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The Card & Payments Awards 2011

For the third year running, I was involved in the Card & Payments Awards.

This year I was one of the judges and, last night, the sixth annual ceremony took place at the Grosvenor House in London hosted by comedian, Marcus Brigstocke.

Bank of America gained the most awards by clocking up four trophies, two of which were with their co-brand partners Amazon.co.uk for Best New Credit Card Product and Play.com for Best Card Benefits Programme. Both credit cards are easy to apply for via the retail brands’ websites and both have excellent rewards programmes. Bank of America also demonstrated how the online medium was playing an increasing role in resolving customer service issues earning them the Best Achievement in Customer Service. Their fourth award was for Best Industry Innovation showcasing adaptive authentication for ecommerce 3D Secure, which provides for certain online transactions to go straight to checkout without compromising security.

New categories for alternative payment providers and merchant acquirers were won by programmes demonstrating how the payments world can support small businesses and merchants in providing cost-savings and more targeted communications and benefits. Cross-border payments specialist, Earthport, won Best Alternative Payments Programme with their Earthport Direct self-service on-demand payment channel which allows small businesses to make low-value payments to their overseas suppliers and customers. AIB Merchant Services secured the Best Merchant Acquiring Initiative with its AIBMS loyaltyplus programme giving smaller merchants the opportunity to offer loyalty rewards for their customers. Another merchant acquirer to provide solutions to its merchants is HSBC Merchant Services, who won the Best Security or Anti-Fraud Development, with a major advance in security and a step-change in the ease and therefore cost control of PCI DSS compliance for merchants who take in-store transactions. Cost-savings were also demonstrated in the public sector with the Department for Work and Pensions Government Procurement Card operated by J.P. Morgan winning Best Business Card Programme.

Barclaycard took home two trophies for customer-facing programmes. Firstly in the Best Crossselling Programme category for Barclaycard LifestylePlan and secondly for Barclaycard Freedom, which provides customer rewards at the point-of-purchase and which won Best Technology Initiative. Other customer-centric programmes which won trophies included the Best Card Benefits Programme won by Sainsbury’s Finance for its Sainsbury’s Gold MasterCard, aimed at families travelling abroad. LaSer UK helped department store chain, M&Co. target its most profitable and loyal customers and won the Best CRM Programme. The ‘Realise Your Potential’ campaign by American Express had the customer at the heart of its communication, impressing the judges to take the Best Credit Card Marketing Campaign.

Two prepaid card programmes secured trophies. Best New Prepaid Card went to the Post Office for the Budget Card enabling people to budget for their periodic utility bill payments and other products and services available through the Post Office. Best Prepaid Marketing Campaign was awarded to Asda for its Student Shopper Card. The first winner of the Best New Debit Card Product category was private banker, Duncan Lawrie for an innovative dual-function debit and credit card, giving flexibility to the customer.

Good causes and community featured heavily in this year’s entries with three of them winning last night. Best Charity Credit Card Programme was won by the RSPB with The Co-operative Financial Services. M&S Money demonstrated a culture of volunteering across the company securing the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. Finally Yorkshire Bank supported the work of a local Yorkshire artist, Ashley Jackson, using a painting they commissioned from him as the new card design for their Private Debit MasterCard whilst also using the launch to raise money for Help The Hospices.

As always, The Card & Payments Awards highlighted the importance of recognising responsible lending and for the fourth consecutive year, Nationwide Building Society took the coveted trophy for Most Responsible Credit Card Lending Practices for its ‘More Than Words’ programme.

The full list of award winners is as follows:

• Best New Credit Card Product of the Year – Amazon.co.uk and Bank of America

• Best New Prepaid Card Product of the Year – Post Office and Bank of Ireland

• Best New Debit Card Product of the Year – Duncan Lawrie

• Best Credit Card Marketing Campaign of the Year – American Express

• Best Prepaid Card Marketing Campaign of the Year – Asda

• Best Card Design of the Year – Yorkshire Bank

• Best Card Benefits Programme of the Year – Sainsbury’s Finance

• Best Card Cross-selling Programme of the Year – Barclaycard

• Best Co-branded or Affinity Credit Card Programme – Play.com and Bank of America

• Best Charity Credit Card Programme – RSPB and The Co-operative Financial Services

• Best Business Card Programme – Department for Work and Pensions and J.P. Morgan

• Best Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year – M&S Money

• Best Industry Innovation of the Year – Bank of America

• Best Merchant Acquiring Initiative – AIB Merchant Services

• Best Alternative Payments Programme – Earthport

• Best Security or Anti-Fraud Development – HSBC Merchant Services

• Best Technology Initiative of the Year – Barclaycard

• Best Card CRM Strategy – M&Co. and LaSer UK

• Best Achievement in Customer Service – Bank of America

• Most Responsible Credit Card Lending Practices – Nationwide Building Society

• Industry Personality of the Year – Ron Kalifa


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here…

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