Hordes flock to ASB's virtual bank

New Zealand's first virtual bank has proved so popular it's embarrassing, says BankDirect marketing manager Valerie Walshe. With more than 25,000 calls logged and 40,000 unique (as opposed to multiple-hit) visits to BankDirect's Web site since October 6, Walshe is pleased with the results, although it is causing some delays and has meant BankDirect has hired extra staff. "We're wildly overachieving on our budget, which is fantastic. There's a huge demand for this type of operation," says Walshe.

New Zealand’s first virtual bank has proved so popular it’s embarrassing, says BankDirect marketing manager Valerie Walshe.

With more than 25,000 calls logged and 40,000 unique (as opposed to multiple-hit) visits to BankDirect’s Web site since October 6, Walshe is pleased with the results, although it is causing some delays and has meant BankDirect has hired extra staff.

“We’re wildly overachieving on our budget, which is fantastic. There’s a huge demand for this type of operation,” says Walshe.

Although the Web site is an important part of BankDirect’s business focus, it is in the call centre that the pinch has been felt most.

“At this stage we’re in massive acquisition mode, so it’s people ringing in, asking for information, then getting automatic payments and the like set up.” Walshe expects that once customers have signed on with the bank and are more comfortable with the process, the Web site will receive more attention.

Extra staff have been hired for the call centre and for the administrative end of the business, where processing applications is the focus.

BankDirect can be found at www. bankdirect.co.nz.

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