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December 03, 2009


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Credit Cards

cross-selling does not necessarily have to be performed correctly for all products they have in their assortment.

Betty van der Zanden

Good article.
In my opinion, I am happy no one offers me credit cards. If you need one, you can get in contact with the company you want. It is true that it is really annoying that the information about the different possibilities is not easy to find. But I rather put my energy in it when I need a credit card than being spammed about products I don't want and need.

Tobias Braam

@ Darlene, they do actively offer you credit card services? Mayby a difference between the US and The Netherlands, I never hear anything.

Thank you, I'll try. Can they just lower your credit without any good reason? Strange, and are their more blogs where you post your dismay? Not good PR for them.


For me, if I don't have the cash I can't buy it. I got rid of my credit cards and kept one card for emergencies with a $500.00 limit. This way I stay out of trouble and out of the line of fire when they want new clients. Good article.


I see that this crunch is obviously all over the world, the credit card companies feel they OWN us. I recently decided to get rid of all my credit cards. One of my credit cards from Bank of America decided to lower my limit by $2,000. Talk about annoying, I was always on time with my payments and had almost nil balance...After that I decided why give them money if they can't even service their own customers. Then I hear stories like this and just remind me why I hate banks. Great post. Keep up the good work.

Stijn Driessen

Cross selling is proven to be cheaper than to acquire new customers. Also because you have more accurate information available from your own customers than from prospects you would be more able to recognize the needs of that individual to match a good service to. There are a lot of metrics available to measure the value of a current customer and to indicate whether or not the current customer is an interesting target for cross-selling. Although there is no perfect metric with a perfect fit, companies are able to predict values close enough to make good marketing decisions.

Maybe your bank has this as well, only their metric does not capture you as an interesting (prospective) client. But right now we are talking about cross selling, what you should keep in mind that the service failure is mostly based on the lack of usage for cross data. I.e. You'd have to fill out a huge form in order to get the information you require. What you would have expected is that this wouldn't be necessary anymore.

Bart van Leeuwen

Interesting article.

I agree on your point that your own bank should know much about you. Who isn't familiar with CRM nowadays? Should be an easy task to spot customers that are interested for cross selling a credit card to I would say. They got many many many useful informaton about you. But maybe as Stijn says it is not embedded correctly..... yet.

This doesn't make it more fair that you have to do that much work to get a credit card from your own bank. Makes me think: isn't it a bad sign for ABN Amro that you first look at other companies for a credit card than your own bank?

Tobias Braam

@ Marnix,

it is possible for them, e.a. at Ohra in the Netherlands you can obtain your card direct. If they have no trouble obtaining your data and interacting with Visa, why do others?

@ Aline

thanks for your impressive comment, I totally agree!


Indeed an interesting article Tobias.

I agree with your comment that sites should incorporate a "comparison-tool" (i.e. VISA) to make it easier for the potential client. However, I wonder if it is even possible for the ABN AMRO to just send you a "card". They are indeed in cross-selling, by means of selling insurances, but again, they just take over the role of the big insurance companies. It could be that they have to deliver your "personal" information to VISA/Mastercard/American Express, to send you "their card". Hence, filling in a form is deemed suitable. Still, they should make it easier, by already generating personal information from you in "this form". If you want to do this online, there should be a secured "login" screen that makes it possible to cross-link to this specific form.. mmm.. seems like a challenging job.

And then again.. what's wrong with enjoying the weather and just visit them in person?

Tobias Braam

Hey Stijn,

thanks for the elaborate comment. I found it staggering that my own bank treated me as a complete stranger, although they know everything form me, even my most intimate purchases.

I find your emphasis on cross-selling interesting, is that the solution?


Gets me thinking...
Every day I am getting more and more annoyed with the companies I have been so loyal to...
Referring to your rhetorical question:
Companies! Get a move on or we'll cheat on you!
Interesting blog!


Nice entry!

Stijn Driessen

It is obviously companies are not listening that carefully to their prospects. Although research has proven customer retention is cheaper than customer allocation, companies have too many data that they do not use. Either this is because they do not know how to use it or they have that many data that they do not even know what they can use anymore.

It is seriously a lack in most industries, although there are some companies that have managed their customer retention via cross-selling perfectly. In most cases these companies are service providers and there are some good examples of financial companies that excel in doing this. Think about banks that also manage insurance for their clients. Cross-selling can happen for two reasons: maturity of the client (whenever a client get more acquainted with the company/product they start buying additional stuff, for example when you buy a subscription for your phone network, first you start with only calling and texting, later on you want the internet on your mobile phone too) and selecting the right customers for the right (additional) products (effectively done by gathering the right data and performing the right analyses with).

However, cross-selling does not necessarily have to be performed correctly for all products they have in their assortment. As mentioned previously there are some banks that have managed their product portfolio correctly for their customers considering a bank account and insurance. It seems though that in your case this is not embedded correctly for a credit card, which is quite weird for banks because they make a lot of money with it.

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