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Credit Card Makeover Adds Value to Wallets

Media Release
8 November 2005

Credit Card Makeover Adds Value to Wallets

- Sleek new black design
- Lowest interest rate in market at 10.95% p.a.
- First in New Zealand to feature Visa’s new branding and enhanced security

BankDirect believes many New Zealanders aren’t using the most appropriate type of credit card to suit their financial needs. It is using the re-launch of the BankDirect Low Interest Visa card (LIV) to educate people about this.

BankDirect’s LIV has the lowest interest rate in the New Zealand credit card market. It is a card designed for people who do not pay off their entire balance each month.

Anna Curzon, Marketing Manager BankDirect, says many New Zealanders choose not to pay off their entire balance monthly, but remain with high interest credit cards that increase their monthly debt.

“Low interest credit cards are very popular overseas with ‘revolvers’ - people who don’t typically pay off their entire credit card balance each month. In contrast, many New Zealanders are using standard credit cards and paying up to eight or nine percent extra in interest, which could equate to a saving of up to $90 for every $1,000 credit per year. With the increasing levels of household debt*, the last thing people need is to be paying a higher than necessary level of interest on their monthly credit card account.

“Low interest credit cards are a smarter choice for many people. The lead up to Christmas is always a time when people’s finances are stretched, so we’ve redesigned our card to get their attention and have them consider a potentially better solution. We want people to know that there may be a credit card better suited to their spending and repayment habits.

Iain Jamieson, New Zealand Country Manager, Visa International, wants people to have a choice when it comes to the cards they use.

“A large volume of non-housing consumer lending is not done through credit cards. People are using secured and unsecured personal loans from non-bank finance companies, when a low interest credit card could be an option. We are working with BankDirect to help educate the market and offer a wider choice of products to meet the needs of New Zealanders.”

BankDirect’s LIV has been completely redesigned and is the first credit card in New Zealand to integrate Visa’s new corporate livery.

“As well as consistently being ranked as one of the most competitive in the market, our Low Interest Visa has always been recognised for its sleek design,” says Ms Curzon. “The bold and sexy black look of our new card, with only the BankDirect globe watermark and new Visa logo visible, appeals to our customers who love the simplicity and no nonsense approach we take.”

Mr Jamieson says the new type of Visa card will bring added benefits to New Zealand customers.

“On top of the changes to the Visa brand there are also changes to card features that will provide enhanced security. The Visa dove hologram has been moved to the back of the card and has been integrated with the magnetic stripe, making card counterfeiting more difficult. The updated card will also work better across new technologies and payment channels, such as the internet, mobile phones and handheld devices.”

BankDirect is using its popular text service for people interested in LIV. Interested parties simply text the word “card” and their e-mail address to 3003, and BankDirect will contact them.

BankDirect LIV – key information:

- Interest rate: 10.95% p.a.
- Six monthly fee: $30
- Debit and credit card all in one.
- Credit balance interest rate: 3.50%
- Already ranked top by several credit card research groups


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