Thus the aspect of electronic-Transaction which has being given to the 21st century as a result of hard work and ingenuity on the part of computer programmers and engineers, is the process of exchanging goods for services or vice versa, with interested clients within or outside the immediate environment over the web. The aspect of E-Transaction is a relatively small aspect of the larger body called Electronic-Commerce, which is commonly known as e-commerce or e-comm, which refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
Looking at the current case in the country, where most of the transactions handled are still done manually it would help to bring the innovative idea of a web based transactional environment where individuals can see and make certain of the financial status which their accounts possess. With careful consideration of our case study of Benson Idahosa University’s Bursary Department, it would prove both beneficial to students and staff alike, as well as help to save considerable effort.
1. 2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The E-Transact System is an example of the form of web based applications under Ecommerce which is created to better help individuals maintain a safe, efficient, and quick way to make transactions. The project attempts to address the following issues: * Help put an end to the claims of missing fees, tellers or receipts by students. * Make the long process of verification of payment a lot less difficult. * Give parents and guardians relief when payments are made as opposed to not knowing if the child has actually paid the fees or not. . 3 AIM AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY The aim and objective of the study include the following: * Encourage the development of online business/commerce based management applications in Nigeria. * Increase the awareness of the web based Electronic Transaction application to the general public. * Development of a new and better means of handling transactions. * Outline the benefits of adopting this system in Nigeria. * Help people to understand the need and importance for an Electronic-Transaction software. 1. 4 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
When taking into consideration the nature of the project a number of possible ways will be employed in the effort to gather the necessary information which will help in the considerable awareness for this project. These means include Resource Material, Observation and Research and Site Visit. 1. 4. 1RESOURCE MATERIAL This is a process that involves the gathering of information from books, magazines, journals and other materials that are related to the subject of the study. This will involve getting definitions and meanings of some terms used in the business. Definitions and meanings can also be obtained from the dictionary.
These books can either be purchased or found in the library. 1. 4. 2OBSERVATION This process involves the physically monitoring and watching the various processes or tasks involved in handling transactions. Observation can be conducted in a formal or informal way. Apart from monitoring the various tasks involved, participation can also be adopted as an observation technique. By participating in these activities It would become easier to understand and appreciate the effort that are required in transaction management as well as determine how the new system will work. . 4. 3RESEARCH AND SITE VISIT The internet can be considered as a vast collection of resources and materials that relate to any area or field of knowledge. Research and site visit involves searching through the internet for materials and information that relate to the project. During the project many sites will be visited that will supply the relevant information, some of these sites also provide the opportunity to download these materials for free without incurring any cost whatsoever. 1. 5 SCOPE OF STUDY
This project aims at the bursary department of the Benson Idahosa University. This department already has the necessary items/Equipment for this project such as an internet connection, a network, computers, and stock pile of student’s information. All this items/equipment is essential for this project to function properly. 1. 6 LIMITATIONS During the course of this study factors may be encountered that may affect the pace at which the research is conducted, these factors include: * Availability of internet connections to obtain materials. Lack of material on the internet, in libraries and from individuals to sufficiently and adequately explain the concept of the E-Transaction to the general public. * Writing of the project while still carrying on with school work. 1. 7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY The importance of this project to the general public likewise the staff and students of the university of Benson Idahosa University can be seen as a rapid means of reducing the stress of entering data manually, having bulky paper work, reducing long hours of unnecessary waiting just for the paper work to be proceed and subsequently waiting for receipts.
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW 2. 1HISTORY OF ELECTRONIC-TRANSACTION 2. 1. 1Early development The growth of automated information services in Nigerian universities began to accelerate as from about 1990, when the World Bank intervened with a loan to improve the institutional capacities of the Nigerian Universities, and with specific focus on automating the universities.
Before then, a 1987 conference jointly organized by the National Universities Commission and the British Council had recommended that management information systems be introduced into the Nigerian university system (Abdulkadir, 1995). The MIS project commenced with a workshop in 1989 for Academic Planners and Bursars of Nigerian universities, followed in 1990 by the setting up of a technical committee to design hardware and software prototypes for the project.
These initiatives, along with the World Bank intervention, eventually led to the introduction and development of university databases through the Nigerian Universities Management Information System (NUMIS), electronic connectivity through the Nigerian Universities Network (NUNet), automation of university libraries through the TINLIB library software, and the computerization of accounting processes through the computerized accounting system (CAS) for Bursary departments of the universities.
NUMIS strives to increase control, access and updating of information, production of regular reports, and effectiveness in management decision making, whereas NUNet aims at setting the pace and direction for networking computer and information resources in the universities through intra-campus, inter-university and global electronic connectivity. While CAS has been transforming the data operations of the Bursary departments of Nigerian universities, much does not appear to have been achieved in the bibliographic automation of university libraries through the implementation of the TINLIB software.
