Armen Matevosyan for 24 Hours : Every fifth Bulgarian chose TBI Bank
03.10.2020 Share +
Choosing a loan can be a little bit challenging, right? This is why Armen Matevosyan – our own Chief Commercial Officer, was invited by Bulgaria's leading daily newspaper 24 Hours to help you make educated decisions by giving more information and insights on our lending products. In an interview for the media he shared more about our new special offer as well as his personal story, which is truly fascinating. Take a look and find out for yourself:
Mr. Matevosyan, would you tell us more about TBI Bank’s lending products?
TBI Bank is a reliable and responsible lender. That is why the bank of choice for every fifth Bulgarian when it comes to consumer loans – either a cash one or stock one. We offer the financial freedom to help customers from all walks of life make their dreams come true. This inclusivity is enabled by TBI Bank’s unique ‘phygital’ model – a strong mix of online and physical channels. We do have a large own network аnd you can find our stock loans offers in very big consumer electronics retailer chains in Bulgaria. We also cooperate with a network of more than 4 thousand small and medium retailers nationwide, helping them to sell more via delivery of purchase finance products.
TBI Bank now promotes a new consumer loan offer. What is its value proposition of the product?
We’ve created our new value proposition with the customer’s interest in mind. It is very simple. We know that there are people who need money for a quick fix. That is why any customer may borrow from us as usual, and should he change his mind or his plans – no problem – he can return to us what he has borrowed during 30 days without paying any interest and fees. This offer is available both to our existing loyal customers and to the new ones as well. Should the customer decide that he need the financing for a longer period – no problem as well – we’ll be happy to be of help.
A lot of people might think that it is a regular short-term loan. What’s the difference?
The difference is that loans offer a mix of customer convenience, financial flexibility, and high loyal quality of our service. In turbulent times like the ones we are facing now this is really important. A regular bank will gladly give a customer an umbrella when the sun is shining but will take the umbrella back when the storm starts. In TBI Bank we try not to be a regular bank in the sense that we want to be next to our customers and enable them to make their wishes come true, but also stand by them when they face a challenge. That is why every fifth Bulgarian chose TBI Bank.
How can your customers apply for the special conditions?
As every product we develop, it is very conveniently structured. By the end of 2020 our customers can apply for a loan on our website, in our branch network, but even in many of our offices in the big consumer electronics retailer chains in Bulgaria. The amount they can apply for is up to 10.000 leva. We’ve actually launched the product few months back and our team sees a huge demand and very positive reaction from our customers. Obviously, they see the value of a loan where you repay as much as you take for a month, which in such challenging times is a very long period.
The lending market in Bulgaria is very competitive and customers have to choose between very similar products. What factors are important for them to consider?
Speed of service, convenience, flexibility and systematic service quality – these are key factors which define success of any mass retail business, whether it is a fast food chain or a retail bank. Traditionally TBI Bank is strong across all these aspects. Thanks to this our competitive position is as strong as never before and now it will be even stronger thanks to our new offer.
- We have seen your new TV advertisement. What is its story and what’s the message to your customers?
- In the new reality that we live in, our customers face many challenges and a lot of uncertainty. But on a personal level success depends on the optimistic view of the future. We need to try, we might fail, but someday we’ll succeed. It all starts with a try – this is important. In our ad we try to say exactly that to our consumers: They should not limit themselves if they feel some uncertainty because we, as their true partners, we will provide them with a loan, but if their plans change, they return as much as they borrowed during 30 days without paying any interest and fees. This simple and convenient product, and the way we advertise it, tells our customers that today as never before TBI Bank will support them.
Speaking of challenges, COVID-19 affected almost every business globally. How did the pandemic affect TBI Bank and its plans?
The nature of this current situation is so unprecedented that even leading economists do not dare to make precise forecasts. Of course, we were affected, of course we had to adjust our plans – but we have not stopped servicing our customers even for 1 hour. This was the most important. Remember the story with the weather and the umbrella – that was it. I personally did not miss a single day in office. But our service staff are our real heroes – despite the big uncertainty of our clients, our sales force, call center and branch stuff have proven that the quality of services to our customers is our priority even during the most severe moments of lockdown. I am sure we will manage this and hope that Bulgaria overcomes the crisis relatively easy too.
You’ve worked on many markets. Can you share with us what's the difference in borrowing habits between Bulgarians and other Europeans?
Bulgarians are careful and responsible when deciding to borrow money compared to many other Europeans. Yes, there is certain part of the population which is ready to borrow without thinking about consequences – the extreme show-off consumerists, - but you can find those in every country. In Bulgaria those are in minority. TBI Bank also has operations in Romania, and we compare the borrowing habits of the neighbors, Bulgarians are probably more disciplined when it comes to due dates. Another slight difference is that they tend to be less interested in luxurious goods. However, what both nations value is the quality of service and loyal relationship between bank and customer. We’re happy to deliver them both here in Bulgaria and in Romania.
Indeed, personally, you have a very interesting profile as well. Do you feel more Armenian or more Georgian?
I am a Georgian with Armenian roots. My ancestors found their second home in Georgia when they had to leave their homes as refugees during the First World War. Georgia is the country, where I was born and to which I am attached. Meanwhile I was raised in a traditional Armenian family and together with my wife we try to pass the Armenian traditions to the future with our three lovely kids. It is very important to look into the future, but never forget the past and be proud of your ancestry.
- You’ve been living in Bulgaria for almost 2 years now – how do you like our country?
- I have worked in many countries – and I have to say, nowhere I was feeling as comfortable and warm as I do in Bulgaria. It is hard to explain why, but I do not feel myself in a different environment in Bulgaria. Even though we are of a totally different roots, I mean Bulgarians and Armenians – in fact there is so much in common in our traditions, mentality and we should not forget that both of our nations have passed through a common very difficult, often tragic, but at the same time heroic past – this is something that will always unite our nations.
And finally, what professional advice would you give to people when they consider borrowing money?
Never borrow if you are not sure you can repay. Do not borrow if the monthly payment is too heavy for your budget. When borrowing try to select a reputable lender, preferably a banking institution. Avoid buying things that you do not really need on credit, try to be prudent in your decisions. Prioritize wellbeing of your family, quality of living and education of your children over immediate impulsive consumeristic needs.