As the backbone of the financial system, the banking system has the potential to take the adverse effect of global recession.
In spite of this, Indonesia has proven itself to be better prepared than when the country was hit hard by the 1997 monetary crisis. It’s 2009 and the growing number of well-to-do customers in the country witnesses how their presence has captured the attention of the retail banking market.
To banks, mass affluent customers incontestably contribute much more profitable than those of the mass market. In return, premium customers will enjoy the bank’s undivided attention in a specially designed comfortable space with friendlier service and more importantly, they don’t need to line up when doing banking transaction at the bank’s respective branch.
Comfortable parking area with facilities reserve parking, a cozy meeting room that is equipped with WiFi Internet and dealing area that guarantees the confidentiality of any banking transactions made; all of which are what made these well-to-do individuals get on the board of a premium banking service.
Panin Prioritas Lounge is one of the integrated services specifically designed for Panin Bank’s priority customers. The elegantly comfortable lounge is equipped with the most exclusive banking facilities including private meeting room.
A Panin Bank’s priority customer, who refused to be named, said that it’s important to have a bank that can tailor the needs of its customers. “Due to my tight schedule, I sometimes use the Panin Prioritas Lounge to conduct meeting with my clients while doing bank transaction.”
According to Iwan, another customer being met at Panin Prioritas Lounge at CBD Pluit branch, “Along with the top-notch service by professional relationship managers, I’m really amazed with the attention the bank gives in terms of giving product information related to banking and investment. They really know how to advise you into choosing the right financial products and services.”
Ever since the launching of Panin Prioritas, Panin Bank has been pampering every of its privileged customers with various offers; ranging from attractive rewards to special discounts from the chosen merchants. This is not to mention other benefits where a priority customer is entitled to the pre-approved and free annual fee of Platinum Panin credit card as well as higher limit ATM transaction.
Known as a micro banking with its main core business in rural areas, Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) has since December 2007 branched out into a new line of professional banking. Targeting affluent individual customers, BRI Prioritas has been an alternative for those maintain the funds of at least IDR 500 million in the account.
In line with the development in banking industry, BRI’s director for consumer banking Agus Toni Soetirto said that there was big potential in priority banking market nationwide. Just like other priority banking, BRI Prioritas’s customers are entitled to a privileged service different from those of regular banking.
All BRI Prioritas’s customers will be provided the BRI Prioritas card, also called Premium Debit MasterCard, which functions as both debit and credit card. Other facilities include 24-hour services BRI Prioritas Call Center, personal assistance and travel insurance as well as wealth management consultant.
More privilege services have also been delivered to current cardholders. Just showing the card, any BRI Prioritas’s customers can get into an executive lounge (for two persons) at 33 local airports with BRI Prioritas’s logo in Jakarta, Denpasar, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar, Manado, Jayapura, to name a few.
Though not all, but at least for customers of BRI Prioritas and HSBC Premiere, they can benefit from an innovative state-of-the-art technology called ‘saphire.’ It is retina recognition where the privileged customers can have access to the Automatic Border Passage machine enabling to fast track through immigration counter without having to stamp their passport.
It has been two years that HSBC Indonesia has moved into more cosmic area with HSBC Premier as the bank’s most prestigious financial product. An HSBC Premier customer can enjoy the bank’s excellent borderless global banking in any of more than HSBC’s seven thousand branches across the world. “The day you land up in a new place, if you are an HSBC Premier customer, your credit history is transferred, you can open a new account, you can be issued a new card or even you can ask for a mortgage and/or other banking facilities. You can just do it all there in a new place,” Ravi Sreedharan, head of personal financial services HSBC Indonesia, said.
For the frequent traveler, joining HSBC Premier means having the extra privileges. Offering the best mileage points, the HSBC’s Premier MasterCard lets cardholders enjoy privileges and all the opportunities the world has to offer. The good thing is that every Premier customer entitles to Premier MasterCard.
HSBC Premier targets a very specific segment, as it is designed for those who need a distinctively excellent financial service. “Anyone, including expatriates, can open the account as long as they have at least an investable asset of US$50 thousand for an initial deposit,” Ravi added.
Undeniably, these wealthy clients demand more than just a financial service but also security and comfort. The banks are aware of this phenomenon and have thus far given them discreet attention.
HSBC Premier Lounge at the Soekarno-Hatta airport is one of the sophisticated lounges that gives room for privileged customers to relax, gets a fresh air or enjoys full business facilities such as Internet and conference rooms. And while the privileged customers are in Singapore, they can kick back in CIP (Commercially Important Person) Lounge at Changi airport. This very exclusive lounge operates 24 hours a day with such facilities as Transit Meeting Room , Spa, Massatge Chairs, Food & Beverages, nap Rooms and Mini Gym, Shopping Services, Limousine transfer to or from town, Business Center and many more.
By Aulia R. Sungkar, published in The Jakarta Globe, April 29, 2009.