Categorised | Business & Finance

Is Commonwealth Bank listening?

Commonwealth Bank has been working on its customer service, and I’ve noticed a few things:

1. Their online banking rocks. I recently had to use my partners online banking (Citibank) to try and find the interest on her accounts for last financial year – not available. Infact almost all the ‘cool’ things I’m accustomed to on the CBA platform were missing. So maybe this is more about how uncool Citibank’s online offering is – that being said Money Mag has voted Commbank as online bank of the year – more than once! We all know the saying “You don’t realise how good you’ve got it until it’s gone” - but to understand how good we really do have it, try using someone else’s online banking – I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how much it sucks!

2. Commonwealth bank suffered what I was told was a nation wide ATM black out (which is not great – but stuff happens – providing it’s not a regular thing), I walked into the branch, someone greeted me and told me what was going on and that there would be no charge should I wish to withdraw cash over the counter – I mean this is what you’d expect, but honestly I wouldn’t have been surprised if a bank tried to screw me on the over the counter fees either.

3. With the acquisition of Bank West I now have an extra 700 odd ATM’s to withdraw cash, and in the handiest of places too… Bank West did real good getting into 7/11′s if you ask me. Anyhow I love it, and now my bank is almost everywhere.

4. They’re transforming their credit card offerings… What does this mean exactly? High level it means more rewards, better value with an emphasis on customer relationships…. I guess some of this we’ll have to wait and see.
However there are some things that are happening that are certain – low fee and low rate credit cards start coming our way from October.

A few quotes from Stephen Karpin – Executive General Manager Credit Cards at CBA.

“Our customers have told us they want recognition of their relationship with us and we have found three distinct customer preferences for – more rewards, low interest rates and no annual fees. In response, we have revamped our offering for each preference type while enabling Commonwealth Bank customers to receive a better deal on any of our new credit cards,” Mr Karpin said.

“Our new relationship with American Express means existing and new Commonwealth Awards customers can now gain awards faster by earning more points on what they spend.”

“The Commonwealth Bank is also the first major bank brand to introduce a Low Rate Gold Credit Card providing the benefits of an ongoing low interest rate and enhanced Gold benefits such as complimentary international travel and extended warranty insurance.

“For our customers who prefer not to pay annual fees, we are launching our Low Fee and Low Fee Gold cards which will provide eligible Commonwealth Bank customers with the option of an annual fee free credit card with up to 55 interest free days.”

For customers where awards matter, Commonwealth Awards cardholders will now enjoy one account with two cards:

* a Commonwealth Bank Awards American Express Card to maximise reward points earning; and
* a Commonwealth Bank Awards MasterCard or Visa for the convenience of worldwide acceptance.

The two Commonwealth Awards cards will be linked to one account, with one credit limit, one statement, and one annual fee.

“Existing Commonwealth Awards cardholders will start to receive information about the benefits and details on how to request our new Awards card offering in the coming weeks,” added Mr Karpin.

For more information on the relaunched Commonwealth Awards products, please visit: www.commbank.com.au/expectmore

So there are a few changes afoot and all seem in the right direction. I think in answer to the question “Are they listening?” the answer is yes, and the better question is “Are they acting on what they’re hearing?” and I think they are!

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