Absa yesterday unveiled new bank card designs created in collaboration with its banking clients, as part of its strategy to enhance its value-for-money proposition.
The move comes roughly five years after Absa, formerly Barclays Africa Group, launched a new visual identity as it separated from the international Barclays group to form a standalone African bank with global scalability.
This as the lender also launched the first-of-its-kind augmented reality card game Card Quest, through which existing and non-Absa customers are offered prizes and giveaways with incentives for transactional and credit card account take up. The bank described the game as similar to the Japanese game Pokémon; one can scan a QR Code to get details of how to play.
Absa hopes to appeal to the youth and target the element of affordability in its latest offering, as banking players innovate amid a slowing economy that has seen South Africans scrambling for more bang for their bucks.
Absa’s offering comes to the market with chic black and smart-metal card offerings.
Christine Wu, Managing Executive: Consumer Product, Absa Everyday Banking, said the new card face embossed with an African basket weave design, was a powerful representation of Absa’s interconnected pan-African presence, and would be issued across segments - youth and entry level through to wealth clients.
Smart-metal cards would initially be available to Private Banking and Wealth clients with availability to other segments considered for a later stage. Absa has also fully switched to vertical cards. Absa’s digital cards on the Mobile Banking App would also be updated with the new design.
“We recognise that cards are shifting to the mobile environment. Many of our customers already use digital payment methods for 80% of their transactions,”said Wu.
Tshipi Alexander, the Head: Consumer Issuing, Absa Everyday Banking, said designing the new cards was exciting. Up to 2000 customers participated in the new card process and gave feedback on what sort of trends they were looking for. Frontline staff also participated.
“So if you look at the design of our cards, typically between 18% to 30% of customers actually make the design, another third of those customers look at the brand, with the element of trust. The other third looks at what is unique,” he said.
Maureen Uluma, the Head: Product Development, Transactional Banking, Absa Everyday Banking, spoke to the value Absa’s clients were getting.
“The banking benefits span across the continuum from the youth through to its private banking wealth propositions,” she said adding,“ What we have embedded in the proposition is the protection of life cover benefits.. you also have a number of digital channels to interact with.”
Wu said, “Next level banking is designed to help you achieve that and much more. More safe and secure banking through a range of superior digital payments including contactless payments, that continue to attract customer confidence so much so that Absa’s digital payments segment grew 154% in the first six months of this year, supported by our best-in-class capabilities and Digital Fraud Warranty.”
Absa in a statement outlined its transactional and credit card cardholders value for money benefits. Among others:
– Full-service banking packages incorporating a gold or premium credit card with zero monthly fees and free embedded life cover of up to R 25 000;
– Ones spouse banks for 50% discount and ones children bank for free;
– Up to 57 days interest-free on qualifying credit card purchases;
– No transaction fees on credit card swipes;
– An Unlimited Digital Fraud Warranty
- Absa Rewards now available free of charge to all customers
– Earn up to 30% real cash back on fuel, health and beauty and grocery purchases at Absa Rewards partners
- Travel benefits including free airport lounge access and up to R3 million free travel insurance
– Youth and Students continue to bank for free
– Major Relief for Flexi Account customers
Among other benefits, Flexi Account customers can now get till-point withdrawals free (previously R2); with debit card swipes at R1 per transaction (from R4); digital payments at R1 per transaction (previously R10) and External Debit Orders at R3.50 per transaction (from R10).