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Report- NAB (e-business) Essays

Report- NAB (e-business)
National Australia Bank Group (NABG) is a financial services organization. The group is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and employs approximately 40,000 people, formidable presence in New Zealand and UK as well. The group basically operates through four business divisions: the Australia region, the UK, New Zealand and nabCapital. The bank was established in 1858 as the National Bank of Australia, and it certainly goes to the credit of the contemporary polices being adopted by bank that it has seen smooth transition from 19th century to the 21st century (Datamonitor, 2007). It is in keeping with such tradition that NAB has ventured onto the e-business opportunity by facilitating the banking transactions through electronic means. Electronic business in its purest form implies extensive use of computers, communication technology, networking technology and computerized data to offer business applications. Internet and networking happen to be the backbone for e-business applications. Other key stakeholders for the successful implementation of e-business applications are the employees, shareholders, suppliers, distributors, sellers or customers. Though a range of services come in the ambit of e-business, but the offers vary from institutions to institution.
Key features of NAB Internet Banking have been indicated in table-1;

Account Information
Bill Payment (BPay)
§  Account summary
§  Transaction history – helpful for tax time
§  Detailed account information – helpful for tax time
§  Stop cheque/s
§  Re-order cheque or deposit book
§  Re-order statement
§  View Statements – helpful for tax time
§  Creating one off bill payment
§  Creating periodic bill payment
§  BPAY View
Funds transfer and redraw
My Settings
§  Single funds transfer
§  Multiple funds transfer
§  International transfer
§  Personal loan redraw
§  Home loan redraw
§  Change account nicknames
§  Change contact details
§  Security
§  Enhanced internet banking
§  SMS Banking
§  NAB Alerts

Besides the regular online banking NAB has also offered its customers ‘Enhanced Internet Banking’. This allows the customers to view MLC investments, Insurance products, and National General Insurance within the internet banking account of the customer. NAB has also customised its online platform to make it available on the mobile phone as well. Therefore, together with e-business, the company has been able to offer its customers m-commerce as well. On their mobile phone the customers can;
Check account balances and transaction history
Transfer funds between accounts
Pay bills
View NAB Online Trading share portfolio
Check the location of nearest ATM

Fig: Screenshot of the latest NAB Website

As many of the features being offered are the latest ones therefore a number of these services might be accessed with decent system configurations at the end of the customer. The minimum configuration recommended by NAB includes;
Feature
PC System
Mac System
Processor
Pentium or equivalent processor
G3 or above
Operating System
Windows® 2000, XP or Vista
Mac OS X v10 or higher
Web Browser software
Internet Explorer® v7 and v8
Firefox™ v3.x
Safari™ v2.0 and v3.0
Firefox™ v3.x
Modem
Recommended minimum of 33.6kbps
Internet Access
A connection to the Internet through an Internet Service Provider (ISP)
Screen Resolution
A screen resolution of 800 x 600 or greater is preferred

Some of the changes put into effect by the NAB online portal from 22nd May 2010 include;
NAB Smart Statements: Irrespective of the option of receiving paper statement, the customer will be able to receive statement of eligible accounts through internet banking.
Customer will be able to access NAB Smart Statements by logging into NAB Internet Banking

Increasing cases of online frauds have kept the banks and financials institutions on their toes. Though banks keep warning their customers about the ways to prevent this from occurring, but at times, it becomes very difficult for the customer to escape these fraudsters. Studies carried out in UK by some consumer groups pointed out that almost half of us fail to protect our interests from banking frauds (Reuters, 2008). NAB has also come out with a warning to its customers that fraudulent emails appearing as genuinely sent from NAB are making attempts to trick the customers into providing personal information like NAB ID, internet or telephone banking password, credit card details etc[1].

