Payment Card News

WORLD MASTERCARD

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After selectively leaking word of a new high-end card product this week, MasterCard officially announced yesterday its plans to issue a new family of premium card products anchored by the new World MasterCard. The card is obviously positioned against the American Express gold and platinum cards as MasterCard described the features in familiar American Express terms: no pre-set spending limit, platinum, best in class rewards programs, access to ultimate experiences, travel and entertainment and global. The World MasterCard will be a combination of a charge card and a credit card complimented by a broad rewards program. MasterCard expects to have the card available in the U.S. within the next three months.

FULL STORY:
Leading the way toward the future of global payments products, MasterCard International Incorporated today announced one of the most important consumer payment products launched in the past decade — a new family of premium credit products anchored by the World MasterCard(R) card.

World MasterCard is the industry’s only product to deliver the powerful combination of a no pre-set spending limit with an option to revolve a designated portion of the charges, global acceptance, global customer service and a “best in class” rewards program that provides cardholders with the ultimate in purchasing power. Complementing the World MasterCard is another premium product, a platinum class MasterCard featuring a high revolving credit line, exceptional service and other benefits.

“MasterCard hasn’t just developed a new credit card; we’ve defined an entirely new and innovative product category,” said Robert Wesley, Senior Vice President, MasterCard Global Product Management & Development “The World MasterCard card is designed to serve the unique needs of upscale consumers worldwide, with a special emphasis on driving volume in the travel and entertainment sector.”

In 1995, MasterCard captured approximately $100 billion in T&E expenditures globally. “We’re already a global leader in T&E and our new family of exclusive products will help build upon this legacy,” added Wesley.

World MasterCard’s unique, innovative benefits include:

no pre-set spending limit, with an option to revolve a designated portion of the charges
unsurpassed worldwide merchant acceptance network and highest standard of secure access to cash through the world’s most extensive ATM network
access to the most comprehensive emergency assistance through MasterCard Global Service(TM) and a travel/concierge service program
a “best in class” travel rewards program which, in the U.S., includes travel on all airlines and no black-out periods
“best in class” rewards programs through World MasterCard co-branded partners in categories in addition to travel, including automotive and retail

exclusive MasterCard “Access to Ultimate Experiences” program which leverages MasterCard-sponsored sporting and entertainment events to give cardholders access to VIP tickets and unique experiences not readily available to the general public
specially designed, customer-friendly billing inquiry and resolution processes
The World MasterCard is the first payments product to combine the most valuable benefits available in the industry today into a single product platform. In creating the World MasterCard, MasterCard set out to develop a product that sets a new standard in the marketplace.
“We combined the best features, benefits and value of bank cards and charge cards to deliver the World MasterCard — a product with unsurpassed global acceptance and the ultimate in purchasing power. Whether at home or traveling, this is the only card that many consumers will ever need,” said Gary Flood, Senior Vice President, Consumer Credit Products, MasterCard U.S. Region. The U.S. Region is launching the World MasterCard card first quarter, 1997. In addition, specific product plans are currently being formulated in countries globally.

The family of MasterCard premium products is the result of extensive quantitative and qualitative consumer research which identified a significant global market opportunity among upscale consumers.

“Research shows that there is a strong market for these revolutionary products. In fact, our research audience gave the premium concept the highest possible rating,” explained Wesley. “We listened to the needs of these consumers and responded directly to those cardholders seeking a higher level of purchasing power, rewards, security and service than offered by competitive cards.”

In addition to the World MasterCard, MasterCard is rolling out a platinum class card for upscale customers who require different services and payment options than those available through the World MasterCard program. The platinum class will feature a high revolving credit line, excellent service and other benefits.

Wesley said: “The built-in, global flexibility of these products helps create a true win-win proposition. The cards meet the needs of both revolvers and transactors, while allowing our member financial institutions worldwide to appeal to a valuable group of current and potential upscale cardholders and issue an incremental volume driver.”

MasterCard International, a payments company with one of the world’s most recognized brands, is dedicated to helping more than 22,000 financial institutions around the world offer consumers a variety of payment options. MasterCard remains focused on helping to shape the future of money by expanding acceptance of its global brands (MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R), the world’s largest ATM network) and maintaining reliable, secure networks facilitating global value exchange. MasterCard has nearly 370 million credit and debit cards that are accepted at more than 13 million acceptance locations worldwide. In 1995, gross dollar volume generated was almost $500 billion. MasterCard can be reached through its World Wide Web site at http://www.mastercard.com.

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