International coffee chain Starbucks is working with Visa and Bank One to develop a combined credit and reloadable store of value card.
The move extends the functionality of the original reloadable Starbucks card into the credit card arena.
"The Starbucks card has redefined the stored value card market by becoming the ideal payment solution for a high-volume, low-ticket retail environment," says Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman and chief global strategist. "By partnering with Bank One and Visa to offer a new dual function card, we can provide customers with a choice of convenient payment products."
More than 11 million of the instore cards have been activated since their introduction in November 2001. Cards may be loaded online or on the premises and used to pay for food and drink purchases. In 2002, almost seven per cent of Starbuck purchases were paid for using the cards.
The new card will incorporate a loyalty programme to encourage repeat spending and provide a mechanism for developing deeper customer relationships.
In a setback to the ambitions of US smart card enthusiasts the new Starbucks/Bank One card will initially be issued with a magnetic stripe, because of the costs associated with equipping Starbucks stores with chip-reading terminals.