However, there is an emerging hope to rejuvenate the libraries through the on-going National Virtual Library Project, approved by the Federal Executive Council in January 2002 (National Interest, 3 January, 2002). Despite these laudable initiatives however, the anticipated technological transformation of the universities appears to be have been very slow.
Thus considering the part of the computerized accounting system (CAS) for Bursary departments of the universities, it would then prove most effective to look into the areas of E-commerce and Transaction before looking at the aspect of E-Transaction Transaction can be seen as a means of communication between two individuals, companies, organization, etc. where goods and services are exchange or vice versa. Transaction is a discrete activity within a computer system, such as an entry of a customer order or an update of an inventory item.
Transactions are usually associated with database management, order entry, and other online systems. (According to the Microsoft Computer Dictionary, Fifth Edition) Thus to put Transaction in the much more Simpler definition it would be an instance of doing business or an act of negotiation as a means of communication between individuals, companies, countries, etc. Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce or e-comm, refers to the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks (“According to Wikipedia”).
Short for electronic commerce. Commercial activity that takes place by means of computers connected through a network. Electronic commerce can occur between a user and a vendor through the Internet, an online information service, or a bulletin board system (BBS), or between vendor and customer computers through electronic data interchange (“according to Microsoft Computer Dictionary”) . Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.
Originally, electronic commerce was identified as the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically, using technology such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). These were both introduced in the late 1970s, allowing businesses to send commercial documents like purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce. Another form of e-commerce was the airline reservation system typified by Sabre in the USA and Travicom in the UK.
Beginning in the 1990s, electronic commerce would include enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), data mining and data warehousing E-commerce has grown in importance as companies have adopted Pure-Click and Brick and Click channel systems. We can distinguish between pure-click and brick and click channel system adopted by companies. * Pure-Click companies are those that have launched a website without any previous existence as a firm. It is imperative that such companies must set up and operate their e-commerce websites very carefully.
Customer service is of paramount importance. * Brick and Click companies are those existing companies that have added an online site for e-commerce. Initially, Brick and Click companies were skeptical whether or not to add an online e-commerce channel for fear that selling their products might produce channel conflict with their off-line retailers, agents, or their own stores. However, they eventually added internet to their distribution channel portfolio after seeing how much business their online competitors were generating.
In their summary of the findings from the eighth survey, the Researchers report that “e-commerce is taking off both in terms of the number of users Shopping as well as the total amount of people who are spending via Internet based transactions” E-commerce can be divided into: i. E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall” ii. The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts iii. Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data iv.
E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters) v. Business-to-business buying and selling vi. The security of business transactions Business models across the world also continue to change drastically with the advent of Ecommerce and this change is not just restricted to USA. Other countries are also contributing to the growth of Ecommerce. For example, the United Kingdom has the biggest e-commerce market in the world when measured by the amount spent per capita, even higher than the USA.
The internet economy in UK is likely to grow by 10% within the years 2010 to 2015. This has led to changing dynamics for the advertising industry. Amongst emerging economies, China’s Ecommerce presence continues to expand. With 384 million internet users, China’s online shopping sales rose to $36. 6 billion in 2009 and one of the reasons behind the huge growth has been the improved trust level for shoppers. The Chinese retailers have been able to help consumers feel more comfortable shopping online. Ecommerce is also expanding across the Middle East.
Having recorded the world’s fastest growth in internet usage between 2000 and 2009, the region is now home to more than 60 million internet users. Research by four economists at the University of Chicago has found that the growth of online shopping has also affected industry structure in two areas that have seen significant growth in e-commerce, bookshops and travel agencies. Now considering the aspect of Electronic-Transaction it is technically defined as the processing and transmission of digitized information related to products and services.
Or as a discrete packet of data transmitted in the course of conducting business activities online, whether in the form of a message, automated transaction or other types of digital communication (History of E-commerce, E-transaction n. d. ). 2. 2 E-TRANSACT SYSTEM An Electronic Transaction software is a web based application which deals with the sale or purchase of goods or services whether between business, households, individuals, governments and other public or private organizations conducted over computer mediated networks.
The goods and services are ordered over those networks, but the payment and the ultimate delivery of goods or service may be conducted on or off-line. E-Transaction system should have i. Trustworthiness of the transaction – parties must have faith that records are authentic and unaltered. ii. Authentication of electronic signatures- person signing is the same who has identified himself. Depending on the type of electronic signatures used and the level of security inherent in that signature it is possible that the electronic signatures may be subject to greater risk of repudiation than handwritten ink signatures. iii.
Data integrity – accuracy and completeness of information – ensuring that no alteration has been made intentionally or accidentally iv. Integrity – must ensure non-repudiation and authenticity. Document must be the same as that sent by the sender. Document must not be altered either in storage or transmission v. Retention of records –for a minimum period and in manner which would make it admissible in court of law as evidence – in case of a dispute Electronic transactions, and in particular electronic commerce, are dependent upon a supportive and responsive payment infrastructure in which both buyer and seller have confidence.
