NEWS: NatWest plans card to challenge Goldfish

NatWest is to launch a national loyalty card scheme rivalling Goldfish, the British Gas-backed multi-brand loyalty credit card.

NatWest is to launch a national loyalty card scheme rivalling Goldfish,

the British Gas-backed multi-brand loyalty credit card.



The bank is working on a ‘consortium card’ loyalty programme which is

expected to be launched under a new brand.



The scheme is likely to use smart-card technology and will offer

consumers savings at a variety of companies, including retailers, a

public utility, a telecoms company, an airline and NatWest financial

services.



The initiative will further polarise markets between companies with

loyalty schemes and co-branding deals, and those which have yet to find

suitable business partners.



The Goldfish loyalty credit card, a joint venture between British Gas

and HFC Bank, has secured Asda and Boots as redemption partners, while

Safeway and Abbey National are forming a separate loyalty block which is

also expected to include BP.



NatWest has over three-and-a-half million credit card users in the UK

and is known to be keen to use co-branding to increase its share of the

credit card market.



The bank has already linked up with Tesco and Orange and further deals

will be announced next year, following its decision last week to issue

American Express cards.



Karl Brown, head of card products at NatWest, would not be drawn on the

details of the consortium card scheme but said the bank was in broad

negotiations with potential partners.



‘It is something we have definitely looked at; it could be a very good

proposition for customers. We are in discussions and there will be

announcements on co-branded deals. We have some big names approaching

NatWest.’



See Analysis, page 13



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