Visa unveils SME premium reward card platform
Visa USA has announced the introduction of Visa Signature Business, a new premium business payment card designed to address the business and lifestyle needs of small business owners.
Visa Signature Business builds on features of the existing Visa Business card, adding the premium benefits of Visa Signature (Visa's premium credit product for time-challenged, affluent consumers).
According to Raghav Lal, senior vice president of small business products for Visa USA, "Visa Signature Business was designed for small business owners who have a need for greater purchasing power, premium rewards, and tools to more efficiently and easily manage their businesses."
Valuable market segment Visa's own estimates show that small businesses spent more than US$4.3 trillion in non-card expenditures in 2005, and the Visa Signature Business offering is designed to capture some of that opportunity.
Visa Signature Business provides merchant acceptance and offers features and benefits that are relevant to small business owners. Issuers also have the opportunity to differentiate their Visa Signature Business offerings with their own additional features and enhancements.
Product features Among the features specifically designed to meet the needs of the segment are:
- No preset spending limit. This feature offers small business owners remarkable purchasing power and payment flexibility. Business owners also have the option to revolve a minimum balance each month, providing them with even more financial flexibility and convenience.
- High-value rewards. Visa Signature Business includes an issuer rewards programme with a minimum value of 125 basis points on qualifying spend.
- Expense management and reporting. Visa Signature Business cardholders have access to Visa Information Source Select, an online reporting system that helps them streamline accounting procedures, organise and track spending, gain greater control of cash flow, and improve the accuracy of expense tracking.
- Merchant discounts and promotions. Through the Visa Merchant Offer programme, small businesses can effectively gain the purchasing power of large companies through promotions and savings presented by Visa's merchant partners, including leading office supply, travel and wireless providers.
- Enhanced customer service. To provide time-challenged business owners with the service levels they need, Visa Signature Business card issuers offer worldwide toll-free or collect-call customer service phone lines, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Business rewards Visa's research also showed that higher-spending small business owners look for added value in their payment products, and want to be rewarded for their business spending. Visa Signature Business provides benefits and rewards including:
- Visa Signature Access: Cardholders have access to exclusive events and experiences such as the Super Bowl, the Kentucky Derby, or a night at the Tony Awards.
- Visa Signature Dining: Cardholders can secure reservations for hard-to-reserve tables at popular restaurants, even during peak times.
- Visa Signature Concierge. This service provides assistance with business and personal travel and restaurant reservations, gift arrangements, event tickets, and home and business services.
- Visa Signature Privileges. Small business cardholders benefit from upgrades, discounts, and special offers from a range of retail merchants, travel providers, hotels and resorts.
Chase Card Services is expected to be the first issuer to offer a Visa Signature Business card, with the product expected during the last quarter of 2006.