Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2009 (Revised December 2010)

GE Money Bank: The M-Budget Card Initiative

by Michael L. Tushman, Sebastian Raisch and Christian Welling

Abstract

The M-Budget Card case study is about mastering the challenges of an exploratory strategic initiative in a context marked by time pressure and frequent change. M-Budget was the first of a series of highly successful projects that established GE Money Bank as a leader in the Swiss credit card market. The business concept was to cooperate with the country's leading retailer MIGROS to develop an innovative credit card offering, the M-Budget card. The M-Budget card was launched a mere six months later and was an immediate success. The demand for the card exceeded expectations by far and the bank was inundated by more than 100,000 applications in the first weeks. The road to the successful market launch, however, was a rocky one and the team around Pierre had to master numerous challenges. Pierre, who took the lead in the initiative, had to select the right people to compose a team that had all the expertise and knowledge required to develop an entirely new market offering. A competitive move by the second largest retailer COOP forced the team to change its initial value proposition while working under intensive time pressure. Finally, the team had to overcome a series of operational problems after the initial market launch. The case study retraces the initiative's development over time and describes the leadership and organizational challenges faced by the team on its way to the successful creation of an entirely new business segment.

Keywords: Corporate Entrepreneurship; Credit Cards; Leading Change; Product Launch; Product Development; Groups and Teams; Banking Industry; Switzerland;

Citation:

Tushman, Michael L., Sebastian Raisch, and Christian Welling. "GE Money Bank: The M-Budget Card Initiative." Harvard Business School Case 410-052, October 2009. (Revised December 2010.)