FRANK by OCBC

A few weeks ago, I attended the launch of Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited (OCBC Bank)‘s latest FRANK Store at VivoCity.

OCBC FRANK Store @ VivoCity
OCBC FRANK Store @ VivoCity

The folks at OCBC Bank had invited a whole bunch of bloggers for the event, many younger than yours truly. Frankly (pun intended), I am impressed.

Here’s a local bank banking big on social media, moving fast to capitalise on the youth and PMETs market by engaging them where they spend most of their time. These people have a long consumer lifespan ahead if you connect well with them early; smart move. I wish more retailers and service providers recognise this too.

An OCBC representative sharing on the FRANK banking programme
An OCBC representative sharing on the FRANK banking programme

Riding on the trend of consumer customisation, the FRANK card by OCBC does not force you to choose from a couple of limited, boring card designs like other credit/debit cards. Instead, customers can choose from over 130 card designs which include one limited edition “bee happy” design by :phunk Studio, a local art and design collective. The amount collected will be donated to a charity of the customer’s choice, with OCBC Bank matching the amount to the same charity.

Spoilt for choices
Spoilt for choices

:phunk Studio also came up with another two limited edition designs, the ‘lip service’ and ‘futuropolis’ designs,  priced at S$50 each, with 50 pieces available per design.

Other perks of being a FRANK Credit Card holder includes having the flexibility to exchange reward points for cash rebates or vouchers (S$10 rebate for every 1000 OCBC$ earned (S$1 spend = 1 OCBC$)); all-in-one VISA payment card to take a ride on trains and buses as well as withdraw cash and sign or tap for purchases anytime and anywhere. The cash rebate system seals the deal for me as I always opt for cards with cash rebates.

A bit of history: the FRANK by OCBC banking programme was first launched in May 2011. In barely, six months, OCBC claims to have received overwhelming response, with the number of new sign-ups for FRANK accounts and debit cards growing at an average monthly rate of more than two times.

The FRANK Account
The FRANK Account

I am not surprise, given that FRANK is an interesting banking concept that  should gel well with the “ME” Generation.

According to OCBC, a key driving factor of the growth is how it helps customers create “savings goals” – sub accounts – to apportion their savings for different purposes such as saving for a dream holiday or a special gift for someone. Customers are also drawn to the vast array of FRANK card designs to choose from, with many citing the designs as cool and unique.

Here’s something which I found rather interesting about the FRANK banking programme – It is no secret that banks make substantial profits from overdue credit card payments. Hence I was surprised that part of the programme’s objectives was to impart money management skills to young people; not just by paying lip service, but with real, tangible rewards! FRANK Credit Card holders who pay their credit card bills on time consecutively for six months in the first membership year will be rewarded with vouchers. To help cultivate good payment habits, the FRANK programme offers customers free SMS alerts which will be sent to their mobile phones five days prior to their payment due date.

Not just mere lip services :)
Not just mere lip services 🙂

The FRANK Store @ VivoCity is OCBC’s third FRANK Store btw. If you are someone already in the workforce like me, you would probably not have come across the other two stores as they are located in the campuses of Singapore Management University (SMU) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

The store is designed very differently from traditional branches, allowing customers to leisurely browse, touch and ask questions about the products and his banking needs. It is modelled after a shopping experience that youths and young working adults are familiar with, such as shopping for a gadget or fashion item. The VivoCity store opens everyday including Sundays from 11am to 7pm.

Ten years ago, if you were to ask others to envision shopping for a credit card in a retail store environment, I don’t think anyone would have thought it would be possible. Now, you can point skeptics to the nearest OCBC FRANK Store. 🙂

Shop for a credit/debit card as if you are shopping at a fashion boutique!
Shop for a credit/debit card as if you are shopping at a fashion boutique!

On a personal note, after browsing through all the 130 over card designs and seriously contemplating my options, I have narrowed down to these two designs:

Tin Robot or Big Wave for Alvinology?
Tin Robot or Big Wave for Alvinology?

Can you guess which design I picked in the end?Just drop a wild guess leaving a comment below with your email address (so I can contact you for your snail mail address). I will randomly pick someone who guessed correctly to win a pair of drinks vouchers at Dempsey Hill (note that the voucher can only be used with a FRANK Credit/Debit Card).

My FRANK Credit Card just arrived in the post last Friday. Stay tuned to this blog to find out the answer.

To find out more about FRANK by OCBC, check out the following links:

Official FRANK by OCBC website: http://www.frankbyocbc.com

Official Twitter Account: http://twitter.com/frankbyocbc

Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/FRANKbyOCBC

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