MasterCard has moved into the SMS text messaging arena with the launch of a dedicated marketing consultancy service and publication of the first 'code-of-practice' on the use of mobile texting for the financial card sector.
Rolled out in Europe, the service, to be known as the MasterCard SMS programme, took form over the last twelve months following work at a number of member financial institutions, such as Bank Bruxelle Lambert in Belgium and among Polish banks.
Brian Morris, head of e-business, MasterCard Europe says that SMS campaigns demonstrated above-average cardholder response rates and high card activation and card usage "We know that this is only just the beginning of a new marketing tool in the financial sector," he says.
The programme includes the introduction of a financial sector-specific 'code-of-practice'. The code provides guidelines and protection for the consumer, focusing on such key areas as obtaining permission from cardholders, agreeing message delivery times and types of text-messages, e.g. alerts/information/coupons.
MasterCard has just launched a six-month campaign with Postbank in the Netherlands with 100 MasterCard cards for a value of €10,000 each at stake. Millions of limited edition Coca-Cola light bottles have been distributed throughout the Netherlands, each of them bearing a unique code. Consumers check whether they've won one of the €10,000 MasterCard cards by checking their code by means of an SMS message or through a special feature Website.
The campaign kicked off on 3 March 2003 and the first results after just a few days have already surpassed initial expectations says MasterCard.