San Jose, Aug 9 (IANS/EFE) MasterCard and Costa Rica’s state-owned Banco Nacional, or BNCR, have introduced the first “Black” debit card in Latin America, a product aimed at high-income customers.
Costa Rica was selected to introduce the product because it has the highest average number of customers with high purchasing power in the region, MasterCard’s executive in charge of operations in Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala, Gabriel Pascual, said.
“We could not have chosen another country because of the advanced banking system and because the average of customers with high purchasing power in Latin America is 9.2 percent, but in Costa Rica it is 13 percent,” Pascual said.
The Black cards will be provided to customers of BNCR, Costa Rica’s largest bank, which has more than 1.7 million debit card accounts.
The high-end debit cards will be offered by invitation only to customers with the highest transaction volumes, BNCR manager Fernando Naranjo said.
The goal is to issue 500 cards this year, 1,000 in 2014 and hit a target of 20,000 in three or four years, Naranjo said.
The Black debit cards offer MasterCard’s highest level of service, special offers and services, insurance and warranties, as well as preferred access to events and travel perks.