Dutch retailer Ahold moves into banking

Dutch retailer Ahold moves into banking

Dutch supermarket chain Ahold is preparing to move into financial services through the launch of a savings account in association with insurance group Aegon.

From early February, over 3.7 million customers of the Albert Heijn supermarket chain will be able to open a savings account for all kinds of transactions including depositing the discounts on products on sale through the bonus card loyalty programme in the supermarket.

The chain, which operates from a network of 700 stores in Holland, says it will add other financial services in due course.

The new financial services scheme it the first to be launched by the retailer on its home territory. Ahold's Brazilian operation Bompreço already runs a customer credit card. Together with ICA, its joint venture partner in Scandinavia, Ahold introduced the ICA Bank in November 2000. ICA currently has over six million card holders and operates a system similar to Albert Heijn's, based on a popular loyalty card.

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