in electronic cyber consumer trust is more important than in traditional transactions (Kim, Ferrin and Rao 2007). There are signs and symbols that are used in the website that indicate to the customer that the site is trustworthy. These trustworthy signs may be explicit and some implicit (French, Liu Springett 2007).

2.1.4 Cultural Models

The world is comprised of people with different cultural backgrounds which justifies their behavioural variation. This variation usually shows the different cultures and values of these people. Culture is something that identifies and differentiates one person from another and it is something that is not inherited or from genes but it is learned. The environment in which a person grows usually determines the person’s culture because he/she learns the language, the norms and values of the people with which he/she lives. Hofstede (1991) defines culture as “the collection of human mind that distinguish the members of one human group or category of people from those of others”. The manifestation of cultural differences is formed through a combination of four characteristics: symbols, heroes, rituals, and values.

Rituals are sacred things that must be carried out within a cultural environment. Values are cultural things that are mentally stored as one grows up within the cultural environment. Symbols are things like language, pictures/objects and gestures that depicts meaning understood within the same cultural group. Heroes are people respected and considered to be role models within a cultural environment, however, this changes as the child graduate into adulthood.

Cultural differences across the world vary according to ethnic groups and also across geographic boundaries.

2.1.5 Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions

Hofstede (1984, 1991) identified the following five cultural dimensions which could be used to compare and measure cultural differences. Power Distance Index

Power is not distributed equally among the society. This is indicated by some people having more power than others, eg. some people are born kings, chiefs already having that status even at the very early age as toddlers. These people will be respected from that very early age even in way they are addressed.

However, the power distance can be measured differently depending on the difference in society. There are those that are termed as large power distance culture where the subordinates do as told and the superior gives instructions and is the only one who decides what is good for the society or organisation. On the other hand there are those that are termed low power distance where there is consultation between the superior and the subordinates. In this category the superior respects the subordinates and entrust them with important assignments believing that they will be successfully completed. Individualism versus Collectivism

In individualism can be classified as nuclear family where each individual act independently, making his/her own choices and decisions. As a member of the nuclear family, the individual has to take care of himself/herself and his/her immediate families. On the other hand collectivism can be classified as patrilineal or matrilineal where people, after being integrated into the society at birth, are looked after by extended families. Masculine versus Femininity

Division of roles depend on gender, Men must provide for their families and female must take care of the children and the whole family. The assertiveness of men creates dominance over female on economic life within the family irrespective of whether it is an extended or nuclear family. However, in developed countries there are some variations on gender role pattern that enable females to enrol in courses that were initially designed for men and therefore do jobs that were done by men. In some underdeveloped or developing countries where the gender role pattern still exists, women are barred from doing jobs that are considered to be designed for men and women are also barred from enrolling on courses that are designed for men. This gender role pattern is still strictly followed in some underdeveloped countries where men are said to be head of families and thus gives the men all authority over everything that goes on in the family. Woman in such families do not have any say, they are told what to do, how and when by their husbands and they are not supposed to question the instructions from men. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI)

Most people fear uncertain situations because they cannot predict what might happen in the near future. To minimise this, organisations or societies engage strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and religious and cultural beliefs to protect their organisations or societies. However, avoidance of uncertainty varies according to cultural differences. In high power distance culture, the boss is the only one to make decisions and the subordinates must strictly follow the boss’s instructions. Subordinates expect the supervisors to tell them what to do because they regard each other as unequal. In organisations, this is also indicated by the wide salary gap whereas in societies it is indicated by the prestige given to superiors (e.g. chiefs) by their subordinates (e.g. tribes).

In low power distance culture there is respect by supervisors over their subordinates. The supervisors entrust subordinates with important assignments trusting that the work will be done efficiently and if there is something wrong the supervisor will not put the blame on the subordinates, but rather takes it upon himself. The society believes people are equal irrespective of their education, religion or wealth. There is more democracy as subordinates’ views are sought and taken into consideration when making decisions. Long-Term Orientation versus Short-Term Orientation

The long-term orientation versus short-term orientation is a model which came a after Hofstede was convinced by Michael Bond who called this dimension the Confucian dynamism. Values of long-term orientation are more oriented towards future e.g. perseverance and thrift while on the short-term the values are more oriented towards past and present and therefore more static e.g. respect for tradition and reciprocation of greetings, favours and gifts, personal steadiness and stability.

