Sep 5, 2008

Business - Stanchart unveils single card for debit,credit transactions

MUMBAI: Customers who until now had to keep two separate cards — credit and debit card in their wallets — can now manage with a single card. Standard Chartered has launched a new card which will provide the customer the choice of the same plastic as a credit card or a debit card. Other banks are also looking at similar products. There are close to 27 million credit cards and 110 million debit cards now. Most banks have been pushing debit cards to their customers by converting their ATM cards to debit cards. In the case of StanChart, the technology of using the card as a debit or credit cards doesn’t rest on the card. It works on the back-end technology of the bank. A customer while applying for the new card — ‘1Money’ — will have to choose an option between a debit and credit card which would be the default option. After every transaction, the customer will get an SMS which would ask the customer whether he wants to use the debit or the credit card option. The customer can do the switch in a 24-hour time frame. If the customer doesn’t choose the option, the transaction will be done on the default option of the card. Internationally, the bank has launched a card, whereby a chip is embedded in the card and when the customer swipes, will give the option of a debit or a credit card. However, such a product cannot be launched in the country as the electronic data capture (EDC), terminals have not been enabled, according to Sai Narain CDK, head consumer transaction banking andstrategic initiatives, StanChart. In the initial phase, the bank is offering the product only by invitation to its premium customers. Currently, StanChart has 1.3-million credit card customers and close to a million debit card customers. In the recent past, the bank has been concentrating on higher-end of the credit card segment. According to StanChart GM (credit cards and personal loans) RL Prasad, the delinquency in credit cards has been maintained at close to 8% for the past couple of years as against an industry average of 12-14%.

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