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UOB (Thai) in tailored pitch on credit cards 

Feb 02. 2017
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By   SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
THE NATION

UNITED Overseas Bank (Thai) is adopting a segmentation strategy -– targeting specific consumer groups – for its credit cards that will eventually replace its basic Silver and Gold cards, as it believes this is the way to succeed in the credit-card business.

UOB (Thai) yesterday officially introduced the YOLO Platinum card, aiming to issue 50,000 of them in the first year. YOLO stands for “you only live once”, and the new card is aimed at the Generation Y segment, customers between 29 and 37 years of age.

Tearavath Trirutdilokkul, executive vice president for card payment and unsecured products, said the overall credit-card market had grown by 7 per cent in 2016, but UOB’s grew by 14 per cent. The bank expects the overall market this year to grow by 7 per cent again, but UOB (Thai) targets 22 per cent.

“We believe in segmentation for each credit card, so this year we will launch three credit cards to cater to each customer segment,” he said.

Of the 763,225 credit cards UOB (Thai) has in circulation, Silver and Gold cards number fewer than 100,000.

After the current Silver and Gold cards expire in three to four years, the bank will offer new segment-targeted cards as replacements. But before doing so, UOB (Thai) will analyse the lifestyles and behaviour of its customers in order to offer them the right cards.

“The Silver and Gold credit cards will automatically exit the market and the segment-targeted credit cards will replace them,” Tearavath said. Gen Y customers account for 53 per cent of the credit-card industry.

“Gen Y customers are around 10-20 per cent of our credit-card portfolio, regarded as a small ratio, and the YOLO Platinum credit card will help the bank expand in this segment,” he said.

Even though UOB (Thai) will aggressively pursue credit-card business, it wants to keep the ratio of non-performing loans at no more than 2 per cent. As of last year, its NPL rate was 2.1 per cent.

 

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