2.1.6 Trompenaars, Hall and Other Cultural Models

There are several cultural models most of which overlap into Hofstede’s models (Kluckhohn; Trompenaars 2000). Trompenaars developed the below models: Universalism versus Particularism

This can be viewed as authority versus consultation. In authority the one who has authority gives instructions and makes decision without the involvement of others whereas in consultation other people’s views are taken into consideration when making decisions. Individualism versus Communicationism

Where there is balance between individuals and groups needs. Specific versus Diffuse Relationships

Here the business is done on an abstract relationship (contract) or on good personal relationship in order to bring in liking and trust. Neutral versus Affective Communication Styles

In this dimension people hide and hold on to their emotions or they show them up in which case they expect some emotional response. Time Orientation

Monochromic culture focuses more on performing the task promptly meeting the original plan and prefers to do one task at a time. Polychronic culture tends to e multi-tasking, doing different things at the same time, and emphasis is more on relationship than on tasks.

2.1.7 Hall’s Cultural Models

Hall (1976, 1983) developed the three cultural dimensions in which he describe how people behave. Following are his Cultural Models: Context

High Context – People are helped by many contextual elements to understand the rules and it is a problem for those who do not understand unwritten rules.

Low Context – More explanation on rules is done as things are not taken for granted and therefore there is less chance of misunderstanding. Time

Monochronic Time is where one thing is done at a time and the concern is achieving the task on schedule.

Polychronic Time is where several things are done at the same time (multi-tasking) and here the concern is on relationship and not schedule. Space

High Territorial – Some people have greater concern for ownership and try to mark their territorial boundaries whether at home, parking space and even in shared offices.

Low Territorial – People here are not much concerned with ownership of space and for them it less important

Hofstede, Trompenaars and Hall did extensive research that enabled them to conduct rankings on countries’ cultural differences. Hofstede conducted his research on 50 countries whilst Trompenaars conducted his on between 19 and 52 countries though with fewer rankings. Although it does not clearly show whether Hall did any rankings but he did a comparison of cultural dimensions among the French, Americans and Germans.

2.1.8 Tswana Culture

Households in the Tswana polities usually take the form of three residential sites: one household in the village, one at agricultural holdings outside the village but not very far from the village (where ploughing takes place) and the last a cattlepost (with kraals for keeping livestock owned by the family).

  • • Power Distance: Tswana tribes greatly respect their elders which is shown especially when the younger ones greet the elders. In Botswana greetings are used to judge somebody’s behaviour and greetings are conducted in a certain manner. When greeting an elder, a younger has to stop a bit to show respect and if the younger person is a male wearing a hat, he has to take it off to show respect to the elder. A man also has to take off his hat when getting inside the house as a custom unless the man is a widower. Each Tswana tribe or ethnic group has a Chief (Kgosi) who is helped by paternal uncles and Headmen. The paternal uncles are by virtue of close relationship to the Chief advisors as they are considered to have the royal blood. Kgosi’s traditional court is called Kgotla, and it is the main customary court within the village where disputes or misunderstandings that could not be solved by Headmen are solved. The Chief’s Kgotla also acts as the Traditional Court of Appeal within the village, where people who are not satisfied with the Headmen’s rulings can appeal. Chieftainship is inherited, so for a person to be a chief he/she has to be born from the royal family and not somebody chosen. Most of the Tswana people are Christians as Christianity was brought in Botswana as early as 1845 by a Scotsman named Dr. David Livingstone. The first Christian to be baptized by Dr Livingstone was Chief Sechele of the Bakwena and this was a good sign towards improvement in peoples’ way of living. For a chief to be a Christian it was easier to convince other chiefs and the people to become Christians. Christianity also contributed a lot to Tswana culture as it reduced the bureaucratic principles where only one person would make decisions for the whole family or tribe and nowadays consultation is the norm.
  • • Individualism versus Collectivism: Collectivism is the norm with the Tswana Culture where somebody has to take care of his/her family and also the extended family like uncles, grandparents, aunts, nephews and nieces. In the olden days class differentiation was very low and mostly invisible because traditionally those who had more cattle would help those who had none by distributing the cattle to those households for management. This helped the families because they would use the cattle to plough with and user their milk to feed their own family. This management of cattle also resulted in people being paid by one cow every six months or every year depending on the agreement between the owner of the cattle and the person taking care of the cattle. However, some people do not want to take the responsibilities of extended families and that is why there are organisations like SOS and other orphanage organisations to take care of orphans and also the government is giving out food rations on monthly basis to orphans, elderly people and families considered to be very poor.
  • • Masculinity versus femininity: In the traditional Tswana setup masculinity is the norm, roles are distinguished according to gender, and this is clearly visible in traditional ceremonies where men are the only ones to sit on chairs and women sit on mats and also that in meetings men are to speak first and women are to confirm what the men have said. Men were considered heads of the families and therefore their decisions were final and unquestionable. But since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action at the Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 (United Nations World-Wide Web page 1995) and the government of Botswana’s emphasis on equality, some jobs/tasks which were considered to be for males only are now considered unisex. At present there are some women chiefs in some Tswana tribes which traditionally the chieftainship was considered to be for men, even if the chief would die only having daughters that meant chieftainship would be given to one of the partenal uncles or his elder son. By this the chief’s family would have lost the chieftainship inheritance.
  • • Uncertainty avoidance: Tswana ethnic group used to believe in ancestors and most of them liked to consult traditional healers for different illnesses and protection against evil spirits. Since the introduction of Christian religion through Dr David Livingstone in 1843, most people no longer believe in traditional healing. The staple food for Tswana is sorghum or corn meal porridge which is made thinner for breakfast and thicker for lunch and supper eaten with some relish which may be chicken, meat from goat, sheep or cattle (sometimes pounded), caterpillar known as ‘phane’ and various wild game and vegetables. But these cultures of food have now shifted a bit but are more common in ceremonial occasions like weddings and funerals and also westernised foods are prepared like coleslaw, pumpkin, squash, rice, etc.
  • • Long-term versus Short: Tswana culture used to allow children to go to school only to learn how to read and write. Most female teenagers were taken out of school to go and be married to elderly men as an arranged marriage between the parents without the agreement of the female teenager, but now people find their own partners and marry when they feel they are ready and not pushed.

