Asda is to launch own brand credit and store cards nationwide by 2005 and trials are starting at selected stores.
Two Asda stores, in Bristol and South Wales, were the first to test the cards this week and five more stores will start pilots next week. A gradual roll-out to 30 stores over the next four to six months is planned.
Director of financial services, credit cards, Gev Lynott, said Asda wanted to “tap into its brand appeal with an inclusive product” and educate customers to make the best of credit.
Lynott said that whereas Tesco and Sainsbury rejected two in three applications for their credit cards, Asda hoped to turn down only one in five applications for its Mastercard.
Those who were refused a Mastercard would be given a prepaid envelope so they could obtain a free copy of their credit reference so they could correct any errors on it. They would automatically be offered a new Asda store card, with a credit limit from £250 to £8,000, depending on a consumer’s credit worthiness. Holders will get 1% cashback on purchases made at Asda stores and 0.5% for all other purchases.
The Asda credit card has interest rates of 13.8% to 28.8%.