Service quality and the moderating effect of Shari’ah perception on client satisfaction: A comparison of Islamic and conventional microfinance in Pakistan
Microfinance is an emerging concept which is improving the socioeconomic status of customers. This study assesses customer satisfaction of clients of Islamic and conventional microfinance providers using a sample of 578 clients i.e. 289 from each side. Akhuwat and Kashf (Islamic microfinance) and RCDS and DAMEN (conventional microfinance) are selected. The correlation, regression, ANOVA, and interaction tests are used for testing the relationship of Shari’ah perception as moderator between service quality and client satisfaction. The results indicate that Shari’ah perception acts as a strong moderator in case of Islamic microfinance whereas it is a weak moderator in case of conventional microfinance. The study concludes that Shari’ah perception is playing a vital role in enhancing the customer satisfaction in Islamic microfinance. It has important implications for policy-makers and Islamic microfinance providers to design Shari’ah awareness programs to enhance the Shari’ah perception of low income population.