2.1.9 Kalanga Culture

Kalanga tribe is found in the north eastern part of Botswana and some in Zimbabwe, only separated by the border. The Kalanga tribe in Botswana, who are still withholding their culture, are mostly found in different villages within the north east side of Botswana. The Kalanga Language was taught in primary schools until 1972, six years after Botswana gained its independence from the British, and now the Kalanga tribe believe that since the discontinued teaching of Kalanga Language in primary schools their culture has been jeopardised. The staple food for Kalanga is sorghum or corn meal porridge which is always made thick and taken with relish. The relish is comprised of meat (sometimes pounded), caterpillar known as ‘phane’ and various wild game and vegetables. But these cultures of food have now shifted a bit but are more common in ceremonial occasions like weddings and funerals and also westernised foods are prepared like coleslaw, pumpkin, rice, squash etc.

  • Power Distance: The Kalanga, like the Tswana, have chiefs who look after the tribe. Their ancestral belief is very high even if they still do practise Christianity. This is shown in their annual Dombosaha ceremonies and also in their prayers for rain. Their prayers are conducted at the hill call Domboshaba, where they believe their ancestral god ‘Ngwale’ is. The word Domboshaba means Red Hill – ‘Dombo’ means hill and ‘shaba’ means red. Bakalaka treat Domboshaba like the Islam treat Mecca, this means Domboshaba is a holly place for Bakalaka. They believe the ancestors are always watching over the living and if the ancestors become upset they are able to send sickness to the living as a sign of displeasure. According to the Kalanga tribe the spirits displeasure is revealed through illnesses, droughts and other calamities and can be appeased only through worship to Ngwale.
  • Individualism versus Collectivism: The Kalanga tribes are still strictly using collectivism as they look after each other or their extended families. Individualism is avoided as their belief is “no man is an island’. They emphasise on community care which shows collectivism dimension.
  • Uncertainty avoidance: The Kalanga tribes believe in worshipping their ancestral god called Ngwale and they also believe in pleasing Ngwale to avoid punishment. Their belief is that Ngwale is always looking at them and if he is not happy with them, he will punish them by bringing incurable diseases, droughts and other disasters. Due to these beliefs the Kalanga tribe do not want to anger Ngwale in order to avoid the situations of calamities. They also believe in consulting Ngwale go guide them or help them solve some problems for which they have no control of like when there is not enough rain during the rainy season they will send some representatives to go and ask Ngwale for rain.
  • Masculinity versus femininity: Masculinity is still practised by Kalanga tribes where it is still unacceptable for females to do jobs that are considered to be male jobs. This is evident where there has to be a representation to go and ask Ngwale for rain, the representatives selected will be males and also in the chieftainship, not a single village in the Kalanga tribes have a female chief whereas in the Tswana tribes there are some females chiefs who also represent their villages in the House of Chiefs. The House of Chiefs is an advisory body to Parliament on tribal issues. Any Parliamentary bills concerning tribal issues are sent to the House of Chiefs for discussions and feedback will be sent to Parliament for decision making.
  • Long-term versus Short-term Orientation: The Kalanga culture is structured such that the older a person is the wiser and more knowledgeable he/she is expected to be. The elder people have more authority on the younger ones and receive more respect from the younger ones, for example, if the elder person arrives in a home, the younger ones have to stand up, give the elder a seat and after the elder has seated, the younger ones will kneel down and greet the elder. This is all done to show respect for the elder person. The Kalangas are considered culturally more assertive and high achievers. They recognise education has a link to social mobility as long back as the colonial era and therefore supported their schools. This is emphasised by a comment made by Steenkamp during an interview in 1994, “Many senior and very capable civil servants are from the Kalanga community because that community heavily agitated for and invested in schools during the colonial era” (Werbner 2004).


