French credit card issuer Carte Bleue is partnering with smart card vendor Axalto to roll out a personalised pre-paid gift card that can be used to pay for purchases anywhere that accepts Visa card payments.
Axalto has won the contract to supply card and personalisation services for the Carte Bleue pre-paid card, which will initially be available from Credit Lyonnais - the first bank to participate in a pilot implementation of the new plastic vouchers.
The cards, which are being issued in time for Christmas, can be used to pay for purchases at retailers and can also be sent as a gift. Carte Bleue says customers can choose from a range of printing and packaging and the gift-wrapped and personalised cards are then sent with a greeting message to the recipient.
Carte Bleue says the new cards are valid at all retailers that accept Visa card payments and will replace the traditional gift voucher, which can only be used at specific retail stores.
Frederic Toumelin, director of marketing and development at Carte Bleue, says: "For this new product of the Carte Bleue Visa range that will revolutionise gift giving in France, Axalto was able to offer a tailor-made personalisation service and to comply with the extremely tight launch schedule that we had fixed in order to be able to meet the Christmas season deadline."