This must be supported by a financial sector that fully participates in and embraces electronic commerce solutions. The financial sector will be encouraged to facilitate small and medium size enterprises as they seek to access the global market place through web sites and internet portals so taking advantage of lower costs and niche marketing. Electronic Transaction with specially provided E-Transact cards and the provision of online banking services must become standard characteristics of ife in this new Millennium. Wider international access within the existing card system has resulted in the imposition of a risk premium for non – secure transactions. In the financial sector, the dematerialization of cheque by electronic facility reduces the cost of passing these through the clearing system. The commercial banks estimate the savings in this regard as being in the billions of dollars while, the Central Bank, which presides over clearing house activities, will also benefit from lower costs.
The Government will work closely with the financial sector to foster the safety and soundness of electronic payments, ensure adequate levels of consumer protection and remove legislative, regulatory and administrative hurdles that limit the digital transfer of payments. * CONSUMER PROTECTION The growth of electronic transaction has the potential to offer substantial benefits to consumers. These benefits include: i. Greater convenience. ii. Increased choice (leading to greater competition). iii. Lower prices (through the removal of intermediaries between the producer and the consumer). iv.
More information on products. v. Ability to personalize products. vi. Improved after sales services. Electronic transaction will particularly benefit members of society who are unable to participate in the traditional marketplace. For example, those who live in rural areas will have access to a range of goods and services normally only available in urban areas. In addition, people who have an illness or a disability will also benefit from the convenience of online transacts. However, electronic transaction will not realize its full potential until consumers have confidence in its efficacy.
For electronic transaction to flourish consumer confidence is imperative and this will be supported through public education and public and private sector cooperation, buttressed by a clear, consistent legal framework. A number of key issues need to be addressed to ensure that there is a safe and efficient online environment that consumers will trust. These key issues are: a. Information – the provision of adequate information to consumers b. Payment – establishing secure methods for paying online c. Jurisdiction – nternational agreement on the appropriate jurisdiction for consumer contracts d. Privacy – protection of personal information in the online environment The Government will encourage the private sector to adopt self-regulatory mechanisms and codes of practice in electronic commerce so that regulatory intervention by Government in the Electronic Market is minimal. Further, the Government will seek to promote alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, which will allow consumer’s fast, effective and fair redress for fraudulent, deceptive or unfair business practices online. Transaction based application retrieved march 17th 2012) 2. 3SECURE E-TRANSACT PROTOCOL SET Protocol Secure Electronic Transactions (SET) is an open protocol which has the potential to emerge as a dominant force in the securing of electronic transactions. Jointly developed by Visa and MasterCard, in conjunction with leading computer vendors such as IBM, SET is an open standard for protecting the privacy, and ensuring the authenticity, of electronic transactions.
This is critical to the success of electronic commerce over the Internet; without privacy, consumer protection cannot be guaranteed, and without authentication, neither the merchant nor the consumer can be sure that valid transactions are being made. The SET protocol relies on two different encryption mechanisms, as well as an authentication mechanism. SET uses symmetric encryption, in the form of the aging Data Encryption Standard (DES), as well as asymmetric, or public-key, encryption to transmit session keys for DES transactions (IBM, 1998).
Rather than offer the security and protection afforded by public-key cryptography, SET simply uses session keys (56 bits) which are transmitted asymmetrically – the remainder of the transaction uses symmetric encryption in the form of DES. This has disturbing connotations for a “secure” electronic transaction protocol – because public key cryptography is only used only to encrypt DES keys and for authentication, and not for the main body of the transaction. 2. 3. 1SYMMETRIC AND ASYMMETRIC ENCRYPTION IN SET
In the SET protocol, two different encryption algorithms are used –Data Encryption Standard (DES) and RSA. The DES algorithm has been used since the 1970’s. It is believed by some that the National Security Agency (NSA) of America played “an invisible hand in the development of the algorithm” (Schneier, 1996), and that they were responsible for reducing its key size from the original 128-bits to 56. DES quickly became a federal standard in 1976, and has been used ever since. In the SET protocol, a DES 56-bit key is used to encrypt transactions.
This level of encryption, using DES, can be easily cracked using modern hardware. In 1993, a brute-force DES cracking machine was designed by Michael Wiener – one which was massively parallel. For less than a million dollars (well within the budget of many large companies), a 56-bit DES key could be cracked in average time of 3. 5 hours. For a billion dollars, which might be considered small change for a military or security organization such as the NSA or a foreign power, a parallel machine can be constructed that cracks 56-bit DES in a second (Schneier, 1996).
Clearly, this is of great concern, since DES encrypts the majority of a SET transaction. As the power of computers grows, and the cost diminishes, such code-crackers may become more and more common. 2. 3. 2TRANSACTION AUTHENTICITY Authentication is an important issue for users of electronic commerce. Consumers must have faith in the authenticity of the merchant, and merchants must have faith in the authenticity of the consumer. Without authentication, any individual could pose as a merchant, and besmirch a merchant’s good name by failing to deliver goods and billing up credit card bills.