3.1 Localisation of E-banking

E-banking localisation is where a bank website is designed to suit the customs, tastes, preferences and values of the target group and the environment to which it is introduced (Liao and Cheung 2003); Rotchanakitumnuai and Speece, 2003) However, there is an argument that the success of a website can only be realised if customers and potential customers are encouraged to use it (Rai and Jain 2006) To encourage customers there is need to include local material and incorporate customers’ views in the bank website and to constantly provide customers with new innovation and seek customers’ feedback on the services provided. Rogers states, “One cannot seek knowledge about an innovation until he or she knows it exists”, thus customers must be provided with information about e-banking services so that they can use them.

In localisation of its website, Bank Gaborone should take into consideration the culture and values of the people of Botswana, particularly the Tswana and Kalanga, as they are they constitute 79% and 11% respectively and considered the two largest ethnic groups in the country.

3.2 Botswana: an overview

Botswana is situated the south central part of Africa, landlocked by Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The population of Botswana is 1,990,876 within an area of 581,730 Km2 (361, 470 Miles2). Kalahari Desert, which is not considered a semi arid zone and not a true desert, measures about 70% of the total land are in Botswana (World Atlas). The capital city is Gaborone situated on the south eastern part of Botswana. The major sources of income in Botswana are diamonds and beef. Botswana is the largest producer of diamonds by value in the world and the second-largest producer of diamond by value.

Botswana means ‘Land of the Tswana’ which refers to Tswana ethnic group who constitutes three quarters of Botswana’s population (79%). The official language is English but the national language is Setswana. Setswana has got some dialects as there are different Tswana tribes in different villages throughout most parts of Botswana. The Tswana tribes are Bakgatla, Bangwato, Batlokwa, Bakwena, Barolong, Balete, Bangwaketse, Batawana and Batlhaping. There are other tribes namely Bakalaka (Kalanga) (11%), Basarwa (San) (3%), Kgalagadi, Herero, Bayeyi, Hambukushu, Khoi, Whites and Indians (10%).

3.3 E-Banking in Botswana

E-banking in Botswana is a new phenomenon though it has been adopted globally as a means of conducting financial transactions by customers to their respective banks. Little research has been done on e-banking in Botswana (Mobarek 2007; Uzoka, Shemi and Seleka 2007).

The central bank called Bank of Botswana is the overseer of all commercial banks and development financial institutions in Botswana. The commercial banks are Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, First National Bank, Stanbic Bank; the Development Finance Institutions are National Development Bank, Botswana Savings Bank, Botswana Building Society and Botswana Co-operative Bank. The main e-banking services offered by these banks are account management, new account opening, consumer wire transfers, bill payment and presentment, cash management; commercial wire transfers, small business loan applications and approvals, B2B payments and employee benefits/pensions administration.

Out of a population of 1,990,876 people, 120,000 people are connected to internet (Internet World Statistics 2009) ( This shows that only 6% of the population will be able to access the internet anytime because they are connected to internet. However, it should be noted that some people whose homes are not connected to the internet, will be able to access internet at their respect offices. This also has a restriction of time as the brick and mortar traditional banks because these people will only use the internet during working hours as offices are locked after hours, during weekends and during public holidays and even at their own spare time at homes they will not be able to use internet services. The government of Botswana, on the hand, is encouraging civil servants to buy computers for home use and connect to the internet so that most of the homes will be able to browse the internet and learn to use computers. This move will enable customers to utilise different e-banking services. The banks on the other hand have to make the customers aware of the e-banking services that they offer and also to ensure that their systems are well secured to protect the customers’ data. Their website should also be user-friendly, that is, easy and quick to navigate to help the customers look for information without having to wait for a long time. If the navigation takes long to open a web page then some customers will get frustrated and quit the website and may never visit it again, which means the customers will resort to the brick-and-mortar banking and therefore long queues within the banking halls.

