An examination of the contribution made by the Internet in relationship-oriented retail banking
An understanding of the role the Internet can play in marketing activity is of growing interest to both academics and practitioners. The focus of the research reported in this thesis has Internet-enabled marketing as its centre. The context for this examination is that of Electronic (or Internet-enabled) retail banking. The research sought to identify, assess and evaluate the contribution of the Internet to relationship-oriented retail banking. Given the relational focus of the research it was decided that a focus on both the perspectives of bankers and retail bank customers would be accessed in order to address the research aim most effectively. Key findings from the study overall include; (i) bank branch staff have a key role in the education of their customers in order that there is continued growth in e-banking adoption, (ii) reassurance about web security is of prime importance in encouraging customers to adopt e-banking, (iii) awareness of the added value offered by e-banking needs to be generated and communicated by banks according to varying customer clusters, (iv) bank marketing communications strategies need to be refined in order to better target and help manage the perceptions of varying customer clusters with regard to the e-banking proposition, (iv) in the case bank under study a loss of face to face interaction was not seen as an inhibitor in adoption of the Internet for purchase of products of increasing complexity, (v) banks in general need to move away from a reliance on traditional segmentation approaches and adopt a more motivation driven / behaviourally -based approach to profiling customers. The thesis ends with an agenda for future research that focuses heavily on the possibilities for intemationalising the study.