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Erste Bank to issue own credit cards

Vienna-headquartered lender Erste Bank is to issue, for the first time, its own gold and platinum credit cards, having secured a license with Vise Europe.

The expansion into the plastic payments arena comes as a response to strong customer preference trends for the cashless option, the bank said.

The trend to non-cash payments remains strong, with card payments increasingly replacing cash. Card payments are a fast-growing business segment and one in which Erste Bank plans to expand its activities. In consideration of these two factors, Erste Bank will offer its customers credit cards of its own as of July 17, 2006, Erste Bank said in a statement.

The Austria lender has taken the step of acquiring a license from Visa Europe for its domestic region, enabling it to offer three Visa enabled cards: the First Card, the Visa Gold and the Visa Platinum Card.

We are pleased that this new product will enable us to offer our customers even better service and a more individualized product, said Klaus Mattes, head of product management at Erste Bank.

Later on, we will also introduce ‘revolving credit,’ i.e. we will offer customers flexible part-payment arrangements which can be individually agreed with their account manager.