The home web page should also contain some local material which will portray some colours and cultures of the targeted group of customers.

3.3.1 Digital Divide

Internet has become the most commonly used tool in people’s lives to shop, communicate, and do business electronically. The technological advancement of developed countries is influencing the expansion of goods and services in the global market. This limits the developing countries as they still do not have good Information Technology infrastructure and good internet connection (Martin and Robinson 2004; Fallis 2004). Some of the countries have remote areas where there is no electricity, no telephone networks or no internet connection which is a big disadvantage to these people. People who live in towns or urban rural villages are more advantaged since they have access to most information technology and internet facilities because even if they do not have these facilities in their respect homes they can visit the internet cafes where these facilities are provided at a fee. People who stay in remote areas are totally left behind as they do no have access to these facilities. This gap where some people have access to internet and information technology and other people have no access to such facilities is termed as digital divide. The digital divide exists between countries and also within the country.

A developed country is a country whose income per capita is relatively higher and where the standard of living of most people is higher. A developing country is a country whose income per capital is relatively lower and the standard of living of most people is lower. Developing countries are sometimes called third-world countries.

Botswana as a developing country is faced with this problem of digital divide within itself where some people have access to Information Technology and internet access and some do not because of lack of relevant infrastructure. However, the Government of Botswana has realised the need for IT infrastructure and has embarked on making sure that the services are provided to all areas within Botswana. To curb this situation, the government of Botswana has introducing the awareness of computers and internet at primary schools, junior community secondary schools and senior secondary schools as an ongoing process. This is made to fulfil one of the pillars of Botswana’s Vision 2016 which is “an educated, informed nation”. The main aim of the government is that by 2016 most Batswana should be computer literate. The curriculum for junior community secondary schools includes computer awareness and for senior secondary schools it includes computer skills. The schools are also connected to the internet to allow students to globally communicate and research information. To ensure that the goals are achieved there is a policy called Maitlamo: National ICT Policy. Botswana government further encouraged citizens to buy computers for home use and since the computers are more expensive, the government introduced a programme called “i-Partnership – A computer for me”, where a government employee may apply for an advance to buy a computer and repay the money, without any interest, over a period of one year (Venson-Moitoi 2007; Sunday Standards 2007). This scheme was also extended to IT graduates and the unemployed youth to enable them to acquire quality and affordable computers and internet connectivity. The computers prices were 12-15% lower than the market price. At the same time the government has been equipping its offices with modern computers and some computer awareness training has been going on since 2007 to make sure all government employees are equipped with basic computer skills, irrespective of their positions in government departments and ministries. All government employees have been provided with usernames and passwords to enable them to access internet in government offices.

Though the government is trying to encourage the society to buy computers and connect to internet, there will still be a big gap because those who are employed will be the only ones benefiting from the technology and some people will still be left behind due to family income levels (Martin & Robinson 2004). At the moment some families are given rations of food every month by the government because they are poor and unemployed and these are some of the people that will be left behind. Some villages do not have connectivity to electricity, some to telephone network and therefore it is difficult to connect to internet. Two mobile phone companies in Botswana, Orange and Mascom, have introduced internet connection through broadband mid 2009 and they also sell laptops on easy terms payment to enable their existing and prospective customers to buy laptops and connect to internet. This also will help increase the number of internet users.

The table below shows the internet usage in Botswana compiled by the Internet World Statistics.

3.4 The Sample Size

The target population f this project is from two ethnic groups – the Kalanga and Tswana residing in Botswana and United Kingdom (UK). Those that reside in UK are students who have been in the UK for less than a year because those who have stayed for more than a year are considered to be accustomed with the UK culture and may not depict the current culture in Botswana. Those that reside Botswana are from both town and village setup. The target sample size is 50 – 25 Tswana and 25 Kalanga but the data collected is from 24 Tswana and Twenty Kalanga. However, it should be noted that this sample might not give a true picture since it is collected from the areas where facilities are more readily available thus the respondents’ views might be limited to their environment and exclude the environment of remote villages.

3.5 Data collection method and analysis tools

Primary data was collected through a questionnaire which was sent through emails to Batswana residing in Botswana and those studying in the United Kingdom (UK). Secondary data was collected through research from journals, books and other publications through the use internet.

