Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blessings from the Credit Card Gods

I had a flashback this week to the week before left for University (many years ago) when my dad got a credit card with a $500 credit limit. I remember it being a huge deal because I independently would never get approved for a credit card. I was a student, barely 18, no credit history, no job - nothing that a bank would look at and have any confidence that I could pay off my bills on time. But interestingly, 15 years later, I seem to find myself in the same situation. Just last week I could not get approved for a personal credit card by my bank in India. The explanation given to me was "Given the credit crunch, we are really setting strict criteria on who gets approved for credit cards. You must have a minimum deposit of XYZ in your account for you to get approved." Fair enough, I thought. I just got here, they don't know me, why should they give me a credit card? But then I thought, I have 15+ years of credit history in another country, always paid my bills on time there, a decent job and no criminal record - why can't my bank track that information down about me and approve me on the basis of that? Just as I was thinking about that, a telemarketer from another bank calls me at work and says - "As an IBMer, you have been pre-approved for a credit card with a credit limit. All you need is to give us a copy of your company ID, a business card and a proof of address. We will come to your office and pick all this up." I was baffled but nonetheless rather pleased. I guess some credit card gods are easier to please than others! But this begs the question - shouldn't all banks use analytics tools to help determine who would be a good candidate for a credit card? All you business analytics buffs out there, how would you help my bank figure out that blessing me with a card would have been a good idea?!

No comments:

Post a Comment