Bank of America decides to give credit cards to illegal immigrants. You can see the story at http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/2007/02/12/daily27.html
Set the politics aside for a moment, heck, even set aside my undying devotion for Bank of America’s horribly arcane online banking site (a topic for a future rant, perhaps), and of course, assuming it really is legal to issue cards to these folks, this is a brilliant move.
Everyone in the banking biz is out there fighting (well, as much as a bank WILL fight) for new clients. Most of them are doing the same old things and getting the same old results. Taking a customer from bank A by giving away a toaster, giving the customer to bank C because of a free whoosewhatiz, and so on. Yawn.
Why is this brilliant?
- It gets a pile of new customers to open accounts (note the requirements to issue a card).
- It gets this new group of clients perhaps their first taste of banking.
- The next time they need bank services, where do you think they’ll go?
- When they decide to start a business, where will they go?
- When they need a loan for a new truck for their business, or a car for their family, where will they go?
Yeah, I know all the political connotations and the complexity of the whole thing, but on a strictly business basis, this is a smart move if they handle it properly.
At least it shows that they are thinking. Maybe they’ll even fix that awful website:)