3.5.1 Structure of the Questionnaire

The questionnaire is designed into four sections in order to gain the insight information to be able to design the artefact suitable for each ethnic group. The sections of the questionnaire as below:

  • Section A: demographic data of the participants;
  • Section B: ethnic groups’ culture as compared to Hofstede’s;
  • Section C: cards in which participants were given five cards to answer questions from;
  • Section D: internet and e-banking services usability.

3.5.2 Likert Scale

Rensis Likert (Likert 1932) developed a scale which was named after him as Likert Scale. This Likert scale is tool used in questionnaires to measure the respondents’ thought and is usually five-point scale. The respondents are asked to rate each question by choosing from the five point scale as below:

  1. Strongly Disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Not Sure
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly Disagree

Likert scale gives the researcher the opportunity to sum up the responses from the questions asked. Likert is used in this study with the aim of measuring respondents’ thinking, feelings and attitudes towards e-banking.

3.5.3 Excel Software.

The quantitative results of the questionnaire were done by Excel application. Excel was chosen because it is a statistical package and through it data can be calculated and displayed in graphical form to enable clear view at a glance. The graphical form of Excel can be bar charts, pie charts, histograms to be created and also the frequency analysis tables which helps in the analysing of data into a meaningful information.

3.6 Card Sorting

Card sorting is a technique used to better understand the people we are designing for (Spencer 2009). There are two types of card sorting: open card sort and closed card sort. Card sorting is used to create information architecture and arrange content within section on websites or applications.

• Open Sort – In open card sort people are given a set of cards containing some written content, and then they have to put together cards that have similar or related content and perhaps categorise or give description name for this group of cards.

• Closed Sort – In closed sort people are given cards containing content and categories onto which these cards have to be sorted.

Card Sorting is used in this research in order to get to know what the Tswana and Kalanga ethnic groups of Botswana prefer on an e-banking website. It is also useful to help identify which colours they prefer and whether they have any knowledge of e-banking services. Five different cards, comprising five different bank websites, were sent to participants to enable them answer questions which will be used to sort their preferences. It was thought that using local banks’ websites in Botswana would be biased as participants would tend to prefer their banks and therefore foreign banks’ websites (UK) were used. However, there are some participants who are currently residing in UK on study so for them bank websites were not new as they may be using one of the chosen cards.


4.1 Demographic Information

Previous studies indicate that demographic factors affect the adoption of technologically based innovations.

4.1.1 Respondents by Gender

The results show that in both ethnic groups there were more females than male, 67% female and 33% male out of 24 Tswana respondents and 65% female and 35% male out of 20 Kalanga respondents. The overall results of the survey show that 66% are female while 34% are male. This makes the survey a gender biased because as compared to the whole population level. According to World Fact Book 2009 ( the female/male population of Botswana show aoverall number of 1,298,419 people aged 15 and upwards of which 644,969 are males and 653,550 are females which represents 49.7% and 50.3% respectively.

4.1.2 Respondents by Age

The age of respondents from the two ethnic groups were grouped in four groups. Figure 4 below shows that in the survey most respondents are from the age range 36-45 in both ethnic groups with a 25% from the Tswana and 18% from the Kalanga. There was least percentage of response from the age ranges, 15-25, 26-35 and 46 Upwards. This might be a result of digital divide as most of the age range 15-25 are students either at secondary schools or university and therefore do not have computers of their own and have a limited time to use school computers. The age range 26-35 may be due to either lack of interest in filling in the questionnaire, lack of skill in using Information Technology/Internet or lack of facilities since some people have email addresses which they were able to create at internet cafés and therefore find it expensive to fill in the questionnaire at the internet cafés. As for the age range 46 Upwards it may be because some are on early retirement and most of them do not have computers in their homes which therefore are unable to do the survey because of lack of relevant facilities and digital divide.

4.1.3 Respondents by ethnic group and place of residence

The target number of respondents was 50 – 25 from each ethnic group and the questionnaire was sent to around 65 people through email. Out of 65 people only 44 responded and out of this 44, 24 are from Tswana and 20 are Kalanga ethnic groups. The responses also clearly show that 38% of the respondents were students studying in the United Kingdom, while 62% were residing in Botswana at the time of this research. Out of the 38 respondents studying in the UK 21% are those who have been in UK for less than one year and 17% are those who have been in UK for more than one. The ones that have been in UK for less than a year are treated just like the ones in Botswana as it is thought that they are not yet accustomed to the western culture. For those who have been in UK for more than one year, it is assumed they are already accustomed to the western culture thus the information provided they provide may be biased, especially when it comes to usability and trust and cards as some of them are using or may have used the banks on these cards before. The information is presented below in pie charts.

