Mumbai. Citi Bank’s corporate & retail cards branch on Thursday afternoon announced that it would soon be releasing special reward-points credit card which would be issued specifically to dogs. The starting-level for the card is being kept at Ultra-titanium for new customers after which they will be upgraded to better cards as they swipe the card for more and more spending.
The card is also being associated with another rewards initiative “The Canine Club holidays” exclusively for dogs. K Chandra who is a vice-president for telemarketing and cold-calling division of the bank talked to Faking News over teleconferencing:
Faking News Reporter: Hello Mr. Chandra, congratulations on this new initiative.
Chandra: Thanks, we all are very excited.
FN Reporter: Mr. Chandra, why start selling credit card to dogs, why this new marketing angle?
Chandra: Sir it’s very simple. Our telemarketing executives were facing huge issues in selling any more credit cards to human customers despite cold-calling them multiple times a day. People screamed at us, used abusive words, it was getting very messy. One potential customer even threatened to kill the executive when she again and again innocently asked him the reason for not opting for our super-platinum hospital benefits credit card, absolutely free.
FN Reporter: Why give up on people and move to dogs? What has changed?
Chandra: A lot has changed. According to a market study by AC Neil and sons, a common software engineer will be carrying 6 to 7 credit cards on average by year 2020, the market as we see it is highly saturated.
FN Reporter: But you always have tricks up your sleeve to sell to people?
Chandra: We tried several tricks from the book and out-of-the-box, but we failed. We tried coloring our credit-cards to green, so that some people can own them and proudly call themselves green card holders. We tried different nomenclature, such as gold, diamond, platinum, titanium, uranium and plutonium etc. For people who wanted to go in space we even tied up with NASA for 1% discount in expensive astronaut food-training program through our Astro-rewards credit card. We offered add-on cards, free cards, cashbacks, custom-photography on the credit-card, what not? We tried everything sales pitch under the sun but people are just not opting for credit cards anymore.
FN Reporter: Then?
Chandra: Then one day during one of the brain-storming meetings, one intern, whom we hired from IIPM, gave this brilliant idea. Let’s change our target audience completely, why not sell to dogs? And after that we didn’t look back, within 3 days the whole new C4 department was created.
FN Reporter: C4?
Chandra: Credit Cards for Canine Creatures, C4 for short. And that intern is now associate vice president of customer satisfaction for C4 division, because it’s her brainchild.
FN Reporter: All fancy department names and advertising is fine. But how will dogs even use these cards?
Chandra: In my limited experience I haven’t known any human being who ever used a credit card smartly, so why expect the dogs to do so. Moreover dogs these days are very clever, much more clever than human beings are. When they can sniff drugs, catch criminals, jump from airplanes with parachute and save people from drowning, then why can’t they use credit cards? And just look at the benefits. They get deep cashbacks in dog food, dog perfumes, dog writing & painting accessories. For every 100 rupees spent on dog nail-paints they get 4 reward points and for every 100 rupees spent on dog spa and tail-massage they get 8 reward points. One month of dog-origami classes free for every new customer. And that is not all. As a part of “The Canine Club holidays” they are entitled to priority dog resort bookings and free access plus one free welcome drink at airport lounges.
FN Reporter: Well that’s a lot of freebies for one card.
Chandra: Yes and our bank is a pioneer in this field, so we would be market leaders soon. Our telemarketing teams have already started approaching and setting appointments with dogs throughout the country. In coming years, we have plans to release credit and debit cards for tigers and for a rare species of lizards, which we will club with our life insurance schemes for endangered species.
FN Reporter: We wish you luck in your new initiatives Mr. Chandra and thanks a lot for taking out time and talking to us.