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Standard Bank launch credit card tailored for women

By Staff Writer
Standard Bank Group has launched a first of its kind credit card for women in South Africa. This reinforces the status of South African women who make the majority of buying decisions and have better financial records than most men. Called MyCard, it has been designed and conceived especially for women, taking into account the unique financial needs of this market as well as the financial status that women currently enjoy in South African society.

Leila Fourie Director, Standard Bank Group's South African Card Division says: "The role of women in our society is often underestimated. Since becoming a more inclusive society almost two decades ago, women have woven their influence across multiple social and economic spheres. Their social and financial roles in leadership and decision making have been elevated.

Today, woman influence the majority of financial decisions in households, from decisions on new homes, food, vacations and even bank accounts. Standard Bank has taken account of all these factors and has developed a product that will cater for, and reward women for the role that that play in executing financial decisions."

The MyCard cash back system known as MyGift has completely reformed market standards to allow for maximum choice. While other reward schemes either limit the shops from which you get rewards or the shops in which you can spend your rewards, with the new Standard Bank MyCard you receive cash back on all your purchases as a cash payout on a gift card so you are free to spend the money however, and wherever, you like.

MyCard comes with a host of benefits over and above the ability to make payments worldwide and the cash back rewards offered by other cards. Medical cover is expanded to include a disability benefit, women specific disease cover, 20% discount on regular doctors' visits and a 24-hour emergency advice line. Roadside assistance is also available 24 hours to assist with breakdown, flat batteries and even running out of fuel. A handyman service is available for all those small household tasks like hanging the plasma and clearing the drains.

"We wanted to ensure that the card had substance as a concept. We had to offer real benefits to women rather than launch a credit card whose only difference was its feminine design. Our decision to offer this first of its kind product in South Africa is based on empirical evidence and an understanding on our part of who women are and what it is that they need from a bank," says Ms Fourie.

In a 2008 international survey 70% of South African women claimed to be financially independent; 62% surveyed said that they contributed half or more of the household income with 49% contributing more than their partner. 54% stated that they control the family's money with a further 29% sharing control with their partner.
Unilever's Black Diamond 2008 studies found that black middle class women are becoming an economic force in their own right. Black Diamond women then represented a tenth of the country's entire adult population and their annual spending power was R120 billion - over 40% of the annual spend of all South African women.

Other key facts and trends show that:
- 85% of all purchases are made or influenced by women including: 91% of new homes 92% of vacations 89% of bank accounts 93% food
- Women bring in half or more of the household income in 62% of SA households.
- 80% of women said they were the main household decision-maker when it came to the majority of purchases.
- 54% of women claim to control the family's money with a further 29% sharing control with their partner.
- 70% of informal businesses are owned and operated by women.
- The percentage of women who have received an undergraduate or graduate degree has increased since 1996 by more than 25%.

"Standard Bank is South Africa's largest credit card provider. We have gained this market share through an understanding of our customers' needs and developing products that cater for these. MyCard is another positive step in the ongoing evolution of providing products for an ever changing and more competitive market. MyCard is not just another credit card, it is a product that reinforces the elevated role that women now play in managing not only their own financial affairs, but managing the financial outcomes of those around them as well," says Ms Fourie.

For more information or to apply - visit the Standard Bank MyCard website.

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