Doctoral Dissertation

22.8.2018 M.Sc. Sohail Kamran (Jy­väs­ky­lä Uni­ver­si­ty School of Busi­ness and Eco­no­mics, Marketing)


22.8.2018 12:00 — 15:00

Location: Mattilanniemi , Agora, Lea Pulkkinen Hall
Release: The marketplace vulnerability of low-income unbanked consumers: A developing country perspective.
M.Sc. Sohail Kamran defends his doctoral dissertation in Marketing "The marketplace vulnerability of low-income unbanked consumers: A developing country perspective". Opponent Associate Professor Pia Polsa (Hanken School of Economics) and Custos Professor Outi Uusitalo (University of Jyväskylä). The doctoral dissertation is held in English.

Abstract: Financial exclusion is recognised as an important element of socio-economic inequality where economically vulnerable groups are excluded from basic financial services. The issue of financial exclusion is mainly concentrated in the world’s developing countries. However, research on the issue of financial exclusion in the field of marketing as well as from the perspective of unbanked consumers is lacking. Although financial exclusion impedes low-income consumers’ welfare, there is a shortage of wellbeing related studies on low-income consumers in the context of developing countries. This doctoral dissertation aims to investigate the ways in which low-income unbanked consumers experience vulnerability in their routine lives owing to their financial exclusion. The primary data was gathered from unbanked consumers through semi-structured in-depth interviews.

This dissertation is comprised of four research articles. Overall, the findings explicate that low-income unbanked consumers are prone to experience marketplace vulnerability. First, the findings indicate that low-income unbanked consumers lose control of their daily financial matters and experience powerlessness, i.e. different types of detriment in their personal, social and economic lives. Second, they utilise various accessible and viable resources to take control of their ordinary financial affairs and to cope with their financial exclusion. Nevertheless, the limited skills and resources of low-income consumers often prevent them from effectively coping with the issue of financial exclusion. Hence, they often experience vulnerability in their ordinary lives due to financial exclusion. Third, the informal economic institutions, i.e. rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs)/Committees, can neither substitute for the formal financial institutions nor routinely facilitate their unbanked members to control and manage their routine financial matters. The unbanked participants often encounter several types of difficulties and risks in saving money and accessing short-term credit through Committees. Thus, financial exclusion remains a source of vulnerability for low-income consumers. Lastly, the findings indicate that problems in the justice elements of banks impede the financial inclusion of less affluent consumers. They perceive that banks treat them unfairly, and those perceptions contribute to their experiences of vulnerability.

This doctoral dissertation contributes to financial exclusion literature by investigating the factors which render low-income consumers unbanked and highlights their difficulties in managing day-to-day financial affairs. It contributes to consumer vulnerability literature by highlighting their experience of vulnerability owing to their vulnerable economic circumstances and marketplace unfairness. The four studies included in this dissertation offer a number of practical implications, which could be utilised to facilitate the financial inclusion and wellbeing of economically vulnerable consumers. Finally, this doctoral dissertation encompasses a discussion on the study’s limitations and, subsequently, a number of future research studies are proposed.

The dissertation is published in the online publication series JYU Dissertations (3), Jyväskylä 2018, ISSN 2489-9003, ISBN 978-951-39-7510-4 (PDF). It is available at the publishing archive JYX: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7510-4 (PDF).

Sohail Kamran holds an MSc Management degree from Brunel University, West London, UK and an MBA (Marketing) degree from International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan.  Kamran's recent academic accomplishment is a doctoral degree in marketing from the Jyvaskyla School of Business and Economics, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. His doctoral work has been published in reputable Journals such as, International Journal of Consumer Studies, Journal of Financial Services Marketing and The Services Industries Journal. His research interests hover around vulnerable and disadvantaged consumers, impact of marketing activities on society and consumer well-being particularly in a developing country context.

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Sohail Kamran