Banks need to face the music as survey reveals credit card users are ready to move

Banks need to face the music as survey reveals credit card users are ready to move
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Published October 25th, 2010 - 10:33 GMT

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Ali Abbas

Customer retention is the new marketing challenge for bankers as nearly one third of the credit card holders in Saudi Arabia and their UAE counterparts are dissatisfied with their existing credit card provider.

This insight is shared ahead of the second GCC Cards summit 2010 in Bahrain, next week (November 1) by TNS Middle East & Africa, a leading marketing research specialist who recently executed research exclusively for the Summit.

Anil Pathak, Client Services Director, TNS Finance Sector said: "The dissatisfaction with credit card providers has increased in the past year. In Saudi Arabia 38 per cent of those surveyed expressed dissatisfaction saying that banks place too much effort on new customers at the expense of servicing existing customers.

He said that one in three users would switch to another bank at a given opportunity.

"This is a clear signal for card providers in the region to take notice of rising dissatisfaction and to focus on finding new ways to better take care of the existing customer base, or else face a massive fall out. Service providers need to find ways to get customers to spend through their credit cards – and this can be done by understanding their usage / satisfaction drivers and appropriate loyalty / reward programs / co-branded cards."

Satish Dave, Senior Director TNS Finance, who will present the full study at the Summit warned that a lack of trust in the finance and credit cards troubles many customers. He believes that credit card players need to look beyond satisfaction into trust and enthusiasm for their credit card brand if banks want customers to truly establish a strong long lasting relationship with their customers.

Meanwhile, Ali Abbas, Financial Cards Regional Consultant, MENA & Turkey for Euromonitor International, another supporter of the GCC Cards Summit agrees that trust is a crucial factor. He cites a 2009 Loyalty Marketing study that looks at attracting and retaining customers in difficult times.

"The most successful loyalty programmes are likely to be those focusing on building feelings of trust, especially in the financial sector," Abbas concluded.

More than 150 regional and international players are expected to attend the two-day Cards Summit at the Mövenpick Hotel Bahrain from November 1-3, 2010. 

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