I’ve been with my bank for about 10 years, ever since I paid a visit to the branch down the road from my house and opened up my first account on my own. Most of my friends were also with ASB, and are to this day.
Inertia is what keeps most people where they are. It’s a pain to make changes in your financials, and changing banks is a pretty major undertaking. It seems too hard, too complicated, too time-consuming.
But for me, it’s more than that. I can’t say my bank has ever really rewarded me for loyalty (after all, I’m small fry) but I genuinely think ASB is truly innovative and hands down has the best internet banking facility out there. Given how I like to manage my finances, this is top of the list for me. I’ve seen National, ANZ, Kiwibank and BNZ internet banking in action (albeit, some of them not for a couple of years now) and ASB has always been way ahead of the curves feature-wise.
I’ve had the opportunity to give direct feedback in the past through a one-on-one market research session, and the one feature that I really wanted turned out to be something lots of others had requested, and was implemented by popular demand. A company that listens to customers is a rarer beast than it really should be. And a preview of new features in the mobile app (now out) definitely cemented that – the integration with TradeMe is a stroke of genius. Anyone who’s ever used TradeMe to buy anything (which is most of the adult New Zealand population…) knows what a pain organising payment can be (unless it’s a bigger seller that accepts Visa). Linking in with TradeMe’s API to facilitate easy transactions eliminates most of that hassle.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my setup – no monthly fees, a high interest online savings account, a Visa with low fees and a rewards programme. Even better would be a no-fee card, but I’ve yet to find one of those in New Zealand. The only reason I might anticipate changing in the future is at the home-buying stage if another bank has a better deal on a mortgage.