The Interplay of Life Events, Religion, and Consumption in Islamic Banking
Start date: 12 May 2015
Journal: Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science ISBN 978-3-319-26646-6 ISBN 978-3-319-26647-3 (eBook)
Since marketers fi rst entered the fi nancial services arena they have sought to explain consumer purchasing behavior. To this end, a wide range of approaches have been utilized over the years, with mixed results. Many have attempted to profi le consumers through the use of sociodemographic, psychographic, and other means [see for example, Branca (2008)]. The results, however, often had limited use for practitioners wanting to know not only who will buy and why, but also more importantly, when. The family life cycle (FLC) model went some way to resolve this, but, family patterns have changed and attempts to modernize the FLC have not always improved predictive ability (Wagner and Hanna 1983). Life events, which can provide an indication of FLC and identify a point in time when an event triggers changes in behavior, appear to provide a potential solution, and indeed are widely used by fi nancial services practitioners. However, the life event concept has also been challenged, in particular, whether it is the life event itself that triggers a change in behavior or whether it is changes associated with the life event (such as an increase/ decrease in disposable income) that result in the changed behavior.
Within Islamic banking, sociodemographics, psychographics, etc. have also been used to explain consumer behavior and in particular to distinguish between those who hold and those who do not hold, an Islamic bank account [see, for example, Erol et al. (1990) and Haron et al. (1994)]. Given the nature of Islamic banking, many researchers have also sought to explain consumer behavior by considering the infl uence of religion (Sun et al. 2012; Faisal et al. 2014). However, extant studies provide confl icting answers on whether religion does infl uence the choice of an Islamic bank account. Life events may help to provide clarity here, as life events are also known to infl uence religious choices and involvement (Lawton and Bures 2001). We therefore contend that the reason Muslims choose to bank with an Islamic bank are complex and varied. Religion may well be a part of this decision, as could life events—or an interplay may exist between life events, religion and consumer behavior. The goal of this study is therefore to further our understanding of life events; how, why, and when they trigger the consumption of Islamic banking and the role of religion in this mix. Using data from a two-phased fi eld study in Pakistan, the reasons why Muslims open an Islamic bank account will be presented and the role of two life events, marriage and parenthood, will be explored in terms of the impact they have on religiosity and purchase behavior.