Major bank to close its internet, phone banking sub-brand

by Krizzel Canlas30 Aug 2017
ASB Bank is set to close its internet and phone banking sub-brand BankDirect and migrate its customers to ASB proper.

Since ASB brought its interest rates into line with those of its main ASB brand in 2010, BankDirect was left as something of an anachronism, according to a Fairfax article.

ASB spokeswoman Georgina Bond said BankDirect, in 2012, has 30,000 customers but now has only fewer than 10,000 clients – a number of which are inactive and more than 70% have banking relationship with ASB.

ASB said it will gradually switch BankDirect customers to its main ASB banking platform over the coming months, “as seamless as possible.”

“We'll contact you again to let you know when your switch-over is happening,” ASB said in an email to BankDirect customers, assuring them “your banking will transition to the ASB products and services most suited to the way you bank now, with the most comparable fees.”

ASB said that all details such as setting up of accounts and payments transfer will be taken care of during the migration process.

According to ASB, BankDirect was a pioneer which challenged the banking industry by providing the cutting edge of digital banking services. Unfortunately, “the world has changed,” the bank said.

Massey University banking expert David Tripe told Fairfax that ASB would have been weighing up the cost of maintaining the BankDirect brand and he didn't view it as providing “anything extra.”

BankDirect was set up in 1997 when banks around the world regarded branch networks as a drag on profitability and were keen to offer cheaper mortgages and better savings rates to tech-savvy customers who would bank over the internet and by phone, said.

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