Without authentication, any individual could pose as a consumer, ordering costly goods to an abandoned house or apartment, and defrauding the merchant. Without authentication, an individual could pose as a willing buyer, accept the goods, and then repudiate the transaction. Authentication is critical to achieving trust in electronic commerce. Authentication is achieved through the use of digital signatures. Using a hashing algorithm, SET can sign a transaction using the sender’s private key. This produces a small message digest, which is a series of values that “sign” a message.
By comparing the transaction message and the message digest, along with the sender’s public key, the authenticity of the transaction can be verified. Digital signatures are aimed at achieving the same level of trust as a written signature has in real life. This helps achieve non-repudiation, as the consumer cannot later establish that the message wasn’t sent using his private key. IMPORTANCE OF SECURE E-TRANSACTIONS Secure electronic transactions will be an important part of electronic commerce in the future. Without such security, the interests of the merchant, the consumer, and the credit or economic institution cannot be served.
Privacy of transactions, and authentication of all parties, is important for achieving the level of trust that will allow such transactions to flourish. However, it is important that the encryption algorithms and key-sizes used will be robust enough to prevent observation by hostile entities (either criminal or foreign powers). The ideal of the secure electronic transactions protocol (SET) is important for the success of electronic commerce. However, it remains to be seen whether the protocol will be widely used because of the weakness of the encryption that it uses. Secure E-Transact Protocols Retrieved April 2nd 2012) 2. 4ESSENTIAL FEATURES OF AN E-TRANSACT SYSTEM Enabling technologies refer to the web-based platforms and programs upon which Business-to-business (B2B) and Business-to-consumer (B2C) web sites are constructed. While many business people may want to focus strictly on online selling and buying and leave the technical aspects to IT specialists, they still need to have a sound understanding of these key “under-the hood” enabling technologies to better appreciate their full e-business potential and limitations.
The technologies are encryption, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), SET, and Smart Cards. 2. 4. 1ENCRYPTION Encryption is the process of making data unreadable to everyone except the receiver. The process has four key elements: a. Authentication This allows customers to be sure that the merchant they are sending their credit card details to be who they say they are. It can also allow merchants to verify that the customer is the real owner of the credit card. b. Integrity This ensures that a third party has not tampered with the messages during the transmission. c. Non-repudiation
This prevents customers or merchants from denying they received or sent a particular message. d. Privacy This prevents third parties from reading intercepted messages. The main elements of an encryption system are the plaintext, the cryptographic algorithm, the key, and the cipher text. The plaintext is the raw message or data that are to be encrypted. A cryptographic algorithm, or cipher, is a mathematical set of rules that defines how the plain text is to be combined with a key. The key is a string of digits. The cipher text is the encrypted message. Types of encryption in common use are: SECRET-KEY
Secret-key encryption involves the use of a single key that is shared by both the sender and the receiver of the message. After creating the message, the sender encrypts it with their key and passes it to the recipient who then decrypts it by using a copy of the same key used to encrypt it. Secret-key encryption does have some limitations, particularly with regard to key distribution. For privacy to be maintained, every transmitter of messages would need to provide a different key to everyone they intend to communicate with; otherwise, every potential recipient would be able to read all messages whether it was intended for them or not.
PUBLIC-KEY Public-key encryption involves the use of two keys: one that can be used to encrypt messages (the public key); and one that can be used to either encrypt them or decrypt them (the private key). These key pairs can be used in two different ways – to provide privacy or authentication. Privacy is ensured by encoding a message with the public key, because it can only be decoded by the holder of the private key. Authentication is achieved by encoding a message with the private key. Once the recipient has successfully decrypted it with the public key, she can be assured it was sent by the holder of the private key.
Since the public key can be made widely available – for example, from a server or third party – public-key cryptography does not suffer from the same key distribution and management problems as the secret-key system. One disadvantage of the public-key system is that it is relatively slow. Therefore, when it is being used only for authentication, it is not desirable to encrypt the whole message, particularly if it is a long one. To get around this, a digital signature is used. Digital signatures are implemented through public-key encryption and are used to verify the origin and contents of a message. 2. 4. SECURE SOCKETS LAYER (SSL) Netscape’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol is currently the most widely used method for performing secure transactions on the web and is supported by most web servers and clients, including Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol provides several features that make it particularly suitable for use in e-commerce transactions. Privacy is guaranteed through encryption. Although information en route can still be intercepted by a third party, they will be unable to read them because they wouldn’t have access to the encryption key.
Integrity is also ensured through encryption. If information is received that will not decrypt properly, then the recipient knows that the information has been tampered with during transmission. Authentication is provided through digital certificates. Digital certificates provide the basis for secure electronic transactions as they enable all participants in a transaction to quickly and easily verify the identity of other participants. Essentially, SSL is secret-key encryption, nested within public-key encryption that is authenticated through the use of certificates.
