Enhancing Customers' Satisfaction Using Loyalty Rewards Programs: Evidence from Jordanian Banks

  • ALNSOUR, Iyad A. (Department of Advertising & Marketing Communication, Faculty of Media and Communication, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University) ;
  • ALNSOUR, Ibrahim R. (Department of Financial and Banking Sciences, Faculty of Administrative and Financial Sciences, Irbid National University) ;
  • ALOTOUM, Firas J. (Department of Marketing, Faculty of Business, Isra University)
  • Received : 2021.07.30
  • Accepted : 2021.10.16
  • Published : 2021.11.30


The study aims to investigate loyalty rewards programs on customers' satisfaction in Jordanian banks, and to investigate the statistical differences in loyalty rewards programs and customers' satisfaction according to demographics such as age, sex, education level, duration of engagement with bank, and the type of bank. The study is based on the data obtained from the sample. The questionnaire is the tool for collecting data from the respondents. The study materials include website resources, regular books, journals, and articles. The study population consists customers in the banking sector. The figures indicate that number of actual customers reaches 2.06 million. The sample size requirement is 386 items. Customers are split between traditional and Islamic banks, with 231 and 155 customers respectively. The stratified random sampling technique and the structural equations modeling methodology were used. The results show moderated impact of the loyalty rewards programs on customers' satisfaction. The results show statistical differences in the loyalty rewards programs and customers' satisfaction according to the engagement period with the bank only. The findings suggest better managing the loyalty programs and developing one credit card for all banks in Jordan.


1. Introduction

Loyalty programs are a valuable communication tool that promotes positive behavior of existing customers, and may later include the more loyal customers (Babu & Sultana, 2017). It is a way of businesses to gain a trust of customers’ and brand value. The loyalty programs collect and analyze customers’ preferences and shopping priorities. It can identify and reward the best customers, along with choosing the appropriate communication methods (Clark, 2010). The loyalty programs become a crucial part of the marketing plan to attract new customers (Hasim et al., 2015).

Loyalty programs offer rewards, discounts, and other special incentives, so it is a way to attract and retain customers. It encourages the repeated purchase and brand loyalty (Clark, 2010). According to marketing literature, reward programs increase customer retention while also increasing loyalty. In this regard, marketing literature has distinguished among many types of loyalty programs. Immediate rewards include financial benefits such as discounts and promotional offers, while deferred benefits include non-cash rewards such as coupons and vouchers (Mai et al., 2021).

Businesses, including commercial banks, have been working to develop a variety of tools to engage customers in regular and continuous marketing programs, increase the retention rate of the most valuable customers, win new customers, and improve brand loyalty through the development of marketing communication and related applications (Nguyen et al., 2021). Through these programs, the customer’s behavioral response level has improved, and the number of purchases of bank products has improved. It is a crucial incentive to improve the purchase, accelerate the shift towards the brand, and reduce complaints (Nguyen et al., 2021).

The literature confirms that rewards programs in banks are an effective tool for customer relationship marketing and building loyalty, besides promoting mutual benefit between customer and bank. Loyalty rewards have contributed to reducing cognitive distortion, increasing client-bank consistency, and reducing the risks of the purchase decision (Zakaria et al., 2013). Loyalty rewards programs improve the bank’s reputation and the brand image, marketing communication efficiency, and positive WOM (Mai et al., 2021).

2. Literature Review

The literature on marketing highlights the importance of reward programs in increasing customer retention and loyalty. Many forms of loyalty programs have been defined in marketing literature. Immediate rewards include financial benefits such as discounts and promotional offers, while deferred benefits include non-cash rewards such as coupons and vouchers (Mai et al., 2021).

The literature considers loyalty reward programs to be one of the most important marketing strategies to defend the brand and maintain the quality of the products and is instrumental in avoiding the hyper-competition in the product’s life cycle (Hasim et al., 2015). Points awarded to the customer would improve their purchasing rates and can be used to distinguish customers according to profitability, loyalty, and fidelity to the brand (Zakaria et al., 2013).

Loyalty reward programs are at the core of integrated and structured marketing tools, so it is a marketing system that promotes customers’ loyalty among VIP customers (Babu & Sultana, 2017). A loyalty reward program is an incentive based marketing strategy that includes financial and non financial benefits that improve long-term purchasing behavior (Henderson et al., 2011). Loyalty reward programs are a communication information activity for data collection (Hwang & Choi, 2019) and a tool to increase brands’ recognition and admiration.

