Banks fight back in the con­sumer fi­nance mar­ket

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By JIANG XUEQING jiangx­ue­qing@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

China’s com­mer­cial banks are fight­ing back to re­tain their share of the con­sumer fi­nance­mar­ket as com­pe­ti­tion from peers and non-banks in­ten­si­fies. Their new re­solve is on dis­play in pro­mo­tions aimed at cash­ing in on pub­lic hol­i­days.

For in­stance, the com­ing week-long Na­tional Day-re­lated shut­down in Oc­to­ber has prompted Bank of China Ltd, the coun­try’s fourth largest com­mer­cial lender by as­sets, to launch new dis­count deals and cash re­bates.

Till Oct 31, hold­ers of BOC credit cards co-branded with UnionPay, Visa orMasterCard can re­ceive a 10 per­cent dis­count on trans­ac­tions worth up to 5,000 yuan ($750) at off­line mer­chants overseas, sub­ject to a max­i­mum dis­count of 800 yuan per card. Each card­holder is al­lowed to par­tic­i­pate in the scheme once a month.

Be­sides cash re­bates and dis­counts on tourist routes, many banks are of­fer­ing deals for flight and ho­tel book­ings, car ren­tals and shop­ping in other coun­tries.

For in­stance, China Mer­chants Bank Co Ltd has tied up with mul­ti­ple air­lines to of­fer flight ticket deals. Un­der a scheme that started on Sept 1 and will run till Oct 31, CMBVisa credit card­hold­ers will en­joy an 8 to 10 per­cent dis­count on Korean Air flights de­part­ing from the Chi­nese main­land in the Septem­berDe­cem­ber pe­riod, if they buy tick­ets on the air­line’s web­site in China.

Banks are also of­fer­ing var­i­ous priv­i­leges like dis­counts at des­ig­nated mer­chants, ho­tels and restau­rants, cash­back, mileage re­wards and hospi­tal reg­is­tra­tion in ad­vance.

Since 2009, China Guangfa Bank Co Ltd’s credit card­hold­ers have been ac­corded 50 per­cent off or “buy one, get one free” of­fers at des­ig­nated mer­chants like Star­bucks and Dairy Queen ev­ery Fri­day

Au­gust.

Ling Hua­nian,

In­tense com­pe­ti­tion from on­line play­ers... is forc­ing tra­di­tional card play­ers to in­no­vate

a man­ager from the credit card cen­ter of China Guangfa Bank

dur­ing cer­tain pe­ri­ods of the year.

Ling Hua­nian from the credit card cen­ter of China Guangfa Bank said “in­tense com­pe­ti­tion from on­line play­ers in the con­sumer fi­nance seg­ment is forc­ing tra­di­tional card play­ers to in­no­vate”. For ex­am­ple, they now use bio­met­ric sys­tems to re­duce pro­cess­ing time for card is­suance.

Cur­rently, sev­eral banks, in­clud­ing CGB, China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd and China Ever­bright Bank Co Ltd, have launched in­stant is­suance of on­line cards.

Us­ing on­line chan­nels, banks are reach­ing out to po­ten­tial cus­tomers through mo­bile phones and hand-held de­vices. Easy-to-fill quick elec­tronic ap­pli­ca­tions for credit cards are fast be­com­ing the norm, Ling said.

Lenders should in­te­grate big data in their op­er­a­tions so that cus­tomers could re­ceive cus­tom­ized fi­nan­cial ser­vices like con­sumer credit, he said.

A QING / FOR CHINA DAILY

The booth of ICBC’s mo­bile credit card di­vi­sion at the In­ter­na­tional In­ter­net Plus Expo in Bei­jng in

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