The reason that both secret key and public-key encryption methods are used is because of the relatively slow speed of public-key encryption compared to secret-key encryption. Initially, the client and server exchange public keys, and then the client generate a private encryption key that is used only for this transaction. This is referred to as a session key. The client then encrypts the session key with the server’s public key and sends it to the server. Then for the rest of the transaction, the client and the server can use the session key for private-key encryption. 2. 4. 3SECURE ELCTRONIC-TRANSFER (SET) PROTOCOL
SET is the Secure Electronic Transactions protocol developed by Visa and MasterCard, specifically for enabling secure credit card transactions on the Internet. It uses digital certificates to ensure the identities of all parties involved in a purchase and encrypts credit card information before sending it across the Internet. Like SSL, SET allows for the merchant’s identity to be authenticated via digital certificates; however, SET also allows for the merchant to request user authentication through digital certificates. This makes it much more difficult for someone to use a stolen credit card.
A further advantage of SET is that the merchant has no access to credit card numbers, and thus another source of fraud is eliminated. There are many pilot schemes that use the SET protocol, but mainstream adoption has been slower than predicted. The main reasons behind this are the growing acceptance of SSL for secure credit card transactions and the complexity and cost of the SET system. In a typical SET transaction, there is private information between the customer and the merchant (such as the items being ordered) and other private information between the customer and the bank (such as the customer’s credit card number).
SET allows both kinds of private information to be included in a single, digitally signed transaction. Information intended for the bank is encrypted using the banks public key while information for the merchant is encrypted with the merchant’s public 2. 4. 4SMART CARDS Although similar in appearance to a normal credit or debit card, smart cards differ in at least three key ways – they store much more data, are password protected, and incorporate a microprocessor that can perform processes such as encryption. Although relatively unknown in North America, smart cards are by no means a new invention.
Their use in Europe is widespread for applications such as credit cards, telephone payment cards and the payment of road tolls. France is the leading adopter, having started issuing cards in 1967, and now has some 25 million cards in circulation. However, their use is predicted to grow rapidly worldwide over the next few years on the back of the Internet, e-commerce explosion. i. STORAGE OF ENCRYPTION KEYS Smart cards can provide a very secure way of generating, storing, and using private keys. In its most basic implementation, smart cards can be used to store private keys and digital certificates protected by a password.
Security can be further enhanced by using a microprocessor within the card to generate the public and private key pairs and to perform the actual encryption. Data to be decrypted or digitally signed are passed to the card where the microprocessor performs the operation and then passes the data back to the computer. That way the key never leaves the card and is therefore not vulnerable to attack by rogue programs scanning the computer’s memory for keys. ii. ELECTRONIC PURSES Many applications in place today use a smart card as a replacement for cash because of the higher security they offer over standard credit cards.
Although most of these systems (for example, Mondex, Visa Cash, CLIP and Proton) were developed for point-of-sale applications, their use is likely to extend to web commerce, because they provide an easy and secure way to handle cash transactions. iii. USER PROFILE PORTABILITY One factor that could potentially restrain the growth of web commerce is restricted access to the Internet. Although the number of home and office computers with Internet access is continually growing; it is still not universally available and even the introduction of low-cost access devices (for example, Web TV) will not solve this completely.
Also, even those with individuals with Internet enabled computers are unable to access them when away from their office or desk. (Essentials of a Secure E-Transaction System) 2. 5BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF AN E-TRANSACT SYSTEM With software developed certain benefits the user can derive from its use are carefully put into consideration, thus making it needed and relevant for utilization. Below we take look at some of the benefits/advantages that E-Transact system has to offer, as well as certain limitations that leaves room for further improvement in terms of future development of better, faster and safer systems. . 5. 1Benefits of the E-Transact system * Reduction of Cost and Wasted Time: Cost and Time are both examples of transaction objectives which aid in the progress of business. By making use of the online E-Transact system many cost can be reduced thus enabling the proper utilization of resources. Since the information can be shared across a long range or short range network, users no longer have to print documents and print them to the recipients, rather the document or file is uploaded and sent directly to the recipient hat requires its immediate use, thus printing and postage cost are reduced. * Reduction of Risk and Potential Errors: One important element that affects a transaction is information. Without information from the consumer or merchant, no work or task can be performed. Information is an element in E-Transaction that is never constant. New and current information is required for a proper system to function effectively, the latest information is always available as soon as it is published, minimizing the risk of working on old information, aiding in the business. * Access to Information:
Better access to information and reduction of the response time for RFI (Requests for Information), CO (Change Orders) and specifications clarification. Information no longer has to be passed on from one person to another before getting to the desired destination, instead that information can be accessed easily from anywhere in the world just by gaining an access point to the server where the information is being stored. * Authentication of Information The struggles of information in the global modernisation of the world will not loss its major role seeing as information is the very reason for the system.
