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Banks now seeking clients via… phones   2010-09-09 - VnExpress

You should not be bowled over if you receive calls from unfamiliar people these days. The callers may be bank marketing officers trying to persuade you to use their bank’s services. The officers are very professional and they are as patient as insurance agents.


During office hours, Quang, who works for a big media company in Hanoi, received a call from a girl who had a very nice voice. “Hello, I am an officer from the Techcombank card center,” the girl said. Quang was very surprised that the girl not only had good manners, but she also knew a lot of things about Quang. She spoke as if she was a close friend of Quang’s.


After making his acquaintance, the girl with the sweet voice switched the conversation to another topic. She invited Quang to use Techcombank’s credit cards. Quang replied that he is now using a debit card issued by another bank. Since he was very busy, Quang asked to end the phone call. The Techcombank marketing officer politely said “goodbye” and told him she would call again.


Several days later, when Quang was very busy with a company project, he once again received a call from the girl with the sweet voice. As Quang did not have much time, Quang immediately said that he finds his debit card to be very convenient and does not think he needs to have a credit card. However, the bank’s marketing officer still had an opportunity to talk about the benefits that international credit card holders enjoy.


Though Quang was very busy, he spent time talking with the girl. He said he still did not want to have an international credit card, but he did not have the heart to say “no” to the girl. At the end of the conversation, the girl said she would call again and she hoped Quang would change his mind.


Like Quang, Thanh is now also the “target” of a marketing officer from ANZ Bank. The bank’s officer called her during office hours and tried to persuade her to open an international card at the bank. The officer promised to come to meet Thanh and showed Thanh how to follow the procedures to obtain a card, free of charge.  Thanh would also receive a gift - one million dong in her account.


Thanh said she did not intend to use a credit card. However, the marketing officer was so persistent that Thanh asked her to call Thanh again on Saturday, when Thanh was off from work. The ANZ’s officer called Thanh again later on Saturday, but she still could not persuade Thanh to use an ANZ card.


Thanh told VnExpress that this was not the first time she refused an invitation to use bank cards. “The marketing officers always have sweet voices and they are very patient.  You will not be able to escape from them, especially if you are a man and need a card,” she said.


Thanh related that while she was the target of ANZ, HSBC had her husband in their sights. Though her husband did not think he needed a credit card, he still decided to open an international credit card (standard card) at HSBC after several calls.


Some commercial banks such as Techcombank, HSBC, and ANZ in recent days have launched big-scale marketing campaigns to develop their card services. The main methods the banks use are collecting information about “potential clients” and introducing bank services via phones. All marketing officers have been trained thoroughly at the banks.


Together with launching marketing campaigns, commercial banks have also launched attractive promotional programs. ANZ, for example, promises to give one million dong to every cardholder that will be put into the cardholder’s account. Meanwhile, HSBC promises to give 600,000 dong.


A source from HSBC said developing international credit cards is a strategy that many banks are following, which is part of a plan to develop personal financial services. Marketing via telephone is a method that HSBC and many other banks use.


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