Standard Bank Private Clients is the first bank in southern Africa to offer the World MasterCard, an exclusive product for ultra high net worth individuals. The product is being provided in South Africa in association with MasterCard Worldwide.
Margaret Nienaber, head of Standard Bank Private Clients, says ultra high net worth people require banking and transactional products that also address particular needs associated with their time pressures and lifestyles.
"This market is as focused on receiving value for money as any other segment. For this reason, the privileges and benefits of holding a World MasterCard have been crafted on the basis of global insights into how people in this segment prefer to live and work," says Ms Nienaber.
"The upper segments of the personal financial services market have been almost overrun in recent years with products that proclaim exclusivity, only for them subsequently to be made widely available and thus lose credibility.
"We will provide the World MasterCard only to clients of Standard Bank Private Clients, which is structured to work with a very small segment of the personal banking market," she says.
Ms Nienaber says there is a considerable degree of "market noise" around the definition of the top banking segments.
"In line with international best practice, we use Standard Bank Private Clients to refer to the absolute upper end of the spectrum- a very exclusive group of people - that has built very significant assets and wealth."
In addition to the expected range of transactional services, the World MasterCard provides holders with preferential access to benefits, experiences and services that have been assembled to match their lifestyles and expectations.
Some of the bespoke services include the World MasterCard Privileged Access Programme, a dedicated concierge service; financial freedom with global acceptance and significant travel benefits including the opportunity to travel in style and earn flight rewards faster through its partnership with British Airways.
"These benefits provide access to carefully selected services or experiences that a person might want. We believe that it is the blend of fine things and personal attention that have firmly established World MasterCard as an exceptionally select offering in a number of global markets," says Ms Nienaber.
"We are pleased that Standard Bank has decided to leverage the World MasterCard for this exclusive segment of its customers. World MasterCard is one of MasterCard's key initiatives to develop innovative premium card programmes to cater to the elite affluent consumer segment. It takes personalisation to a new level and offers unrivalled service and attention anytime, anywhere," added Douglas Henderson, vice-president, Product Sales, MasterCard Worldwide.
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