Individuals have often said there is a misrepresentation of information during payment, receiving of goods or vice versa. With this system no room is given for such lapse seeing as not just any individual except the administrator and the owner of the specific E-Transact card is permitted access to the information of such a profile. 2. 5. 2Limitations of the E-Transact system With every system comes their benefit as well as its limitations, and amongst a few these drawbacks include: * Security:
The word security describes the assurance that something of value will not be taken away. In an online-Transact system, security is an aspect that should certainly not be overlooked. Many actions and task performed online are usually open to security risk. The possibility of sharing information in an online-Transact system demands security measures. The issue of trust is a major issue in the setting up of such an on online-Transact system – some clients would be completely trustworthy whilst others would need to be checked all the time.
There is definitely a need to ensure that people are encouraged to see this technology as a benefit rather than a threat. | * Infrastructure and difficult Internet Access: An online-Transact system requires infrastructure to be put in place to function properly and effectively, companies and organizations need to have the infrastructure necessary to support them (i. e. network systems, hardware, etc. ). Most companies don’t have this infrastructure and don’t want to, or have any intentions to change their organizations. The internet is a technological concept that is fast growing across the world.
It is a global network of computers across the world through the use of a satellite or telephone system, for sharing information and access data from anywhere in the world. As popular and wide spread as the internet is, most companies do not have any internet connections, which may be as a result of the cost of purchasing one. Without the acquisition of an internet service, the online-Transact system cannot function at all. * Need for Training: Every year, new and better technological tools are developed for solving one problem or another.
Each new application developed comes with a form of documentation or manual to help the user to understand how the system works. But apart from understanding the new system they have to be familiar with the workings of the systems. Employees must be familiar with technological solutions; otherwise they need to be trained, which slows down the advancement of the project. Training is a factor that affects two important project objectives, which include: Time and Cost. Some employees are not keen on using new technologies and think they will need too much time to learn and understand it. . 6SUMMARY In summary we have been able to see the history of Transactions, E-Commerce as well as a little on E-Transaction, what an E-Transaction system is all about, secure e-transact protocol as it helps make E-Transactions better and safer, the benefits and limitations of the system (which could be considered as the advantages and disadvantages), essential features that are looked at to prove and provide essential safety, make business transactions flow easily as well as put both clients and service providers at easy when a transaction is being, or has already being conducted.
Thus far it has shown that the involvement of an E-Transact system not only to the university system but the world at large would be of tremendous help in the mobilization of the financial department to a better and safer atmosphere for conducting transactions. CHAPTER THREE SYSTEM ANALYSIS AND DESIGN 3. 1SYSTEM ANALYSIS System Analysis is one example of the many phases that form the System Development Life Circle, (SDLC) which is a step-by-step approach to the development of a complex system.
System Analysis has to do with the gathering and use of important information pertaining to a certain system. In a more plain definition, system analysis has to do with the collection of data, understanding of the processes involved, and identification of problems and recommendations that wholly affects the performance of the system or is the process of analysing a system with a view of bringing out the problems in the existing system and consequently proffering an alternative method usually a computerized system to curb the problems in the system.
System analysis helps to provide a new efficient system which satisfies the need of the user or organization as well as giving room for future enhancements and improvements by providing answers to the following questions such as: What is being done, How is it being done, Who is doing it, When is he doing it, Why is it being done and How can it be improved?
During the system analysis a thorough investigation of the old or existing system in use is carried out in order to properly understand the information flow, the limitations and weaknesses the current system possesses, providing of solutions to these limitations which may include the improvement of the existing system or development of a complete system from scratch. The existing system used in Benson Idahosa University and around most part of the country today enables the students or staff to be able to perform their daily duties only within the organization.
For example, the administrative staffs in the school is only allowed to issue clearance to students who have paid within the school environment, that means the staff has to be present in the school during the time period when the clearance of students as well as the receiving of bank statements is meant to hold. Similarly, other responsibility that takes the administrative staff away from the school may arise; this eventually would have a negative effect on the students which means that the student might not cover the necessary clearance time for the semester or session.
These responsibilities may be official or unofficial, but the fact still remains that the students will be affected either way. This E-Transact System provides a lime-light solution for both the administrative staff and the Student by giving them the opportunity to have payment as well as updating of their respective account details online without any of the regular hiccups.
The system also provides an avenue for the administrative staff to leave messages pertaining existing debts or overpayments made by students, so as to avoid further accumulation of debts or excess money. All the operations of the existing system can be seen and done easily by the new system with new added features such as checking in advance for the amount of the next session or semester fees as well as other payment details such as accommodation, health, sports etc. nd leaving the students messages informing them of either change in payment details or outstanding debts, thus substituting or reducing the operations of the old system which simply involves the administrative staff going to work every morning in a defined location, carrying out his daily duties within the defined location (such as attending to students account details, attending staff meetings, submission of monthly report to head of department (C. F. O. ) etc. ).
