Investigating consumer expectations for a bankcard service in the South African food and retail industry : a servqual application

Hechter, Tremaine (2013-03)


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africans have over the past few years called for more affordable banking. Some retailers have looked at the opportunities and entered into the financial services space. The question remains as to why consumers would want to pay bank charges to have a bankcard when the card is actually used to pay for goods at retailers who can deliver the service themselves at a saving to both the customer and the retailer? The aim of this study was to determine customer expectations for a bankcard service offering in the South African food and retail industry with the emphasis on consumer behaviour and expectations, bankcards, services and SERVQUAL. This is a SERVQUAL application and a comprehensive literature of this topic is followed with a questionnaire outlining the expectations for such a service. SERVQUAL measures the gap between expectations and perceptions. In this study only expectations are measured as one of South Africa’s major food retailers was used and they do not offer this service at present. Various hypotheses were constructed to measure the expectations for attributes around this service. The attributes were trust, safety, cost, loyalty, open-loop versus closed-loop and mobile. Customer preference on payment methods was also determined when paying for different basket sizes. The results showed overwhelming evidence in favour of expectations for a bankcard service offering by retailers. This research can be used to address the major challenge South Africans and retailers face with high banking charges and address the challenge everyone has with regards to the risk associated with cash handling. Education on this topic is paramount and this could further pave the way for mobile phones replacing bankcards in the future which have also been researched as part of this topic. Further research is necessary to determine the characteristics of a bankcard product in a retail environment.

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