UOB, Mastercard launch business credit card for SME executives

UOB's head of industry group, commercial banking Choo Kee Siong, Mastercard's country manager Deborah Heng, UOB's head of personal financial services Singapore Jacquelyn Tan, UOB's head of cards and payments Singapore Choo Wan Sim and UOB's head of business banking Singapore Mervyn Koh at the launch of the UOB Regal Business Metal Card. PHOTO: UOB

SINGAPORE - UOB and Mastercard have launched a new commercial credit card targeted at business executives from small and medium enterprises (SMEs), both companies announced in a joint statement on Tuesday (May 28).

The annual membership fee for the UOB Regal Business Metal Card is $680 inclusive of GST, and is non-waivable.

According to polls conducted by Mastercard and UOB, travel and entertainment top the list of business spend for the majority, or close to 70 per cent, of respondents.

In addition, three in four SME senior executives surveyed said that they travel up to twice every quarter, spending an average of $4,800 a month on business-related travel. Respondents also said they spent an average of $2,300 per month on business entertainment, including golf sessions and meals with clients.

Given these insights, the UOB Regal Business Metal Card was designed to offer "travel privileges typically not available with commercial credit cards", the companies said.

The card offers business executives unlimited access to airport lounges, and complimentary access to 60 golf clubs worldwide, including the Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore, and the North Country Club in Hokkaido, Japan.

Said Jacquelyn Tan, UOB's head of Personal Financial Services Singapore: "The number of SMEs using UOB commercial credit cards has increased by more than 65 per cent over the last five years. Of these, most use their commercial credit cards in the region for travel and business entertainment.

"To support these SMEs, we have designed the UOB Regal Business Metal Card, with its comprehensive suite of benefits and privileges to help them enjoy greater value and cost-savings in the areas they spend the most."

Added Deborah Heng, Mastercard's country manager, Singapore: "With SMEs making up the majority of registered businesses in Singapore, Mastercard is committed to supporting them with tailored solutions that benefit both the business owners and their businesses."

Among other privileges, cardmembers will receive a one-year "Accor Plus" Membership and Accor Hotels' Asia-Pacific loyalty programme at more than 800 hotels and 1100 restaurants. This allows them to enjoy dining discounts of up to 50 per cent, and a "Stay 4, Pay 3" accommodation privilege at any of the participating hotels, the companies said.

SME senior executives may also enjoy up to 50 per cent off on weekday lunches at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, and complimentary champagne with Mastercard Epicurean Experiences at renowned restaurants, including Fukudaya in Japan, and Balthazar in Australia.

This is the third collaboration between UOB and Mastercard in Singapore this year. They previously worked together to launch the KrisFlyer UOB co-branded credit card, and the newly revamped UOB Lady's Card.

As at 12.15pm on Tuesday, UOB shares were trading at $24.48, down 0.9 per cent, or 22 cents.

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