Springwise today featured a nice new custom-banking product: Custom credit cards. Mass customization in the banking sector is one of the hottest trends in the area. Surprisingly, above much talk, not much has happened yet.
Credit cards seem to lead the industry. The idea of custom credit cards is pretty old. But in most cases, it is just an extension of the custom personal cheque, featuring your pet, grad-daughter or president (for example at www.uniquechecks.com).
Turkey-based Garanti Bank however has extended this idea. With its Flexi Cards does not only allow customers to personalize the look of their bank cards, but also to develop the entire own banking product.
"Flexi Cards are Visa cards that let the cardholder make a few key decisions, allowing them to set over ten parameters. When applying for a card, customers can manipulate variables like reward rates and types, interest rate and card fee. The rewards system is especially flexible, not only letting customers determine reward ratio and type (cash or points), but also enabling them to choose which payments will earn them extra rewards: whether it are broad categories like restaurants, or specific stores like Zara.
Interest rate, bonus rate and card fees are selected by sliding bars that render various combinations of rates and fees. Card fees, for example, can be pushed back to zero by committing to a monthly spending minimum. A lower interest rate leads to a lower bonus rate, etc. Lastly, after making serious decisions about financial terms, customers can design their own card, choosing from different colors and a gallery of images, or uploading their own image. There's even the option of picking a vertical card, which is a world's first for Visa."
A very similar idea (based on a Mastercard) was introduced already in 2002 by the UK company Royal and Sun Alliance. Their MORE THAN credit card also provided their customers the opportunity to create their ideal credit card. Customers could choose their own APR, cashback, servicing options and annual fee to suit their needs as they change over time. I have featured this example since years in my presentations, but just had to learn that the company stopped this offering. Reasons unknown.
But the concept itself promises many opportunities:
"While customers appreciate being in control and creating a tailor-made card, inside and out, the bank is able to test various value propositions, gaining valuable insights into which customer segments choose which options. Self-segmentation through ultra-personalization. ;-)"I couldn't say it better than the guys at Springwise! If you know interesting other concepts of mass customization in banking, let me know!