4.1.4 Respondents by level of education

On the educational level there are 9 from Tswana and 11 from Kalanga making a total of 20 out of 44 respondents who did their first degrees and this represents 45.5% of the total number of respondents. However the highest level of education for both groups ranges in MA/MSC/MEd and the lowest level of education is PSLE. The are other levels which were not covered in the questionnaire of which some of the respondents obtained are from HND, ND, AAT, NCC and all these fall under Other.

4.1.5 Respondents by occupation

The results of the survey show that most of the respondents are doing professional jobs and it is the highest with 29% of the total number of respondents.

4.2 Culture

According to the responses from the questionnaire, it is clearly seen that Tswana culture compared to Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, they seem to have low power distance, and this shows that consultation is the norm before any decision is made on something that concerns the community. Those with authority and power do not take things for granted that their decisions are final they do consult and involve the community so that the community are part of the decision making, however, respect is given to those with authority or born with power, e.g. chiefs. The results show that those who feel Tswana culture is very weak in power distance represent 33% and 13% for weak and those who feel Tswana culture is very strong represent 29% and strong 13% and this shows small significance of the views of the respondents.

On individualism the results show that Tswana culture is strong and as those who feel the Tswana culture is very strong represent 25% and strong 38% while those who feel it is very weak represent 25% and 38% for weak. This indicates that people of Tswana culture are individualism. However, it should be noted that this might not be the true situation as the sample was taken from people who live in urban and peri-urban villages which is not a good representation population sample. This is due to the fact that modern technology was needed for respondents to be able to answer the questionnaire thus people from very rural and remote areas were excluded in this research thus the answers might be biased.

According to the research the Tswana culture seem to be very weak on masculinity which means it is strong on the femininism dimension. Though there is little significance on the responses it is still considered that roles and tasks are not given according to gender but according to skill and knowledge a person has to complete the given task. The results indicate a 25% for very strong, 13% for strong and 33% for very weak and 25% for weak.

Tswana tribe has high uncertainty avoidance as is shown in the responses. Out of twenty-four only 8% and 4% people believe that Tswana culture is very weak and weak respectively when it comes to uncertainty avoidance but 63% believe that Tswana culture is very strong and 17% believe it is strong in uncertainty avoidance. Tswana culture seem to fear the unknown because they do not know what the future holds for them therefore let those with authority to take decisions because they do not want to be blamed should things go wrong.

According to the survey Tswana culture is very weak on the long-term orientation. The results of the survey show that 38% Tswana believe that their culture is very weak, 13% weak whilst 25% believe their culture is very strong and 8% strong on long-term orientation. On the whole the respondents’ opinions indicate that Tswana culture is extremely weak on long-term orientation which alludes to the fact that the culture works on a short-term orientation. The Tswana culture does not worry much about the future but the past and present. They want to follow the old tradition and they would like to see it followed even if things around them are changing they do not want to shift off from their tradition.

Below is a summarised table which summarises the Tswana culture in comparison to Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions.

The Kalanga culture, as compared with Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, has a high power distance as culturally they believe that the superiors are the only ones who should make decisions concerning the community without necessarily consulting the community. This is proved by the fact that their ancestors have all the powers to do anything to them and the ancestors are always looking down on the community. This is why they believe that if people do something wrong the ancestors will punish them through incurable illnesses or disaster. The survey of the questionnaire indicates that those respondents from the Kalanga culture who feel the power distance is very strong represent 50% and those who feel it is strong represent 20%.

The Kalanga culture, unlike the Tswana culture, has a slight weak individualism which indicates that they are more collectivism therefore the practice of extended family is still a bit stronger than nuclear family. Those who feel individualism is strong represents 35% and very strong 10% whereas those who feel is weak represent 30% and very weak 20%. This indicates that the culture is shifting from one part of dimension to another but again the problem might be that the sample population is not enough to give a true picture as it does not cover the other areas of the country.

Masculinity seems to be very strong in Kalanga Culture and as indicated by the figures, 65% of the respondents feel that masculinity if very strong and while 10% feel it is very weak. Most of the respondents have indicated that masculinity is very strong Kalanga culture ant this shows that roles are gender based and not skill based.

