Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a pilot study conducted in Pakistan, about the barriers perceived by users and non‐users of Islamic banking when selecting Islamic banks. Design/methodology/approach – This study was conducted to include two types of banking customers, users (customers of Islamic banks only and, Islamic and conventional banks both) and non‐users (customers of conventional banks only). The qualitative research included in‐depth interviews with managers of Islamic banks and two focus groups with users and non‐users, respectively. The survey questionnaire that was subsequently designed received 109 responses. The analysis includes hypothesis testing, factor analysis, and cluster analysis. Findings – A narrow branch network, inconvenient branch locations and perception that “Islamic banks do not completely follow Islamic principles” acted as barriers for non‐users when selecting Islamic banks. Further, “a religious ruling against Islamic banks” was not considered an important barrier when selecting Islamic banks. Originality/value – This research outlines an alternative methodology of looking at bank selection criteria, by measuring the other side of the coin, i.e. the barriers perceived by users and non‐users of Islamic banking when selecting Islamic banks. Compared to the prevailing literature on the subject, such an approach is enlightening and can have enormous potential as it directly measures the perceived barriers towards Islamic banking. Furthermore, this pilot study is also an important contribution to the limited literature on consumer attitudes towards Islamic banking in Pakistan, where the operations of Islamic banks are still in their formative stage.
Journal of Islamic Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 20, 2011
Keywords: Pakistan; Islamic banking; Consumer perception; Barriers; Branch network; Islamic principles; Consumer behaviour; Islam
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