Bank of China, Zaobao launch co-branded card

Bank of China's Singapore branch and SPH's Lianhe Zaobao launched the credit card yesterday at a ceremony featuring the bank's interactive robot.
Bank of China's Singapore branch and SPH's Lianhe Zaobao launched the credit card yesterday at a ceremony featuring the bank's interactive robot.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Equipped with UnionPay QuickPass, it offers rebates on purchases in S'pore and China

The Singapore branch of Bank of China and Lianhe Zaobao, the flagship Chinese newspaper of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), have launched a co-branded credit and debit card.

The Bank of China Lianhe Zaobao card is Singapore's first Diamond credit card equipped with UnionPay QuickPass, which enables cardholders to make fast and secure contactless payments.

The card offers up to 30.7 per cent savings on petrol and 10 per cent cash rebates on dining, online shopping and department store spending. It also offers a 20 per cent cash rebate on Lianhe Zaobao and other SPH newspaper subscriptions and over 1,400 exclusive privileges at UnionPay partner merchants around the world.

Users also get a 5 per cent cash rebate on all expenses in China.

The card will be compatible with the Bank of China Singapore e-wallet app that is set to launch at the end of this year. This will allow cardholders to make QR code payments via the UnionPay network.

The e-wallet will also be compatible with the SGQR, the national QR code that will be rolled out islandwide to accept e-payments from various banking apps.

Bank of China executive vice-president Ren Deqi said yesterday: "Bank of China strongly supports Singapore's vision to be a Smart Nation. With mobile payments growing rapidly in Singapore and China, the new BOC Zaobao card... will provide cardholders with greater ease and convenience in making payments across both countries."

SPH deputy chief executive Anthony Tan said at a launch ceremony that the benefits had been carefully curated to ensure their relevance to Lianhe Zaobao readers.

"Our forays into such adjacencies also indicate how our media business must evolve and has evolved. In this day and age when there is plenty of competition for eyeballs and time, we are dedicated to quality journalism first and foremost, but this will not be enough," he said. "We will need to work with like-minded partners, like UnionPay and Bank of China, to grow brand recognition and loyalty on our platforms."

Bank of China Singapore card centre head Anson Lim said working with SPH, the largest media platform here, helps expand the bank's local reach.

"If you look at Zaobao's reach, they have been attracting a lot more young readers now, while still maintaining older readers, who are affluent and highly educated and who are receptive to technology," he said.

"And we are not only reaching out to Zaobao readers but readers of The Straits Times and The Business Times as well."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2017, with the headline 'Bank of China, Zaobao launch co-branded card'. Print Edition | Subscribe