26 February 2008

Did CitiBank just self-pwn?

If you have noticed, CitiBank is running some sort of a marketing blitz to get us to bank with them. Almost overnight, they installed countless ATM setups similar to the one in this picture.

CitiBank ATM Setup
The CitiBank Holy Trinity
From Left: Cash Withdrawal, Cash Deposit, AXS

Has anyone tried to pay bills with the AXS machine on the right with a CitiBank bank card?

After keying in my bills, the machine asks if I would pay by (1) NETS or (2) CashCard. So instinctively I selected NETS like I always do and go through the process with my CitiBank bank card to key in the PIN as requested. But all I got was a transaction unsuccessful message. I tried again and I got the same response.

It left me perplexed but I didn't dwell on that so I paid with a competitor bank's card.

So fast forward to today when a CitiBanker called me up to chat about some financial packages. They are evil I tell you, it was my first payday going to them last Friday and they are called me up on Monday to encourage me to save even more with them. Anyway, the person the other line ended with asking if there was any questions that I would like to ask.

"Yeah, can your card handle NETS transactions?"

"Uh, no it doesn't"

"That sucks doesn't it? I mean, aren't you guys out to kill off the local banks?"

"Uh... (embarrassed chuckle) No lah. But you can still pay for stuff like NETS."

"But it's NETS. And we are all used to NETS..."

After I hung up, I realized that the transaction failure could have been due to CitiBank's lack of support for NETS. Sure, it's fine when you just use VISA for to pay for everything. But hey, this is Singapore, where everybody's so used to NETS, right?

And remember the picture above? We have a screaming CitiBank masthead that overcasts all 3 machines. One of which is the AXS machine which allows you to pay bills by NETS or CashCard only...

Hmm... So let me get this right, CitiBank sets up their holy trinity at major MRT stations for their customers to bank conveniently. But they don't let you pay your bills at their AXS with their bank cards, even if it is literally just one step away. Gee, I thought the were really good at market research, how could they not be part the Uniquely Singaporean NETS way of life?

S**tty Bank CitiBank may be the largest bank in the world, but it definitely isn't the smartest.
Yup, self-pwn indeed.

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