[Editor’s note: This is a blog post from Charles Earle, Business Development Director at Equiniti. Equiniti is a silver sponsor at LendIt Fintech Europe 2018, which will take place on November 19-20, 2018 in London.]
A few months ago, I applied to get a higher credit limit on my Credit card that I had through my bank. This experience didn’t just go badly it lead me to change my credit card provider and drop some of the services that I had with them.
My Credit card company works with my bank to provide a credit card with a set limit which can changed per month depending on your credit rating. I got this card years ago for travel and emergencies seeing as the country where I live (the Netherlands) Credit cards are not very common and not accepted everywhere.
So what happened? The idea is that I can do larger purchases with this card and that I can pay them off in spread payments with a minimum of £50 per month. Now because of the fact that my bank works closely with this company I assumed that they would have my information stored and would have a decent idea of my credit rating. But I was wrong. Very wrong.
I had planned to make a larger payment than my current credit limit allowed for. After having paid all my bills on time and in a proper fashion for the last 5 years I thought it would be easy to get my credit limit raised. Applying for it was extremely easy. I rang the customer helpdesk and they sent me to the website where in a few clicks I applied for a higher credit limit on my card.
And this is where it all went downhill. Putting in the request was so easy it almost had to go wrong. Sure enough, it did. The Credit card company contacted me and sent me an E-mail in which they requested more information that could be no more than 3 months old. Information I assumed they already had. However, at this point I hadn’t really thought about that and I sent them the information they required. But it did not end there. 5 days after my E-mail I received another E-mail from the credit card company asking me for yet more information. I decided to pick up the phone and call them. The person on the phone was very helpful but told me it was standard procedure and that they needed to check all my details for safety and regulatory purposes.
I decided to play along and send yet more information only to be greeted by yet another E-mail asking me for information that was no older than 2 weeks. At this point I was getting very annoyed. I felt criminalised and was frustrated that after years with this organisation and 2 E-mail conversations and 2 phone calls this organisation still didn’t have enough data on me to decide whether I could raise my credit limit.
My frustration reached the point where I stopped replying and started looking for other vendors. I was searching for other credit card providers online when I received an E-mail from my bank offering me a fast and direct service to get a credit card. After my customer journey I was so disappointed that I cancelled my card and 2 other services with my bank and went to a competitor. This was surprisingly easy and within days and one E-mail exchange I had the limit and situation I required.
Today’s customers are looking for transparency and speed. My credit card provider had years to collect data on my and had ample opportunity to contact me and explain what information they needed. Sadly they chose to wait for me to get fed up with their slow process. We see companies struggle everyday with the balance between calculated risk and customer experience. At Equiniti we have dealt with many similar situations in which we try to find the right balance for our client so that they can offer their client the credit they need in a safe and structured way without sacrificing speed. Perhaps it is time that I offer this service to my own bank. But I would make them ask me 3 times………