1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The church and the modern technologies seem to be ever more connected as we move further into the twenty-first century” (Hoover 2006). This assertion clearly defines the link between religious belief and the new information and communication technologies which are the most defining media instruments of the twenty-first century. ICT driven technologies can be applied in virtually all areas of the church activities including the payment system (Ovia, 2005). However, different types of payment are done by members in the church. Examples of common payments done during church service includes tithe, general offering, special offering, thanksgiving, harvest, covenant offering, offering for the less privileged/needy, building construction donations etc.
The role and importance of efficient payment systems has been closely monitored and promoted by monetary authorities in all countries. However, the Nigerian payment system that is cash-driven cannot and has not guaranteed the much needed efficient and effective transactions required for a sustainable economic development. Among the problems often associated with cash transactions are armed robberies, use of counterfeit bank notes, frauds, inconveniences of carrying large quantities of currency notes, long period of waiting in bank halls, frequent trips to banks, frequent printing of bank notes (Nnanna and Ajayi, 2005). However, churches in Nigeria are beginning to key in into this cashless system of payment by incorporating modern and cashless method of payment especially the use of PoS. Point-of-sale (PoS) systems have always been around in many forms for a number of years now. Many businesses use these systems not only to accept payment, but to provide other operational information such as accounting, sales tracking, and inventory management. Thus far, this system has gone a long way in improving customer’s experience through customer loyalty programs and suggestions in businesses (Ojo, 2004). Nowadays, the use of POS system is not only available in business set ups but also in churches which have gone a long way in impacting churches.
Though for a number of reasons in Nigeria, there has been various arguments and criticisms among Christians that the use of POS system in church is ungodly and this has been one of the major challenges faced by the use of this system in Nigerian churches. Some church executives in Nigeria has come to say that the banks offered it to the church and since the world was going digital, the members should try and also fit in. They also say it would ease the stress of looking for change every Sunday and for those who forget to bring money to church. So all that is needed to be done is when you get to church is to use your ATM card at the designated points, and collect your receipts! It’s these receipts that you present at the altar as offering to promote efficient and accountability.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Reliance on cash based system of donation and offering in churches has however been found to be risky and cumbersome because money outside the banks cannot be subjected to regulatory and operational procedures, and the ability of monetary policy to achieve set objectives in the presence of sizeable currency out of Bank (COB) is therefore limited. Hence, many churches makes use of POS for offering and donation collection from members to prevent the risks involved in carrying cash about. This cash carrying character of Nigerians is also responsible for large pool of money in the hands of the unbanked citizens. No research has been carried on the impact of POS on churches. However, the researcher is examining the impact of POS on churches.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
1. To examine the impact of POS on churches.
2. To examine the existing payment method/system in churches.
3. To examine the limitations of POS on church payment system
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the impact of POS on churches?
2. What are the existing payment methods/systems in churches?
3. What are the limitations of POS on church payment system?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
1. Findings from this study will educate church authorities and executives and the general public in Nigeria on how they can key in to the CBN cashless policy to promote efficiency in the churches.
2. This research will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the topic.
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This study will cover the existing payment structures in churches with comparison to the modern payment system of POS considering the benefits of POS in the collection of offering and donations in churches.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.