Experience confirms that loyalty rewards programs have played a crucial role in promoting the competitive advantage of brand, in addition to increasing buying rates, building long-term and profitable relationships with the organization (Nandal et al., 2020). These rewards increase the possibility of brand awareness organizational commitment and superego of customers (Hwang & Choi, 2020). It encourages repurchase, improve consumer retention, and brand satisfaction and loyalty (Hasim et al., 2015).

Studies have shown that loyalty rewards depend on brand satisfaction. Satisfaction is a result of a higher level of perceived service than expected (Al-Nsour, 2021). Satisfaction is considered a positive and emotional behavior based on the positive impression and assessment of the customers’ purchasing experience with the organization (McCall & McMahon, 2016). Satisfaction means that the organization can retain its customers. Satisfaction is the key to the growth and development of business and a smart way to get high levels of profitability (McCall & McMahon, 2016). Finally, satisfaction improves the business reputation (Alam et al., 2021), the competitive position in the market (McCall & Voorhees, 2011), and it is considered a base for building customer relationships (McCall & McMahon, 2016).

Satisfaction is an objective of large and successful businesses for reliable, customer service and better repurchase decision. Satisfaction depends on deep emotions and feelings towards the company and its products (Zakaria et al., 2013). It increases the profits of businesses by 25%, formulate an image engagement with business, and enhances the efficiency of buying decision-making (Ray, 2015). Customer satisfaction improves emotional connection and brand confidence and reduces poor purchasing selections. It is a source for new customers and positive WOM (Steinhoff & Palmatier, 2016). Through customer satisfaction, the business can restore lost customers, encourage customers to switch to a higher level of spending and improve the customers’ value during the life cycle (Hwang & Choi, 2020). Several banks have created loyalty reward programs to retain their best customers and to give frequent customers the ability to redeem awards and points for gifts and services. Loyalty reward programs in banks have created a lot of joy and pleasure for the customer (Nandal et al., 2020).

A loyalty program is considered a tool to competing and maintain bank performance (Finsterwalder et al., 2016). Customer satisfaction can improve service quality and the long-term relationship with customers (Finsterwalder et al., 2016) and increases the interactive relationship (Al-Nsour, 2021). Loyalty reward programs strengthened customer loyalty in Malaysian banks and service quality (Hasim et al., 2015). The conclusion confirms that positive relationship between loyalty reward programs and customers’ satisfaction is proved. The loyalty reward programs create brand and customers’ awareness in the banks, improves satisfaction, and promote trust. Finally, loyalty rewards programs have shown a critical role in enhancing the satisfaction, the long term performance of banks, and customer value (Cempena et al., 2021). The following hypotheses are used to examine the influence of loyalty rewards programs on consumer satisfaction:

H1: There Is a Statistically Significant Effect of Loyalty Rewards on Customer Satisfaction in Jordanian Banks at the significance level of 5%.

H2: There are Statistically Significant Differences in the Level of Perceived Loyalty Rewards According to Age, Sex, Education, Type of Bank, and Duration of Engagement at the significance level of 5%.

H3: There are Statistically Significant Differences in Customer Satisfaction According to Age, Sex, Education, Type of Bank, and Duration of Engagement at the significance level of 5%.

3. Research Methods and Materials

3.1. Research Population

The population consists of all Jordanian clients in commercial and Islamic banks. There are no official figures for the total number of clients in Jordan. However, DIC data showed that a number of protected clients reached JD 2.0575 million by 2020. Those clients have JD 18.75 billion in banking accounts and account for 66.4% of total deposits in Jordanian banks. The deposits are distributed by 74.9% in traditional banks compared to 25.1% in Islamic banks.

3.2. The Sample Size and Unit of Analysis

The stratified random sample technique is used. This sampling technique is a probability method. It is suitable technique to reach the required sample size. This technique is used in homogeneous societies, and the society is divided into groups, and the members of each group are similar in particular qualities and characteristics. In this study, there are two segments: clients of traditional banks and clients of Islamic banks. The study sample is calculated as follows:

• By using the tables of sample calculation, the required sample size reaches 386 elements.

