Thursday, 16 June 2011

RenRen and China Merchants Bank to launch a social credit card

China Merchants Bank, a leading commercial bank in China, and prominent Chinese social network Renren have jointly announced that they will soon be issuing a co-branded Renren CMB credit card in July 2011. The card will have features that will harness social, location and mobile services.

Renren's Location Based Services will be integrated with CMB's 10,000 merchant partners which will then offer information and services accordingly. When card holders "check in" through Renren's Location Based Services function they will receive promotional information from CMB merchant partners located nearby. A wide range of loyalty incentive programs will also be offered by both Renren and CMB for the co-branded credit card applicants and holders.

The launch quote from Joseph Chen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renren, is interesting and highlights the idea of fusing social networks and finance solutions. He is quoted in the press release announcing the initiative as saying:

"Social networking is increasingly penetrating many aspects of people's lives.......through this co-branded credit card program, we see a business model we previously envisioned start to materialize, combining social, location and mobile services to make people's lives more convenient, more informed, and more fun!"

With P&G launching further Facebook stores this week, Jack Dorsey's Square processing $66 million of transactions in Q1 of 2011 and NFC / touch pay solutions appearing everywhere, social solutions and new technology seems set to start impacting on the finance sector in a big way.

Interesting times!

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