Dutch bank ING is to release a chip-based loyalty card for the youth market featuring discount pricing on Sony PlayStation 2 consoles and games.
The Axalto-commissioned MasterCard smart card features an innovative rainbow design and is being marketed at people in the 20-30 age group.
"Potentially very volatile, the 20-30 year old customers have become highly strategic for banks," says Luc Van Puyvelde, group account director for ING at MasterCard. "Our experience shows that these customers need specific products combining payment flexibility, dynamic offers and especially off the beaten track look."
He says the bank will aim to reinforce its credentials in the youth market by actively advertising and promoting the card using the SMS communications channel.
Jean Claude Perrin, head of banking and loyalty markets at Axalto, says: "We see a trend in the banking and loyalty market that considers cards as a more powerful marketing tool than it used to be, where the plastic body becomes a strong communication vehicle."
Seperately, MasterCard Europe has launched the MasterCard Electronic BusinessCard card, an entry level programme designed specifically for the small and medium business sector. The programme will be rolled out by Hypo Alpe-Adria Bank in Croatia.
MasterCard Europe’s head of corporate payment solutions, Jorn Lambert, comments: "We believe that by marrying all the benefits of a MasterCard Electronic card with the additional features of a successful business card programme we are able to offer a unique product for this sector, not only in Croatia but also in other emerging markets around the world."