Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Breaking My Habit, Day 8: Credit Card

Today I went to a bank to put my money on CoD (Credit of Deposit). Because I didn't have a saving account in that particular bank (I have savings account on another bank, one with lower CoD interest rate), I would need to open one first.

Customer Service (CS): may I see your ID card?
Me: (hand my ID)
CS: Oh, you're from East Jakarta?
Me: Yes.
CS: Do you work around here?
Me: No, I work near Pulomas, East Jakarta.
CS: Ah, sorry sir, you'll need to open your savings account in the same area as your residencial or your workplace. If you want to open an account here (the bank was around Sudirman), you'll need to bring a letter from the your company.
Me: Hmm.. If I use my passport as an ID, can I open the account here?

CS: No, sir.
Me: O..okay. 

Oh why..

I forgot to ask her what's the reason behind this rules, but it seems so trivial to me (correct me if I'm wrong, please). At least, I don't see any benefit from the customer's point of view. From the bank point of view, I'm not so sure. Perhaps it would help with their database, I don't know. But the bank that I visited today clearly lost a potential customer, because after that I just decided to put my CoD on the bank in which I already have saving account there (rate difference wasn't very big and I realize I'm too lazy going to another branch just to open a new account).

I'm comparing this with another kind of experience you'll always encounter every time you go to the mall.

"Boleh kartu kreditnya, Kak?"

Yes, credit card salesman.

You cannot miss these people. A group of 4 - 6 person, handing out brochures, politely (but sometimes annoying) offering their credit card products. You can apply on the spot, the salesman will help you with the application (they even bring printer) and bingo! Your application is done, just wait 1-2 weeks and the card will be sent to your house.

It really is easier to get a credit card than to open a bank account!

The banks went through with all these troubles just so you can get a credit card, a tool which can be deadly held by the uneducated hands (and give a lot of profits for the bank, I'm sure). Unpaid credit card debt turns ugly real quick, as it has really big interest rate. The bank normally put around 3% interest rate on its brochure or flyer. What they sometimes 'forgot' to tell is that this is a monthly percentage, unlike the yearly percentage they put for the savings account! Another dirty move, in my opinion. This could lead people to think that the credit card's interest rate is somewhat similar to the savings account (around 3%), while actually they are very different. In a year, the interest from a credit card could amount to around ~35%!

The message is clear. In this era where every company is trying to make you spend more and more, you really can't afford to just follow your impulses and be swayed by their offers. You'll need to stay educated and outsmart these guys. Stay sharp, people! 

See you tomorrow!