E-business is more than just e-commerce. It involves business processes spanning the entire value chain: electronic purchasing and supply chain management, processing orders electronically, handling customer services, and cooperating with business partners. Now the internet e-business portals greet each customer by name and present targeted information and services that correspond to each visitor’s unique preferences and requirements. This type of personalized attraction increases customer loyalty, enhances revenue for the company and helps in establishing a valuable database of customers. NAB has also been adopting such measures for taking care of the interest of its online customer base. NAB has been a pioneer in offering value added service to its customers. Some of the services offered by the National Australia Bank to its customers include;
1.      Cash flow and payments
·         Transaction accounts: In June 2004, NAB started two new transaction accounts namely NAB Smart Direct for electronic users and NAB Smart Access for customers who need a complete banking service[2]. To start with, the NAB Smart Direct carried a monthly service fee of $3 the NAB Smart Access account carried a fee of $5 per month. In return the bank provided unlimited use of national electronic channel.
·         Business investments: With the help of such accounts the customer can place online instructions to sweep funds out of the day-to-day NAB transaction account to NAB Business Investment Account. This helps in maximising the interest being earned on the money. With the help of NAB Connect (internet banking for business), NAB Internet Banking and NAB Telephone Banking the customer can always remain in touch with the investments and accordingly make plans.
·         Transaction options: While the bank offers a range of options for transaction of funds, it depends upon the customer, depending upon the type of requirement to opt for different types of transactions.
·         Payment solutions: NAB offers different types of payment solutions for receiving or making the payments. NAB EFTPOS, NAB Transact, NAB Multi Currency Acquiring, NAB OCR Locked Box, NAB Direct Debit, NAB RentCard, NAB IVR, NAB BPAY are some of the payment solutions on offer for receiving the payments while NAB Payments, NAB Direct Credit, and NAB Multipay are some of the solutions on offer for making payments[3].
·         Business credit cards: Such credit cards are on offer for small businesses, so that NAB can take care of some of the smaller worries of the entrepreneur. The bank can thus provide access to working capital for the business. The website of NAB prominently displays a range of cards namely, NAB Business Access Card, NAB Business Card, NAB Purchasing & Corporate Card, and Velocity NAB Business American Express Card, depending upon the requirements of the customer[4].
·         Trade payments and deposits: NAB has offered different types of payment facilities and deposit schemes for its customers in general and the business entrepreneur in particular. For example, the A NAB Term Deposit is a fixed rate, fixed term investment, providing a secure return on funds, while the Farm Management Deposit Scheme is a tax-linked risk management tool for enabling primary agri-producers to make provision for unforeseen economic situations, adverse climatic conditions etc. which could result in earning fluctuations. The bank also helps in formalising concessional tax treatment during such time.

2.      Finance and Leasing
·         Managing cashflow: NAB offers a number of solutions to overcome unforeseen situations resulting in payment crisis. In order to fund the increases in current assets or unexpected operating expenses the bank offers short term finances. For example, the NAB Debtor Finance offers funding for business growth or ‘cash flow requirements based on the strength of business sales’.
·         Growth and start-up finance: NAB offers online solutions to its customers for diversification, consolidation or vertical integration of their business ventures. In addition venture capitalists can also have start-up finances provided they are in a position to convince the bank representatives about the genuineness of their venture.
·         Vehicle and equipment finance: The Asset Finance solutions from NAB offer a range of innovative products for vehicle, plant and equipment for financing the requirements of the customer. NAB equipment loan helps the customers in purchasing vehicles or income producing equipment for their business[5].
3.      Insurance
·         Group Insurance: This scheme is meant for an employer on the lookout for the welfare of its workers. The premiums paid on group insurance are generally lower than those paid on individual schemes. Such schemes help in providing an insurance cover for the employer as well as the worker to take care of any accident taking place within the working period of the worker or after the superannuation of the worker. The employer is required to process the requisite papers and the company can deposit the premiums on a monthly or yearly basis, depending upon the agreed terms and conditions.
·         National Agricover: NAB offers a comprehensive range of covers for protecting the farm assets and the livelihood of the individuals/families dependent on farm produce. During the times of natural calamities like storm or fire, the bank offers adequate compensation to the farming community.
·         Business Succession: Succession planning forms a very important part of the strategies being put into practice by the corporate world, as it helps the company in recovering from the sudden loss of the key person if the key person decides to switch loyalties to a rival company,  superannuates or any mishap occurs with him/her. When an online request is forwarded to the NAB financial planner or specialist, it helps the company in recommending strategies like;
Business / key person protection
Business succession planning
General and commercial insurance
Superannuation
Services for employees
Personal financial planning
Income Protection: This insurance scheme takes care of situations when an individual or business is out of work. NAB insures the income with MLC income protection insurance, under which the individual or the business is paid regular income during the period of disability or calamities etc.

