I was at the Card Awards last night and a grand and lavish affair it was, with over 1,000 people noshing through a 3-course fine dinner (although it was held in a tent in Battersea Park!).
It was the usual dickey bows and taffeta dresses affair presented by the very engaging John Humphreys, host of Radio 4’s Today Show.
I was there because I had been chosen to be a judge for the awards this year, along with veritable industry figures including Sandra Quinn of APACS, Una Dillon of IPSO and Julian Knight, Personal Finance Editor of the Independent on Sunday.
There were 15 judges in total chaired by John Woods, Chairman of Moneyfacts Group, and we ended up with some good winners as follows:
Best New Credit Card
Santander Cards Ltd, Abbey Zero product
Best Credit Card Marketing Campaign
HBOS Ireland, Halifax Pink Credit Card
Best New Prepaid Card
PayPal and the Royal Bank of Scotland
Best Prepaid Card Marketing Campaign
Tuxedo Money Solutions and the Newcastle Building Society
Best Card Design
Sainsbury’s Meal Ticket
Best Card Benefits Programme
BMI and Bank of America
Best Card Cross-Selling Programme
Newcastle Building Society and White Eagle, Maestro Prepaid Card for Migrants
Best Business Card Programme
The Royal Bank of Scotland, RBS Onecard
Best Affinity or Co-Branded Credit Card Programme
Marks & Spencer Money
Best CSR Programme
The Co-operative Bank, Customers Who Care
Best Security or Anti-Fraud Development
HSBC Merchant Services, Merchant Staff Defalcation Monitoring
Best CRM Programme
Bank of America’s Football Digital CRM
Best Online Initiative
Bank of America MBNA Connect
Best Technology Initiative
Bank of America and the Manchester City FC Stadium Card
Best Industry Innovation
Barclaycard Mobile Payments
Best Achievement in Customer Service
John Lewis Partnership and HSBC
Most Responsible Credit Card Lending Practices
Nationwide Building Society, “Trust Us, Trust You”
Industry Personality of the Year
Peter Ayliffe, Visa
I was quite amused by the last award as Visa's head of Europe, Peter Ayliffe, received the Award from the Category Sponsor … American Express!
Anyways, the Award submissions were intriguing, as all of the above provided detailed case studies of their activities, as did around another 100 entrants in total.
All in all, a fascinating review of the current state and best of the credit, debit and prepaid cards in Britain.
I’ll probably talk about some of the case studies in more depth in the future but, for now, here’s a few piccies of the evening:
Gearing up for a good night.
John Humphreys kicks off proceedings with some wit and humour.
A happy winner!
A very happy winner: Peter Ayliffe on the right of the lady with the red wrap.
Watching from the bar …