The Microfinance Industry (MFI) emerging from the banking industry, lead time management is very important since the sector is highly dependent on very recent technology and customer service efficiency ethics which is capable of drastically reducing lead times. Customers are also highly informed and their demands and expectations are high. Customers want instant solutions when it comes to their financial or banking services. It is therefore important for microfinance companies to effectively manage their lead times to achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction. This study adopts the methodology of a hybrid approach consisting of qualitative and quantitative approaches in examining the impact of lead time on customer satisfaction in the microfinance industry, a sub sector of SMEs in Ghana. Sample size of 150 staff and customers mostly petty traders was considered from five selected branches of Talent Microfinance Company limited. In selecting the sample size of the petty traders for the survey, the Slovin’s sampling method was used. The study findings revealed that that minimizing waiting time in a bid to enhance customer satisfaction level can typically improve the competitiveness of microfinance services in Ghana as these are deemed the basic requirements for social development as well as for human civilization. Furthermore, establishing a scientific, workable and efficient banking system improves efficiency and enhances the competitiveness for banks to be an important society role. This is a requirement for banking industries own development, and a new inevitable challenge for modern Ghanaian financial institutions to increase the banking management development. The study recommends among several others that there is the need for improvement in academia or higher learning in Ghanaian microfinance institutions to link with other financial institutions in Ghana and identify gaps in the knowledge, values, skills and attitudes of their graduates most especially in TMCL.
Demystifying Nonparticipation of the Rural Poor in MFIs in Bangladesh: An Empirical Evidence (Review Completed - Accepted)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the factors affecting nonparticipation of the rural poor in MFIs in Bangladesh. To this aim, the study investigated the measurement and predictive structure of multiple components of attitudes (fear and preference), subjective norms (religious leaders, spouse and friends) and perceived behavioral control (PBC; resources, knowledge and illness) in the domain of microfinance and its nonparticipation. The study postulated eight factors from the microfinance literature which are modeled together in examining nonparticipation of the rural poor in MFIs in Bangladesh. Data were collected based on stratified random sampling procedure through face to face interview from the respondents of 280 nonparticipating rural poor from six major areas of Bangladesh. The Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) along with AMOS was employed in analyzing data. Among the eight variables only four variables such as fear of getting into risk of loan, individual preference of taking loan, insufficient resources and ill-health or vulnerability to crises were appeared statistically significant for influencing the poor villagers’ intention to participation in MFIs in rural arena. Besides, intention and all the three constructs of PBC were found statistically significant to directly influence the participation behavior of the rural poor in Bangladesh.