It is quite pertinent to note here that the internet may be changing the way we do business, but it hasn’t altered the fundamentals of human nature. People still respond to personalised services. They want to be treated as individuals and they appreciate intelligent assistance in finding products and services that meet their unique needs. This is particularly true in case of a banking institution, where people entrust their hard earned money and savings of their lifetime to the bank. The customers therefore feel valued if the bank approaches its customers with personalised solutions for their requirements. Businesses that understand their customers and cater to their individual preferences benefit in two key ways;
In the short term, they increase the sales potential of every customer interaction.
In the long term, they establish a more loyal customer base.

NAB also comes out with personalised greetings and messages whenever an online customer logs into the system. With such a personalised e-business solution, the bank can customise the online experience for every visitor who comes to its internet, extranet, or intranet site. The process is relatively straightforward. Visitor information is accumulated through the registration process and by observing online behaviour of the customers. Patterns can be subsequently analysed and compared. For example, if a customer is found to deal in equity and stock business through the online platform, the bank can send across a message to the customer about some of the IPOs in the pipeline. While this is bound to help the customer, the bank too would be able to take advantage of the situations in case the IPO issue is being underwritten by the bank. By deciphering the online behaviour market segments can also be defined and reliable predictions can be made about the products or services that interest a particular individual or group. Based on this analysis, a unique combination of information and promotions are presented to each user. The ‘click stream behaviour’ of each visitor can be monitored and feedback gathered accordingly. Such personalised services can improve efficiency and communication throughout the e-business value chain.

In order to safeguard the e-business experience of its customers, NAB has been strengthening the security of online platform with regular updates. NAB defence is the name of a ‘security promise’ from the bank to its customers so that the customer’s interest is protected. NAB has taken innovative security measures to fight fraud. NAB claims that for every NAB product endorsed by NAB Defence, the customer can be sure of:
The assessment of the account by NAB’s security experts
High risk transactions with the account being actively monitored
Alert from NAB followed by investigation if any suspected fraudulent activity takes place in the account
NAB will reimburse 100% of any amount fraudulently removed from the account of the customer if, despite its defences, the customer becomes a victim of fraud.

In addition NAB has also made use of the internet platform for interacting with its employees. The interface with its employees provides a suitable medium to send official memos and take feedback. The presentation of the web interface is user friendly and easily understandable, both for the employees and the customers. In fact the interface has to be devised in such a manner that the customer feels as if he/she is interacting with an individual on the counter. This helps in bringing in confidence amongst the customers. NAB also advises its clients to install and update reliable anti-virus software within their computer system, so that the computer system of the individual remains protected from undesirable viruses, worms and Trojans. These types of malicious programs often carry something in them which appears harmless in the form of an email link or a game, but it often contains a program which allows the intruder to access all the details of the computer system being used by the customer.

NAB has been cautioning its customers about the threats emanating from internet in the form of emails. The bank has explained on its website that there are generally two types of emails containing malicious material[6].
Phishing emails – these spoof emails appear to come from a bank and generally contain a link to a fraudulent website which looks identical to the genuine site. Recipients of these emails are requested to login to Internet Banking and enter personal information such as NAB ID and Internet Banking or Telephone Banking passwords. Details entered into a fraudulent web site can then be used on the real website to commit fraud.
Virus or Trojan emails- these generally come from senders unknown to the customer and contain links or attachments that may download and install malicious software (Malware) onto the computer of the customer. The subject and wording of the emails are often designed to be sensational or provocative to try and get the customer to urgently act on the message. (For example by claiming that an online order has been placed by the customer or that the customer has won an online lottery)

References:
NAB (2010). Give and Take comes naturally to some. Available online at http://www.nab.com.au/ (May 22, 2010)
OECD (2008). Convergence and Next Generation Networks. OECD Ministerial Meeting on the future of the Internet Economy.
Reuters (2008). ‘Are you card-sharp?’ Kuwait Times, the first Daily in the Arabian Gulf. Available online at http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=NjIyMzQxNzgx (May 21, 2010)
Sun, Szu-Yuan (2005). A study of Consumer Value-added Services in Mobile Commerce-Focussing on Domestic Cellular Phone Companies in Taiwan, China. ICEC-05, August 15-17, 2005, Xi’an China.

[1] http://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/Personal_Finance/12/13/9/1
[2] http://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/about_us/8/5/29/15
[3] https://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/business_solutions/1/3/11
[4] http://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/business_solutions/2/1/5
[5] http://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/business_solutions/3/3/3
[6] http://www.nab.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/nab/nab/home/personal_finance/12/13/9

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