MBF Cards (M) Sdn Bhd is bullish about its redesigned Lady Card and Lady Gold MasterCard, and expects to issue more than 100,000 of the cards by the second quarter next year.
Deputy president Huan Woon Han said the cards, which were redesigned in August this year, had a lot of potential as they had been incorporated with additional benefits for women mainly in health, beauty, shopping, travel and children's education.
“We believe the MBF Lady Cards will have a lot of market potential as we anticipate more female graduates coming into the workforce,” he told StarBiz in Kuala Lumpur.
Huan said the company saw the need to upgrade the card in view of changes in women's needs and expectations in the past 10 years. “Women have progressed in many ways as most of them hold important positions in public and private sectors and are financially independent.”
The additional benefits include free ladies' insurance coverage for critical illnesses, a free women’s health check-up programme, discounts for shopping, beauty and fitness programmes as well as women cancer detection and clinic.
Previously, he said the MBF Lady cards, which were introduced in 1991, merely offered basic benefits such as yearly medical check- ups.
Huan said MBF Lady Cards were redesigned following a survey the company conducted earlier this year involving randomly picked card members, various women-related magazines and newspapers to find out what modern women wanted from their credit cards.
Until August this year, Huan said, MBF Cards had more than 40,000 Lady card members and expected to end the year with a total of 60,000 such cards in circulation.
“We are targeting an average take-up of at least 10,000 cards a month compared with between 1,000 and 2,000 previously.''
He said female cardholders constituted 40% of the company’s total card base of over 400,000.
“MBF Lady Cards contribute at least 25% to our revenue,” Huan said, but declined to disclose the sales figures.
On card usage, he said MBF Lady Cards had an average usage of 60% and “we are not worried about default rates as most women are good pay masters. Card cancellation is also minimal among female cardholders.”
Asked how the company plans to acquire new cardholders, he said MBF Cards had tied up with various parties and merchants in retail outlets to carry out more innovative and practical programmes to suit the needs of MBF Lady Card members.
“We are carrying out more aggressive campaigns to promote the cards through advertisements, including in the newspapers, buntings and various programmes.
“For instance, we are carrying out a programme called Mix FM's Ladies Club with Mix FM radio station and tying up with Pathlab for free health check-up yearly upon joining for breast or ovarian cancer, colon cancer and blood screening,” he said.
Huan said the company had also teamed up with Estee Lauder and Oasis Beauty & Spa to provide discounts and privileges for beauty and fitness programmes and at least 17,000 merchants to provide special discounts to MBF Lady card members at their outlets.
On the new look, Huan said the MBF Lady Cards featured trendy and chic female silhouettes to reflect women of the present day. “The new design is a true indication of contemporary women who are financially independent.”
He said the MBF Lady Card, with a white background and orange silhouette, was targeted at younger ladies aged 21 and below who had just joined the workforce and earned a monthly income of RM1,500 and above.
MBF Lady Gold, which has a black background and gold silhouette, is aimed at successful women earning more than RM3,000 monthly.
The credit limit for MBF Lady Card is between RM2,000 and RM10,000 while that for MBF Lady Gold is RM10,000.
On the outlook for the credit card industry, he said it was competitive as most banks were focusing on the credit card business and wanted to have a reasonable share of the market.