Antecedents of consumer pre-banking behaviour in the Ghanaian banking sector
Tannor, Linus Linnaeus
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Consumer behaviour is constantly evolving. The service marketing landscape therefore continues to evolve along with the dynamic ways in which consumers choose to interact with their service providers. Accordingly, the study of consumer decision-making is one of the dominant trends in consumer behaviour research. While consumer pre-purchase behaviour is a thoroughly studied field in other service sectors including the hospitality and telecommunication (Zhang et al., 2019; Tommasetti et al., 2018), the pre-purchase phase of consumer behaviour for financial services especially banking, has been under-researched. In Ghana, the banking sector caters for about half (58.0%) of the bankable population (World Bank, 2018). However, applying the appropriate antecedents of consumer pre-banking behaviour has been a perennial challenge for the sector. Consequently, it is costing banks more to attract prospective consumers. This study explored the determinants of consumer pre-banking behaviour in the Ghanaian banking sector. The study developed a tri-component model that explained consumer pre-purchasing behaviour by extending the constructs of the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) to include affective and conative components. This has addressed the theoretical gaps in former research that cognitively applied the TPB. The study sampled 210 retail banking consumers who have recently (in the past six months) purchased a banking product in the Ghanaian banking sector. The positivist paradigm was used by adopting the exploratory sequential design of the mixed-methods approach. Thus, the study qualitatively identified the key indicators making up the constructs of consumer pre-banking behaviour, and empirically tested the identified latent variables in a subsequent main quantitative survey. The model was estimated using a PLS-SEM path analysis through the SmartPLS 3.0. A substantial amount (41.0%) of the variation in consumer pre-banking behaviour was explained by the model. Affective, conative and cognitive attitude, and perceived trust were significant antecedents of consumer pre-banking behaviour in the Ghanaian banking sector. Also, consumer emotions and habits can exist along with their cognition throughout the pre-banking decision-making process. Perceived risk partially mediated the relationship between perceived trust and consumer pre-banking behaviour. The study has advanced the theoretical knowledge in decision heuristics and cognitive bias regarding consumer pre-banking decision-making. The study also provides practical proposition of how marketing practitioners in other financial sectors such as insurance can emotionally connect with consumers and develop targeted communication strategies with consumers at the pre-purchasing stage.