Tswana tribe has weak uncertainty avoidance as is shown in the responses. This indicates that Kalanga culture does not fear any uncertain situations; they do and plan things looking for future benefits without any hesitation or fear that they will fail. Unlike Tswana, Kalanga plan ahead for the future and it shows that they are always positive of what they are doing and always thinking about the positives and not negatives. The figures show that those who feel the culture is very weak is 20% and weak is 30% and those who feel the culture is very strong is 20% and strong 15%.

The results show that Kalanga are long-term oriented and they persevere to get what they want irrespective of how long it will take them to achieve. They are very patient and work towards achieving their goals. According to the respondents 50% feel that the Kalanga culture is very strong and 30% feel it is strong whereas 5% feel it is very weak and 10% feel is it weak.

4.3 Card Sorting

Five screen shots of some banks’ homepages were sent to respondents to generate some useful information concerning e-banking. However, initially the respondents were asked to indicate whether they have been UK for less than one year or more than one year for those in UK. This was done to be able to avoid the biasness because it is assumed that those who have been in UK for more than one year are already accustomed to the culture of UK e-banking services. It is noted that for the Tswana ethnic group 15 are in Botswana, 5 in have been in UK for less than one year and 4 for more than one year. For the Kalanga ethnic group 11 are in Botswana, 5 have been in UK for less than one and 4 for more than one year. These figures include both males and females.

The card sorting was done to be able to identify several things that the two ethnic groups prefer in the e-banking website. These preferences are to help in designing localised e-banking websites for these ethnic groups.

According to the research from the Tswana ethnic group 25% like Card 1, 8% like Card 2, 8% like Card 3, 17% like Card 4 and 42% like Card 5.

4.4 Usability

According to the research, from the Tswana ethnic group concerning the used of internet banking services only 25% very frequently use services, 17% frequently use services, 33% sometimes use services, 17% rarely use services and 8% never use services, whereas from the Kalanga ethnic group 35% very frequently use services, 5% frequently use services, 15% sometimes use services, 40% rarely use services and 5% never use services.

From the Tswana 33% never use online shopping while only 4% always use online shopping and 35% and from the Kalanga never online shopping while 10% always use online shopping.

The service that is mostly used is getting cash from the ATM as shown by the figures from the research. From Tswana 63% use the ATM to get cash while 21% check balance, transaction history, 13% pay for shopping, 4% request for cheque book and nil for transfer of funds. From Kalanga 60% get cast from ATM, 20% pay for shopping, 10% check balance and transaction history, 5% for transfer of funds and 5% for request of cheque book.

Most people use ATM service only to get cash and check balance and this might be due to the fact that the banks are imposing heavy charges on those who would want to withdraw money through the teller. Banks in Botswana are forcing people to use ATM machines in order to reduce long queues in the banking halls by imposing charges on those who with from their monies across the counter but otherwise most people still prefer brick and mortar services e-banking services.

According to the research 29% of Tswana felt the bank services are good while 35% of the Kalanga felt that the services are barely acceptable.

Both Tswana and Kalanga preferred that a bank website should depict their respective cultures through pictures. As shown by the figures from the research 33% of the Tswana and 40% of the Kalanga strongly felt that the website should have pictures. From the Tswana 33% felt that the website should contain animal pictures and 21% felt that it should contain person/people’s pictures whilst from the Kalanga 30% felt that the website should contain Hills pictures and 20% felt that it should contain person/people’s pictures.

More icons are preferred than more text by both Tswana and Kalanga ethnic groups. From the Tswana 54% prefer icons, 38% prefer text while 8% are not sure and from the Kalanga 50% prefer icons, 35% prefer text while 15% are not sure. On the background colour Tswana 33% preferred purple and 21% preferred blue while from the Kalanga 30% preferred green while 20% preferred blue.


5.1 Analysis

The data gathered through the questionnaire was analysed and the information from the analysis was used to come up with two e-banking web pages for Tswana and Kalanga which caters for the needs of the two ethnic groups.

5.2 Design

The software model process used to design the two e-banking websites for Tswana and Kalanga is waterfall model because of its linear sequential process i.e. tasks performance is done in order. The sequence of this process starts by analysing data gathered through the survey, design the websites using the information gathered, implementation, testing and maintenance. Below are Figure ? showing the waterfall model; Figure ? showing Tswana e-banking website and Figure ? showing Kalanga e-banking website.

5.3 Implementation

5.4 Testing

5.5 Maintenance


6.1 Recommendations

6.2 Conclusion


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