All you need to know about I&M Bank premium debit and credit cards

I&M Bank and Mastercard launched a Suite of Premium Credit and Debit Cards recently. The different card categories include a host of benefits including comprehensive travel cover, access to global emergency services, shopping discounts, airport lounge access, hotel memberships and much more.

Here is what you need to know about the cards;

Who are your target audience with these cards? What factors do you put into considerations when evaluating who qualifies for these cards?

Each card will be targeted towards a specific customer group to fit their personas, lifestyles, and financial spending patterns. The cards’ features and benefits are tailor-made around lifestyle of individuals who are broadly classified with personas. Ranging from those in the early stage of career life who are interested in efficient and cost-effective products to those who have advanced in their career looking for luxury and comfort.

Key considerations are transaction needs, spending behavior and day-to-day customer activities e.g., frequent travelers or shopping preferences etc.

What difference will these cards make to your clients, consumers, merchants?

Depending on specific card type, customers get a range of benefits that would otherwise not be available or available at a cost. E.g., travel and inconvenience covers, medical insurance, concierge services, emergency assistance while traveling, luxury shopping benefits and much more.

Who are some of the participating merchant outlets both locally and internationally? 

All merchants accepting Mastercard payment cards will be accepting the cards. In addition, there are specific merchants offering special deals or discounts in partnership with Mastercard. These include:

Local – Serena Hotels and Resorts, City properties and Lodges, Jumia offers, and a range of other outlets listed in MyDealzone Africa.

International outlets – Priceless cities, MyUS shipping, European villages, Travel Start airfare discounts.

What is the cost structure around these cards? And how does this influence competition?

What differentiates our range of Mastercard products is that each specific product is designed to enhance and ease the lifestyle of the customer holding the card, at nominal or no additional cost. These cards are part of the value proposition that we offer to different customer segments.

The debit cards are part of transactional account features. With a flat fee account (Club account), a complimentary card is issued commensurate to the needs analysis of the customer, either World Elite, World or Platinum debit card.

For the Pay As You Go account, Platinum Debit is issued at a one-off fee of Ksh500.

Despite the wide range of benefits and global acceptance on Mastercard ATM and Merchants outlets, we will not charge annual fees for individual account holders.

You said these cards are to be rolled out in a phased manner, would you give insights on the roll-out strategy and anticipation as to when they shall all be available to the public? 

The Mastercard products will be rolled out in a phased manner in the next few months. The new range of Debit cards will be the first to the market, starting in the next few weeks. Corporate credit card and retail credit cards is expected to be rolled out by end of the second quarter.

Financial crooks have gotten sophisticated in recent years and are using “skimming” machines to read individuals’ card data and may even charge it to their accounts. What guiding measures are in place to safeguard and protect individuals against such issues?

The new range of cards have been configured with newest version of 3 D security protocol. This ensures that card details are validated, and card user is authenticated to ascertain that only genuine cardholders transact.  In addition, out digital platforms allow customers to lock their cards from use as a self-service and only unlock them when they need to perform a transaction.

Mobile technology and digital banking is a rapidly growing trend in the financial sector across many markets globally. How does this investment tap into this trend and support this growing drift?

The new digital channel I&M On The Go will give full control to the cardholder to manage their cards conveniently, right from the time of new card activation to PIN management to locking or unlocking their cards through the OTG Mobile App or Web solution.

As the world moves towards sustainable businesses models and financial institutions reducing plastic cards to lower their impact to the environment. How are these cards supporting this endeavor and helping in the creation of a better sustainability model?

The cards are made from recycled PVC. We are a Bank that is conscious about sustainability and we are mindful of the environment in our practices.  These are values we hold dear even when doing business with our customers with a focus on businesses that are aligned to these ideals.

Is this a global or Kenyan initiative? What/how many clients and partners have signed up?

I&M Bank Group has regional presence in five countries and discussions are ongoing to roll-out similar solutions within our other subsidiaries. We are cognizant of varying dynamics in terms of customer demographics and transaction behavior, and this will guide rollout of our products in those subsidiaries as per country preferences.


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