• Commercial bank clients made up 59.2 percent of the sample, while Islamic bank clients made up 40.8 percent. As a result, the calculated sample size for standard banks is 231 clients, whereas for Islamic banks it is 155 clients.

• The online questionnaire via Google Drive is developed to collect data from the sample. The electronic and smartphone applications are used.

• The unit of analysis is the Jordanian client of any traditional or Islamic banks in Jordan.

3.3. Measurement

The questionnaire is the main tool for collecting the primary data, and the Likert five-scale is used. Responses levels were distributed between 1 and 5. The “very high” level of response has the value 5, and the value 1 for a level of response is “very low.” The weighted relative scale has been used to distribute the responses as follows: (1) 5 - more than 4.2, the response level is very high (2) 4.2 - more than 3.6, the response level is high. (3) 3.6 - more than 2.4 is moderated. (4) 2.4 - more than 1.6 is low, and (5) below 1.6, the response level is very low. For this study, Smart PLS3 was used.

3.3.1. Construct Validity & Reliability for Measurement Model

Convergent Validity:

It consists of three construct tests:

A. Individual Item Validity: It measures the consistency between a set of items that measure the same construct, and all respondents must agree that the Item measures what must be measured. According to the statistical rule, the accepted value of the test is more than 0.7. Table 1 indicates that test values are more than 0.7. So the items are statistically reliable and measure what needs to be measured.

B. Composite Alpha: It is similar to the traditional Cronbach Alpha. The statistical rule says that the acceptable value must be 0.7 and above for the latent variables. Table 1 indicates that all latent variables have values greater than 0.7, so the statistical result decides that all latent variables are accepted (Hair et al., 2014).

C. Average Variance Extracted: The statistical rule says that the minimum acceptable value is 0.5. Table 1 shows that all values are above 0.5. It thus achieved a statistical acceptance level (Henseler et al., 2009).

Discriminant Validity

It indicates that the value for each item in the latent variable is the highest compared to all other variables. In other words, the power of explanation for this item is better than other variables (Fornell & Lacker, 1981). Table 1 indicates that the values of discriminant validity for each item in the latent variable are higher than all other latent variables in the matrix. These items are distinctive and unique, and the current place is the best of all.

Fornell Larcker Criterion

This standard indicates that the correlation value of the independent variable in its current place is greater than the adjoining correlation coefficients in the matrix (Fornell & Larcker, 1981). Table 1 show the criterion value for each variable with itself (0.871). It exceeds the rest of the values adjacent in the matrix (0.434). In other words, there is no relationship between the variable and the other variables in the matrix. Table 1 indicates that all latent variables have the lowest level of variation in their current place.

Table 1: Summary of Results of Measurement Model

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4. Results and Discussion

The independent variable is loyalty rewards programs. It consists of 6 items. All responses are at the moderated level. The total arithmetic mean was 2.69, and the standard deviation was 1.22. As a result, 29.1% of customers have a moderated level of awareness for the loyalty reward programs in Jordanian banks. The confidence interval for this variable is 2.69 ± 1.21. The dependent variable is customers’ Satisfaction. It consists of 9 items. The responses are between moderated and high levels. The arithmetic mean is (3.21) and the standard deviation (1.19). There were two items at a high level of response. Loyalty rewards is valuable tool in improving the reputation and bank’s image. As a result, 49.8% of customers are satisfied with the loyalty rewards offered by Jordanian banks. The confidence interval was 3.21 ± 1.19. These variables are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Frequencies and Descriptive Statistics of Research Variables

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Despite the fact that most consumers have little interest in loyalty rewards programs, the data show that customers’ awareness of loyalty reward programs is moderated by the arithmetic mean (2.69). The structure of rewards programs in all Jordanian (commercial and Islamic) banks is similar, simple, and non-competitive. Loyalty Rewards programs concentrate on collecting points according to the type and level of MasterCard and Visa card and the purchase amount. According to a study of Point Checkout (www. show that 81% of Jordanian customers believe there is an opportunity to take the incentives and rewards of loyalty programs. The study, therefore, considers that rewards programs in Jordan are a vital method to win frequent and non-frequent customers and distinctive and nondistinctive customers. The study distinguishes among the top five loyalty rewards programs in Jordan. Cairo Amman Bank, Jordan Kuwait Bank, Arab Bank, Bank Aletihad, and Housing Bank. These programs focus on repurchase from inside and outside Jordan, as well as collecting extra points against loans and credit facilities ( The mechanism used in loyalty rewards in Jordanian banks contradicts the philosophy of loyalty rewards. Marketing theory confirms that most frequently and regularly customers are not the target group for such programs. This practice does not achieve bank goals based on building long-term relationships. This practice is a tool for generating short-run and false emotion-free loyalty (Nandal et al., 2020).

