You Are A Bank AND Want To Share My Private Info? Sure! Go Ahead!

And they know all about me…

I am usually not someone writing all kinds of positive things about banks. We all need them, but still also have the feeling that they eventually make it virtually impossible to like them. My recent electronic deposit debacle with Chase Bank is one example.

I don’t like all the secrecy, all the suddenly made up rules that make sure that something is not for you, and the always slowing down of transactions. Why?

Argh… alright, let’s not start it up again, because I will be grumpy all day long.

No, actually, I was very pleased with a letter I received from one of my other banks yesterday. And this was weird, because they actually told me that they were going to do something negative, and there was nothing I could do about it.

Still… I felt pretty good about the communication, that I actually now am spending time to write my blog posting about it.

Captital One Bank has acquired the credit-card department of HSCB bank. So, to make sure all the credit-card owners, and there will be some of you with that, we all got an email mentioning the changes. Which more or less was something like… blah blah blah… everything stays the same so you still have to pay.

Well, that makes sense. For me personally, it has a small favor. To boost my credit score after I got into the country 7 years ago, I needed small credit cards. And HSBC got me one, a tiny one, but from their daughter bank; Household Bank.

As a man, that is the credit card I prefer only to use online, so people don’t see the name 😉 And that will now be changed into Capital One… sounds better 😉

The rest of the mailing was not particularly interesting, only for one leaflet. This was the leaflet that simply mentioned what they were going to do with my private information, and what I could do (if anything) to stop it.

It was not written in fine print, or in a 50 pages EULA. No, it was in a bold, large font, nicely printer in a table that made very sure you could not misinterpret what was being said:

The were going to use my private information to sell to third parties, to marketing agencies, use it for their personal marketing purposes and there was absolutely no way you could ‘un-check’ any of it. If you didn’t like it… there’s the door. Pay off your card and get out.

I don’t like it that my private contact information is being shared by another company. Actually, I resent that.

But what I absolutely applaud is that they were extremely clear in the communication about it. Often, companies like to hide this kind of information, and add all kinds of beautiful talk to cover up their purposes. Not this time. Not with Capital One.

You know why it actually makes me feel better? I prefer a bank that tells me up-front what the deal is. If Chase would have told somewhere in their directDeposit program that it simply would not work with anyone who has an overdraft, it would be clear and simple. No harm done. It is the always covering up.

Banks are no humanitarian organizations. I don’t expect them to do what I want, I ask them to do what they need to do, and dare to be clear about it.

And with that, Capital One did make a good impression on me.

Of course, it would have been a nice gesture to simply clear the card 😉 I mean, come one, we are all friends here 😉


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