Ict in Rural Areas

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Date Submitted: 09/21/2012 07:38 PM

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I. Introduction:

Growth in rural development has always been pointed to result from having an effective rural banking system. Studies have proven that an effective rural banking system significantly reduce rural poverty by as much as 50%, suggesting that lack of access to capital markets is an important reason why poor people stay poor.

Agriculture, the primary sector in rural development, has always been a main focus of rural development programs. Not to be overlooked, however, is the development in secondary and tertiary sector, which will likewise benefit from having a well-distributed and well-developed banking system. These sectors, particularly in services and informal manufacturing are also key beneficiaries of a well-distributed rural banking system.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been in the forefront of the rapid development in the banking system over the years. Its has been used as a tool to facilitate various aspects of the organization, including business strategies and customer services. Primary avenue in the use of ICT is in the communication and connectivity area through the implementation of better market infrastructure to reach the geographically distant and diversified markets. Among the notable applications of ICT within the banking sector include the development of products and services such as networked branches, ATMs, internet banking, SMS & telephone banking, electronic bills payment and POS banking. These technological innovations has brought about conveniece and speed in access.

The Philippine banking system has not been lagging behind in these innovations. In fact, most local commercial and universal banks have already adopted the full use of ICT in the betterment of banking services, establishing the presence of these technologies in the country. In the rural banking sector, however, the use of ICT is still in its infancy. While major local banks have been implementing these electronic services...