The first hypothesis has a dependent variable that measures customer satisfaction and an independent variable that measures the loyalty rewards offered by Jordanian banks. Table 3 indicates that acceptance or rejection the relationship between the two latent variables depend on P-Value. If P-Value is less than a 5% probability of error, it means accepting the directional relationship between the two latent variables in the structural model. According to the estimated P-Value, the independent variable has a positive relationship with the dependent variable in the structural model. The f 2 effect factor indicates that loyalty awards have an average power to explain customer satisfaction in Jordanian banks. This result depends on the statistical rule that says that the value of f 2 between 0.15–0.35 means the effect size is average (Cohen, 1988). The f 2 value in this study was 0.233, and it is between 0.15 and 0.35. On the other hand, R2 is used to measure the power of loyalty rewards to explain differences or variations in the customer satisfaction level (Hair et al., 2014). According to the statistical rule used, when the explanatory power of the independent variable is average, the coefficient of determination is between 0.12 and 0.26 (Chin, 1998). According to Table 3, the coefficient of determination is 0.18, which means that loyalty rewards have a moderate power to explain the differences in customer satisfaction in Jordanian commercial banks. It is also necessary to measure the predictive capacity of the regression model using Q2. Any value larger than 0 for Q2 denotes the model’s predictive capability (Geladi, 1988). So Q2 has a value of 0.125, which means a high power to forecast loyalty rewards on customer satisfaction in the future. The last test of this hypothesis concerns the Goodness of fit (GoF) model. According to studies, GoF is an indicator used to measure the performance quality of the model used (Tenenhaus et al., 2005). Any GOF test value more than 0.36 means a highly fit regression model (Wetzels & Odekerken, 2009). The GoF value was 0.813, so the regression model used in the study was appropriate.

Table 3: Path Coefficients of First Hypothesis

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Significant at P0* < 0.01. Significant at P0** < 0.05.

The experiences confirm the low awareness of the loyalty rewards programs in Jordan; over time, the brand awareness increased moderately (Hwang & Choi, 2020). More specifically, the findings were partially consistent with prior research that emphasized the importance of loyalty rewards programs from customer and a business perspective. 24.5 percent of customers say they use loyalty rewards programs on a regular basis. 28.2% believe that there are rewards offered to existing customers, compared with 28.5% who believe that there is a diversity in loyalty rewards programs in Jordanian banks. The advantages of loyalty rewards programs play a role in classifying customers according to buying behavior (Hasim et al., 2015). Organizations can develop customers’ satisfaction and improve relationship strategies in the long run (Babu & Sultana, 2017). Therefore, loyalty rewards programs provide customers equal opportunities to win these rewards by 28.6%. 26.5% of these customers consider that each bank has acceptable competitive programs, and therefore it has the appreciation, admiration, and brand respect in the banking industry, and it is responsible for competitive advantage later (Zakaria et al., 2013).

The same level of awareness for loyalty rewards programs and customer satisfaction is proved. The relationship between awareness and brand satisfaction is proportional. There is a moderated relationship between loyalty rewards programs and customers’ satisfaction. However, there were some high indicators of satisfied respondents. Bank reputation in the industry and improved brand image are the primary marketing motives for customers’ satisfaction, and finally, it improves the financial performance of banks (McCall & McMahon, 2016.) These results are consistent with the literature. Jordanian customers’ satisfaction improves the reputation and competitive position to banks. Customers’ satisfaction creates new clients and positive word-of-mouth WOM (Steinhoff & Palmatier, 2016). Over time, banks have used loyalty rewards programs to increase marketing spending in targeted segments. The customer bank relationship level will therefore be more tracked, targeted, and interactive (Al-Nsour, 2021). According to the above, the significant relationship between loyalty rewards programs and customers’ satisfaction in Jordanian banks is proved. The results confirm a positive impact level of loyalty rewards on customers’ satisfaction. The loyalty rewards programs have the power to explain customers’ satisfaction in the future. Loyalty rewards programs are a technique for profits and sales opportunities (McCall & McMahon, 2016).

