Small Business owners are usually neglected by the banks. And there are several good reasons for it. Many small businesses start and fail, most are one or two people shops making it difficult to have a proper banking relation, some of them avoid banking as they are afraid of high costs and bank branch personnel have a difficult time defining and dealing with SMEs. This is therefore a nich area for American Express in the US which designed products and services fort his segment through cards.
In Turkey as most banks are active in acquiring business, a POS terminal and a mechant contract have become the easiest ways to start an SME relationship. Today for instance 85% of Garanti’s 500,000 POS base is from SMEs.
Yet when it comes to cards, not much is different in Turkey then the US. Most SME’s use their own (personal) cards and banks’ scoring systems have difficulty defining and approving loans for his segment.
As Garanti has long standing succesful business relation with American Express, we decided to look at their SME card programs and develop a product in Turkey.
After some research and planning we decided to take Plum Card in US as our role model. And after a year of extentive workshops and development a new card program was born:
Easy is designed for SME’s with turnover between $300K-$5.5M who seek for more flexibility to manage company cash flow.
A small Business owner needs more financial support from their bank during hard times. SME’s expectation about credit cards program are; “longer payment terms”, “lower pricing”, “easy access to cash and loan” and “attractive loyalty program”. Easy Amex has been designed to meet all these needs.
EARLY PAY DISCOUNT… EXTENDED PAY OPTION… REVOLVE OPTION
Core Benefits = Payment Flexibility that are; %1 cash back for early pay option, 20 days grace period*, revolving interest at lower rate**and cash advancing at optimum pricing.
1. EARLY PAY DISCOUNT
If minimum due amount paid on the statement cut off date or 1 day after the latest, card holder earn 1% discount on the paid amount. The discount will appear as a credit on the following month’s billing statement. (personal cards do not have such an option in Turkey)
2. EXTENDED PAY OPTION:
Easy Card Holders can take up to 20 days to pay the full balance without interest. (Compare with 10 days in Turkey for personal cards)
3. REVOLVE OPTION:
Easy Amex Card Holders can pay only minimum amount %5 (campare with 25 to 40 % in personal cards as required by the law) on the due date, than revolve at competitive rates as follows;
4. CASH ADVANCE:
Easy Card Holders can take the cash advance at ATM, branch offices or internet banking from the lowest fees and interest rate in the market for Business Cards.The cash advance also can be paid back with an equal installment payment option
* Common practice is 10 days in the Market
**regular rate is 4.93% for all commercial cards
In addition to core benefits, EASY have an attractive Supporting Benefits = Convenience.
With the Partnership Program, Easy card holders benefits from special offers, savings and discount at selected merchants. Such as; %2,5 cash back at Oil sector, 3 months for free on selected Vodafone postpaid tariffs, 10% discount on Insurance packages from EUREKA Insurance Co. and 12 months payment installments option. Lastly, up to 6 months free installments at Metro Cash& Carrier.
o Gasoline Sector
Offer: %2.5 cashback at all gas purchase
o Telecom Partner: Vodafone
Offer: 3 months for free at selected postpaid tariffs
o Insurance Partner: Eureko Insurance
Offer: 12 months installments and 1 month installment free
o Cash&Carrier Partner: Metro
Offer: up to 6 installments at Metro Cash&Carrier at POS
In addition to all these benefits, EASY Amex has more offers;
• Contactless payment option
• SME Loan without documentation fee that value maksimum 250USD
• Special premium pricing for a new merchant aquiring
• Merchant funded Bonus Loyalty Program
• Global and local discount with AMEX Business Savings Program
o Annual Fee:Card Fee: 70,80 TL ($40) ,split down by monthly payments and
Garanti’s aim is to support SME’s cash flow management with unique EASY Amex card program and add on services.
When it comes to payment systems banks should use all reachable expertise to provide solutions to their customers. In this case Garanti used Amex expertise and combined it with its famous Bonus loyalty scheme.