Marketing of bank services to the Saudi consumer
Services marketing is a relatively new concept for the banking industry. Intense competition has forced banks to take greater interest in consumer banking. The focus of consumer banking is the provision of retail bank services which meet individual customers needs. Therefore, bankers need better ways to explore and understand the consumers market and needs. Banks need to understand the attitudes which affect consumers evaluation of bank services. This thesis is concerned with assessing the attitudes and marketing practices of Saudi banks and the consumers attitude towards these banks. A conflict exists between the two parties. Interest is prohibited by Islamic law, however, commercial banks operate on the basis of interest. The views of the bankers and consumers were analysed through questionnaires administered in Jeddah in the summer of 1988. Issues raised include attitude, concept, and marketing approach, usage of and satisfaction with bank services, attitude towards banks and bank interest as well as views on Islamic banking. While it is shown bankers grasp the concept and practise of marketing, consumers show reluctance and strong negative attitudes to dealing with banks due to the religious factor. It seems Islamic banking is an attractive alternative banking system for Saudi Arabia.