Trying to reason with CBA bank

CBA is a bank that we have been with for maybe ten years with our group deals. Over the years, we gave them hundreds of clients and they in return have given our customers good rates. Then Bill Express moved in with ANZ and took most away. At the time, I remember having several meetings with the CBA bank. I told them that unless they look after my clients, they will lose them. CBA did little and as I told them, they lost most of those clients.

Recently the market changed, when Bill Express took a dive. Now when so many newsagents are upset and looking, you would think the CBA bank would be jumping as they are aware of what is happening in the market. Many people in the newsagency briefed them. I told them that I alone could give them a good base in that market and add to that our growing client numbers, nothing happened we may as well be talking to a stone. Nothing came out of them.

If you think about it, they have a big plus in this new market if they move quickly. Their bill pay is technically the best on the market with a wide range of electronic products. Also while pushing this they could try to get back some of those Eftpos accounts that they lost to ANZ.

I had many discussions with their bill pay section. I told them what was needed. They said first, they need to go to their legal department. That will take a week. After many calls by us over a month period, nothing happened. Finally on Thursday, they return a form saying the changes were in it. Nothing was done, it was the same form as a month ago. When I complained, they said they would get back to me. Now I am waiting again. I am not holding my breath.

I suspect what happens now is that a reformed Bill Express will emerge. The reason why is whatever the losses in Bill Express, I doubt ANZ will walk away from the newsagents' Eftpos accounts as it goes with the Bill Express.

A rough calculation would be each Eftpos account pays about $5800 a year in bank fees. With 3,500 account though Bill Express x 70% using ANZ x $5800 fees = $14 million dollars a year, just in Eftpos fees. Then on top, they are making money from the funds going into the Bill Express system which would be huge.

This is why I think that Bill Express will continue and I expect that shortly we will have the full and detailed announcement although I doubt this week as promised, then we will see whether I am right.

However most of people that annoyed us in Bill Express will go and Optus and ANZ will hound them as they mucked them up, as they did us. Having dealt with them, I am sure few will miss them. So I expect most newsagents will remain with Bill Express as no-one else except e-pay has a viable solution in the newsagency market. E-pay will not be a problem for Bill Express as they are not moving in because they are so busy with Coles and Safeway now. Many of my clients will drift off to Tyro Eftpos. Life will return to normal. So CBA will get nothing having missed a great opportunity.

What have I learned from this? Not to overestimate the intelligence of a person with over billion dollars behind them.