Categorically, the new system defines a new approach to Staff operation, with respect to accounts of students, the E-Transact system gives the administrative staff a new definition of accounting, where less stress is used, convenience is considered and for the students, it provides or gives them a new means of getting their clearance done as well as the extra and on time information from any part of the country. 3. 1. 1THE EXISTING SYSTEM The existing system is one which involves a lot of stress and paperwork which can eventually become cumbersome as time goes on.
Students are force to work around with large sum of money from one bank to the designated banks of payment, where of course students would then have to take a long period of time before the funds can be processed, thus making the whole day a waste of time and energy. After which the student has to wait for the bank to send verification to the school showing the student has made such a payment of fees and sometime sending verification from the bank to the school might take a long time.
Then there exists the issue of students not paying the fees thus using it for other ill relevant things and therefore missing the dead line for the registration exercise. Thus after careful examination of the existing system where a number of flaws exist such as the issue of missing funds, misplaced tellers/receipts and others, it would then be futile to continue to practice this method of transacting business. 3. 1. 2PROBLEM OF THE PRESENT SYSTEM Problems of the existing system can be viewed in the following perspectives The Administrator’s Perspective 1.
Some administrator’s do not regularly show up for work due to reasons such as family crises, emergencies etc. 2. Official responsibilities such as seminar, conferences etc. , may tend to take the administrator away from the school environment thereby making them to miss the clearance of students. 3. They sometimes come late to the office thereby reducing the amount of work that would have achieved in that day. 4. Time allocated to the clearance process might be inconvenient for the administrator thereby causing lateness to the hall of registration or missing the clearance for that day completely. 5.
Since every administrator for each department has to be present in school there is limited office space there by causing congestions in some offices. 6. Student account cards can be misplaced or stolen. The Student’s Perspectives 1. Clearance time might be too lengthy for some students who have a low tolerance for the congestion thereby making it difficult for them to patiently wait their turn. 2. Due to illness or certain emergencies students miss the clearance for the day. 3. All important points mentioned by the administrator during the clearance might not be taken down by the students exactly the way it was said. 4. There are no means of nowing exactly how much the student is meant to pay as some payments might be overlooked or not properly recorded. 5. Once there is an urgent call for the student, he is bound to miss the clearance for the time he is away from the school which means there is no room to make up for the lost time and have his/her registration done. 6. Student’s receipts or tellers can get missing or stolen. Poor dissemination of information Due to the fact that administration members usually do not attend meetings as earlier stated, information is not properly communicated to them, and in most cases the information is not communicated at all.
When such a situation occurs it not only increases the clearance time, but affect how the accounts are handled, which if not handled properly will cause the to be distracted from his studies for no reason. Cost This will save the department a lot seeing as a lot of the normal paper, stamps, and ink to be bought would eventually reduce. No central back-up Each administrator is responsible for the information they are given to work with and handle.
Most administrators go home with such information, and others can only access this information either pending the arrival of custodian of the needed information or the next meeting when the information is brought. Without a central back-up system were information can be stored and access by administrators, if the custodian who is responsible for the information happens to suffer an ill-fated situation, such information will be held down pending their recovery from such a fate. This then slows down progress for the students as well as the administrators. 3. 2SYSTEM DESIGN 3. 2. 1DEFINITION
System design is the process of planning a new system based on the findings of a system analysis. The purpose of system design is to document exactly how the new system should work. In essence, this means preparing a detailed specification for the new system. This deals with the basic structure of the new system, its functionality, its specification, its user requirements and a complete breakdown of how this new system works. The completed design of the new system will provide satisfaction to the user’s needs and requirements. The design will also help for maintenance later in the life time of the system.
Some design tools used include: functional diagrams, hierarchical-input-process-output (HIPO) Charts, input-process-output (IPO) charts and Flow Charts. These design tools are used to describe the process involved in the various segments of the new system. These design requirements are specified in line with the user requirements, goals and objective. Normally, the system design proceeds in two stages: * Preliminary or general design * Structure or detailed design Preliminary or general design In design, the features of the new system are specified. The costs of implementing these features and the benefits to be derived are estimated.
If the project is still considered to be feasible, we move to the detailed design stage. Structure or detailed design In the detailed design stage, computer oriented work begins in earnest and also it is at this stage that design of the system becomes more structured. Structured design is a blue print of a computer system solution to a given problem having the same components as the original problem. Input, processing, and output specification are drawn up in detail. 3. 2. 2STEPS INVOLVED IN SYSTEM DESIGN The following steps are involved in system design * Input requirement * Output requirement * File and storage requirement Process * Control and backup * Personnel and procedures Input requirement Before data can be received as output, information first has to be fed to the system (which is called the input), processed and then displayed as the desired output. The system is an interactive one and the information is inputted into the system via keyboard. The system will be able to accommodate data entry in an interactive mode promptly with proper validation and access authorization. It will be able to accept the necessary data, view and record data. So the proposed system will have the facility to modify data where necessary.