The current study has another scientific contribution focused on differences between research variables. Path analysis to determine the statistical differences is used. The demographics are moderators in the conceptual framework. The P-Value level is the coefficient to determine the differences in the dependent variable. The statistical decision-making rule says that statistical differences are accepted if the P-Value is less than the 5% probability of error level.

Table 4 shows the differences in the perceived loyalty rewards according to the duration of the engagement. The inverse relationship is proved. The lower time to deal with the bank means more awareness of the loyalty rewards offered by Jordanian banks. On the contrary, the results show no statistically significant differences in the perceived loyalty rewards according to age, sex, education, and bank type. The results in Table 4 indicates the statistical differences in customers’ satisfaction. There is an inverse relationship between age and customer satisfaction since the older customer is the least satisfied with loyalty rewards. The findings also indicate the positive relationship between education and customer satisfaction. The educated customers are the most satisfied. The results also show statistical differences in customer satisfaction according to the length of engagement with the bank. It shows that less time of dealing leads to customer satisfaction. On the contrary, there are no statistically significant differences in customer satisfaction according to sex (male or female) and the type of bank (commercial or Islamic).

Table 4: Path Coefficients of Second and Third Hypotheses

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Significant at P0* < 0.01. Significant at P0** < 0.05.

Finally, many statistical differences have been shown in the perceived level of loyalty rewards programs according to the engagement period with the bank, while the age, gender, education, and bank type have no moderating effects. The result confirms the statistical differences in customers’ satisfaction according to age, education, and duration of engagement with the bank. However, there are no statistical differences according to gender and type of bank. Based on previous findings, the study recommends that:

• The good managing of loyalty rewards programs in all Jordanian banks is required. Therefore, issuing of these cards must be according to the type of customer. Hence the core philosophy of loyalty rewards programs is necessary. So it should be given for the most distinguished customers, the most frequent buyers, and the most regular in engagement with the bank.

• The study suggests that Jordanian banks should be the owner, issuers, organizers, and regulators of credit cards in Jordan. (Taking into consideration relevant provisions in Islamic banks). This card is for purchasing purposes outside Jordan.

• It is necessary to distinguish between the loyalty rewards programs for loyal customers and the loyalty rewards programs issued for sales promotion. Sales promotion improves sales and win new customers. It is also necessary for Islamic banks to design loyalty rewards programs based on Islamic law restrictions in the banking industry. The local market has banking and non-banking credit cards. Most credit cards encourage frequent purchases and future installation. Most of them are added burdens and excess liabilities of consumers. These cards cause financial problems and bankruptcy.

5. Conclusion

The main purpose of this study is to measure the impact of the loyalty rewards programs on the customers’ satisfaction in Jordanian banks. The findings prove the positive effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable, and the impact level was moderated. The differences show that the loyalty rewards programs vary according to the duration of the engagement with the bank. Cross tabulations indicate that group of customers between 5- less than 10 years is the most aware of the loyalty rewards programs in Jordanian banks. On the other hand, the statistical differences in customers’ satisfaction are significant according to age, education, and duration of engagement with the bank. The cross-tabulation indicates that the age group of customers between 40-less than 50 years and the graduate degree holders are the satisfied. There was a definite trend in customer satisfaction for customers who had been with banks for less than 5 years.

The contradictory results conclude no statistical differences in the perceived loyalty rewards programs and the level of satisfaction according to the type of bank: traditional or Islamic. The customers of traditional and Islamic banks are similar in psychological and personal characteristics, which ultimately lead to the familiar buying behavior on the market. Improved customer experience, education level, and buying experience affected consumer behavior in the banking industry. According to studies, consumers of Islamic banks are happier than customers of traditional banks. This concept is based on the philosophy that links Islamic banks and religion together. Islamic banks are considered to be a part of the Islamic faith. Islamic banks are for-profit businesses that engage in a number of unethical tactics that reduce customer satisfaction. At the same time, it has a wide range of financial instruments and solutions in the banking industry. As a result, this study disproves the difference in customers satisfaction according to bank type, and no practical evidence right now.


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