Muneer Ahmad, Muhammad Bilal Zafar, Abida Perveen

 Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the comparative importance of factors influencing the customer shift behavior from conventional to Islamic banking for consumer finance in Pakistan.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a comprehensive analysis of the existing literature was conducted to identify a broad range of factors related to customer shift behavior. Through an expert sampling, 14 essential factors were chosen for further investigation. Second, a questionnaire was developed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). This questionnaire was then distributed among customers who had previously been using conventional banking services but had made a shift toward Islamic banking. The purpose of this questionnaire was to gather data and insights regarding their motivations and decision-making process behind the shift, and a sample 215 customers are taken in the study.

Findings

The results of AHP depicts that the religiosity is a most important factor influencing customers to shift from conventional to Islamic banking, and the second most important factor is pricing. The other subsequent important factors are reputation of the bank, marketing and promotion, service quality, behavior of banks staff, Shariah compliance, management, convenience, fastness and charges/fees. Whereas documentation, ambiance and recommendation are found least important factors to patronize Islamic banking.

Practical implications

The study recommends Islamic banks to create awareness, concentrating on religious factor to have a greater impact on growth of Islamic banking and shrinking of conventional banking. Further, it suggests Islamic banks to apply Shariah-recommended approach of doing business, to help community in best possible way and to launch differentiated marketing techniques to attract customers. It also proposes regulatory authorities to provide facilitation to Islamic banking business by providing level playing field similar to conventional banking, tax equality and conversion of public financing from conventional banking to Islamic banking.

Originality/value

The originality of this study lies in its comprehensive analysis of factors influencing consumer shift behavior from conventional to Islamic banking in the context of consumer finance in Pakistan. By using the AHP, the study provides a structured approach to understanding the relative importance of these factors. This is the uniqueness of the paper that it applies the AHP for the analysis. Furthermore, the study offers practical implications for Islamic banks and regulatory authorities to effectively address and capitalize on this consumer shift trend.