Commercial Bank Ltd.
An Interview with Mr. Mehriyar Pataudi Head -
Credit Card Division.
May 21 - Jun 03, 2001
You have recently launched Askari MasterCard.
What is the market response?
The market response is tremendous. I would say.
It has certainly exceeded our expectations. Our office is inundated
with queries from people wanting to apply for Askari MasterCard.
This is a very encouraging sign and gives us a lot of confidence for
What growth potential do you see in the local
credit card market?
Obviously, we had done our homework before
launching Askari MasterCard, so we knew all the time that a market
existed out there for a new credit card to enter the market backed
by a solid name.
Askari Bank, as you would know, has established
for itself a solid reputation among the country's banks. We are
today one of the largest private sector banks in Pakistan having
state of the art on-line banking systems with a large ATM network.
Coupled with MasterCard, again a globally reputed credit card brand,
the combination of Askari and MasterCard makes for a sure-fire
recipe for success.
Who did you choose to align with MasterCard and
not with any other international brand?
For the reason I just stated — namely, that
MasterCard is one of the world's best known and most trusted names
in the credit card market. MasterCard has never been aggressively
launched in Pakistan as a premier product before. We see tremendous
growth in our product specially because MasterCard as a brand was
perceived as a conservative product. We feel that we have managed to
change that perception to a certain extent from our aggressive &
innovative marketing campaign. Our marketing efforts will
consistently be aimed at strengthening the brand name to raise
consumer awareness. Besides there are so many other invaluable
benefits and perks that the customer gets as a Askari MasterCard
holder. For e.g Askari MasterCard is accepted at over 14 million
establishments in 160 countries worldwide, including over 10,000
merchants across Pakistan, and provides you the opportunity to shop,
travel or dine — globally or locally — as and when you wish.
Why should one go for Askari MasterCard and not
any other card?
Because Askari MasterCard offers more than a
customers expectations. To begin with, there is no joining fee
coupled with a very low service rate.
This low rate also applies to any cash advance
drawn against Askari MasterCard. Besides the above mentioned, the
following are some of our product features.
•Low Service Charges
•Travel Accident Insurance
•Travel Privileged Services
•Free Card Replacement
•No Surcharge on Cash Payment
•24 Hours Customer Facility (Khi/Lhr/Rwp)
Do You perceive any change in the profile of
today's credit card applicants as compared to, say, five years back?
Yes. I feel the credit card user today is much
better informed and certainly more demanding than before. He/she now
uses their credit card more judiciously and expects to get much more
out of it than just a credit facility against purchases. This is one
reason why we would like to offer more value added services with
Askari MasterCard in future.