KUALA LUMPUR: Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Bhd (StanChart) is banking on football fans to expand its credit card base. It has become the first in Asia ex-Japan to launch credit cards in conjunction with the upcoming FIFA World Cup.
At the launch yesterday, country head of consumer banking for Malaysia, Srinivasan Shyam, said the bank expected 30,000 to 40,000 cardholders to sign up over the next five months.
The two cards launched were the GOAL! Card - 2005 FIFA World Cup (tm) Limited Edition that will be issued until Sept 30 and GOAL! Card - Foot on Globe - Have the World at Your Feet.
Subscribers to the GOAL! MasterCard stand a chance to win the grand prize of two tickets for the Brazil vs Croatia opening match and two tickets to the 2006 FIFA World Cup final match.
The prizes come with airfares to Germany for both matches as well as accommodation and a MasterCard prepaid card worth 500 euros.
“As the first bank to bring you the World Cup, we will not only take you to Germany but with sponsorship from Phillips, you can also win plasma TVs and home theatre systems to make watching the World Cup a really exciting experience,” said chief executive officer and managing director Shayne Nelson.
The Road to World Cup Contest also offers pairs of tickets to five other World Cup matches.
Phillips is offering 42-inch, 34-inch and 29-inch plasma TVs as prizes in a separate FIFA World Cup-themed contest to cardholders.
On the bank's third quarter to September results, Nelson said StanChart has had a strong nine months, with good assets growth and profitability.
“Malaysia was mentioned twice, both in wholesale banking and consumer banking, as a country that is doing very well, in a Standard Chartered pre-close report,” he said.
On the recent deregulation allowing locally-registered foreign banks to open four new branches, Nelson said StanChart would submit an application for a new branch soon.
He said the four new branches was a “good first step'', but added that the bank looked forward to full liberalisation in 2007.