Gemalto (Euronext NL 0000400653 GTO), the world leader in digital security, and Byblos Bank, one of Lebanon's top three banks, joined forces to launch the Middle East's first bio-sourced EMV payment cards in Lebanon.
This initiative, a first-of-its-kind in the region, is the result of Byblos Bank's investment for a green and sustainable environment in Lebanon. Working with Gemalto's local partner Unilux Cards, Byblos Bank plans to migrate 80% of its entire banking card portfolio to Gemalto's Clarista bio-sourced payment cards within the next three years.
The new cards will be replacing the conventional plastic card body with renewable materials that are easily recyclable and compostable. The bank has already started offering the Clarista bio-sourced cards as a standard to all new cardholders, and will be steadily switching the existing Byblos Bank debit, credit and prepaid cards to the bio-sourced alternative, as they become due for renewal. Holders of the new bio-sourced cards will be automatically enrolled in the Bank's existing Card Loyalty Program, which offers a wide range of rewards such as travel points or miles.
The Gemalto EMV payment card uses renewable materials and is authorized by MasterCard and Visa. Furthermore, the Gemalto bio-sourced cards' outstanding green credentials have been achieved without compromising either security or durability. The environmentally friendly cards also offer the same potential for high quality, creative design and artwork solutions as conventional plastic payment cards.
"In deploying these bio-sourced products, not only do we show our deep-rooted commitment for a sustainable and green environment, but we underline Byblos Bank's strategic vision in evaluating and managing the environmental impact of every policy, product or initiative that it takes," said Gilbert Zouein, Assistant General Manager and Head of Group Products, Segments and Marketing at Byblos Bank Group. "The Clarista bio-sourced payment cards fulfill perfectly our green ambitions and Gemalto was quite simply the only supplier in the market able to offer a product that met our exacting standards for both environmental protection and customer service."
"Consumers' needs continue to evolve. They now want environmentally friendly products in every part of their life including banking. This ground-breaking project, a first in the Middle East, clearly positions Byblos Bank as a pioneer," said Emmanuel Payraud, Vice President of Secure Transactions for the Middle East at Gemalto. "Drawing on a range of green banking solutions that we can offer, banks can put their environmental values in practice, reduce business overheads and enhance customer communications."