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These banks playing the anti-crisis tariff card - Trends-Tendances sur PC

These banks playing the anti-crisis tariff card – Trends-Tendances sur PC

Change of tone in the communication of banking institutions. With inflation cutting into purchasing power, it is a good idea to mitigate the rise in the cost of living on consumers’ wallets while standing out from the competition.

The slogan is unambiguous: “Fixed price, guaranteed for 1 year”. Imagined by the Publicis agency, this recent joint campaign by Belfius and Proximus combining digital channels, large-format street posters, social networks and radio spots did not go unnoticed at the start of this autumn. Acknowledged objective: to emphasize the competitive price of the Beats offer, namely a personalized and flexible monthly subscription which allows you to combine a banking offer (accounts, cards and related insurance) with a telecom offer (internet subscription , telephone, TV and mobile). And this, with an additional message that could not be clearer insisting on the beneficial aspect of the offer for the consumer’s wallet: “Not everything costs more”.

The slogan is unambiguous: “Fixed price, guaranteed for 1 year”. Imagined by the Publicis agency, this recent joint campaign by Belfius and Proximus combining digital channels, large-format street posters, social networks and radio spots did not go unnoticed at the start of this autumn. Acknowledged objective: to emphasize the competitive price of the Beats offer, namely a personalized and flexible monthly subscription which allows you to combine a banking offer (accounts, cards and related insurance) with a telecom offer (internet subscription , telephone, TV and mobile). And this, with an additional message that could not be clearer insisting on the beneficial aspect of the offer for the consumer’s wallet: “Not everything costs more”. At a time when the increase in the cost of living is a major source of concern for many Belgians (inflation passed the 12% mark in one year), Belfius is therefore not standing idly by. “Instead of waiting, we preferred to adopt a proactive attitude, explains Mieke Debeerst, chief customer experience & communications of Belfius. As a bank committed to society, we are promoting our Beats offer with a campaign whose message intends to make Belgians smile: a combinable bank and telecom offer at a fixed price, guaranteed for one year. These days, that means something.” For Yannick Grécourt, partner at EY in charge of the banking sector, this is indeed a nice marketing move on the part of Belfius. “With this campaign, Belfius is not only riding the wave of anti-crisis products from large retailers, but also setting itself apart from the competition with a novelty. It is all the more effective as the bank is the first to communicate on the sort. And by the way, it is relaunching a product put on the market a few months ago. In short, it almost kills three birds with one stone”, analyzes the consultant. Always very quick on the ball in the field of marketing, Belfius is not the only one to come to the rescue of consumers shaken by the sharp rise in the cost of living. Thus, in mid-September, BNP Paribas also expressed its desire to stand out to clients by mitigating the impact of inflation on the portfolio. How? By announcing the freezing of all of its banking tariffs for its individual customers in France. “Inflation is now high and companies have been asked to contribute to its moderation”, indicated the French banking group in a press release, adding that it had decided “to freeze its banking tariffs for its private customers for l ‘year 2023’. And in Belgium? Same thing. BNP Paribas Fortis, its large Belgian subsidiary, “has decided not to make price increases for the various packs in 2023 in order to help our customers get through the current economic situation and deal with price inflation, confirms the French-speaking spokesperson Valéry Halloy. For private customers, the prices for the Hello Pack, Comfort Pack and Premium Pack formulas are frozen. Concerning the other products already in possession of customers, we will not increase our prices either (except partners For Pro customers, same logic: no increase in Flex and Essential packs in 2023.” Another novelty at BNP Paribas Fortis: a loyalty program called Premium Bonus. The latter allows the customer to receive up to 12 refunds of the monthly fee for his Premium Pack account (7.5 euros per month). For example, it suffices to make 24 transfers per year via the bank’s app (Easy Banking App) to obtain reimbursement of a monthly contribution, or to carry out 24 transactions with the credit card (Mastercard), to invest in pension savings, or to take out car or home insurance. Result of the action: 72% of Premium Pack customers obtained at least one reimbursement of their monthly account fees, while 60% of customers obtained between one and three reimbursements. In total, 6.3 million euros were paid back to customers in this way. Is this image of defender of purchasing power put forward by some of our major banking players opportunistic? Yes. No. Not necessarily. “Marketing is not just about developing concepts, argues Mieke Debeerst at Belfius. It is just as important to feel what is happening on the market and to provide responses that are relevant to the customer. Inflation is causing more and more people to think about their spending. The energy crisis was the trigger, but in the meantime many aspects of our lives have been affected by the price increases.” It is clear that times have changed. Exit the corset of negative interest rates, make way for double-digit inflation! “For years, banks have not been able to adopt communication on day-to-day banking products because of negative rates and their margins, which have been put under strong pressure by these same negative rates, explains Yannick Grécourt on the side of the consulting firm EY. To compensate, they have sharply increased fees and commissions. Some services that were free have even become chargeable. Today, with rates going up and margins picking up color, the freezing of certain rates should be more than compensated.”

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