To the point


There are about 20 major consumer banks in Indonesia. One commonality that exists between all of these banks is that most target consumers through a image that citizens of an emerging market want: an affluent lifestyle. Plastered on their billboards you typically find images of a family dining on a beautiful beach or a powerful business person walking down the ramp of his private jet towards his limousine. There is nothing wrong showing these images and I presume most people would not complain if this happened in their lives.

However, it leaves me dark about the actual benefits that each bank offers. For example, it took me a long time to find out that some banks allow you to take out cash from any of their competitors’ ATM machines at no cost, and at other banks you can permit someone to pick up cash from the ATM within the limits that you have designated by using a string code. Yet others offer excellent overseas exchange rates or good exchange benefits.

The question is why do banks not showcase these functions but rather brand themselves as the bank that will allow your family to dine on the beach (just like everyone else)?  

Don’t get me wrong, I would love to dine on the beach and have a private plane. But to be honest, when I’m choosing a bank, that’s now what I’m trying to do. I’m really trying to find a bank that will make my life easier through its day-to-day facilities, preferably at lower costs. Can a bank make my life easier by allowing me to access the roughly 47,000 plus ATMs that are available in this country and not have to worry about surcharges for withdrawals? Yes, definitely. Will it also give me private jet for signing up? I don’t think so.

At the end of the day, do you want to sell a dream or do you want to showcase your hidden treasure and solve real problems?