Output requirement One major thing that is of great interest to the administrators and the users (students and parents alike), is the output produced by the system (i. e. Online E-Transact software). It is very important to state the output that the system will produce at the early stages of system design. I. e. what must be produced? It dictates to a large extent how the input, processing and storage are to be handled. The output specifications of the system include: * Actual fees payment page: this page displays all payments made by the student and all outstanding payment not yet made. Information or data display page: this shows the user or admin any information which is entered into the system such as: registration information, new E-Transact card numbers, details of the fees to be paid, user information. File and storage requirement Here what the system needs to properly function is stated. These include the sizes, contents, organization, media devices, formats, access restrictions, and locations for all files the system will use. The inputs which are keyed into the system will be stored and saved in a database. The analyst has to decide whether a new database needs to be established or if an existing one can be used.
The database server used here is MySQL, the data would be called “etranzact_db”. The database would contain tables for different individual purposes with records that would be retrieved to serve their respective purposes. The storage device that is used is the hard disk drive. Processing Here a description of the various processing steps that are needed to convert input into output is given in detail. This involves the use of dataflow diagram and the program design aids to fully document the operation of the new system. The analyst should consider if there would be any new required hardware necessary for processing.
The system authenticates details supplied by users comparing them with what is already available in the database. If there is a match between both data, then access to system will be granted otherwise such a user will be denied access and will be given an opportunity to retry entry into system by logging in again. This is done, in order to restrict access to the system by unauthorized users. Control and backup Apart from the output being considered to be one of the most important parts of the system, another aspect that should be taken very seriously is control and backup.
System controls are put in place in order to make sure that data are input, processed and output correctly and to prevent data destruction, unauthorized program modification and access, fraud and any other tampering that might occur. System backups are copies of essential data and program files that are made periodically to protect against inadvertent loss or malicious damage. Personnel and procedures The last aspect that need to be considered are the people who will make use of the system and the procedures that they will have to follow in order to make use of it as well.
The new system will be accessed by users and the companies of administrator who alone has access to the system database. He controls the actions that will occur from the back-end and monitor what the various users are doing and inputting as well. SYSTEM FLOW CHART A graphical map representation of the path of control or data through the operations in a program or an information-handling system. Symbols such as squares, diamonds, and ovals represent various operations. These symbols are connected by lines and arrows to indicate the flow of data or control from one point to another.
Flowcharts are used both as aids in showing the way a proposed program will work and as a means of understanding the operations of an existing program. It is also a pictorial representation of an algorithm or program. It consists of a set of symbols. Each symbol represents a specific activity. A typical problem involves accepting input, processing the input, and displaying the output. The flowchart shown in fig 3. 1 shows a simple algorithm of the new system as thus; once the user accesses system and is sent to the index page (which is the first page displayed), he/she can login as a user or admin.
If the user has an account and has being approved by the admin, they will have access to the system and be taken directly to the user main page, where they will be able to see and know about their fees both pending and paid, while the admin will be taken to the manage user page where he can activate new users who have just registered, or the manage account and fees page, where he can start a new account and add users to it and make any changes where necessary. IS USER USERNAME & PASSWORD CORRECT IS USER USERNAME & PASSWORD CORRECT IS ADMIN USERNAME & PASSWORD CORRECT
IS ADMIN USERNAME & PASSWORD CORRECT LOGOUT LOGOUT USER MAIN PAGE USER MAIN PAGE START START STOP STOP LOGOUT LOGOUT USER LOGIN PAGE USER LOGIN PAGE ADMIN LOGIN PAGE ADMIN LOGIN PAGE NONO MANAGE FEES RECORD MANAGE FEES RECORD MANAGE STUDENT’S ACCOUNT MANAGE STUDENT’S ACCOUNT YESYES FIG 3. 1 FLOWCHART OF THE SYSTEM Actual fees payment Information & data display page Actual fees payment Information & data display page Login info Register student Create account Manage student records Manage fees records User management Login info Register student Create account Manage student records
Manage fees records User management Login access Login access INPUTADMIN OUTPUT Actual fees paid Actual fees paid PROCESS USER OUTPUT FIG 3. 2 IPO Diagram DATA DICTIONARY A data dictionary defines each term encountered during the analysis and design of a new system. It is a feature of a database (or a tool) where the data to be used in the database are properly defined and linked as to their length, location etc. It helps the user to know the type of data in the database and the restrictions if any. Below are some examples of data dictionaries used for certain modules in the project.
User Work module (front-end) * The user inputs their username and password * If they do not have an account, click on the ‘register’ link that displays another page were they will be able to fill out a form to register for an account * Once granted access to the system the user is to follow the respective instruction as to which faculty and subsequently department. * It then takes the user to the various fees allocation and subsequently asking which amount the user wishes to pay. 4. 6IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINE User Training Requirement