Boots has unveiled a combined loyalty card and credit card in partnership with Egg, the internet banking arm of Prudential.
The Advantage Card, powered by Egg, will be the first of its kind in Europe, with smart chip technology managing both the Advantage card loyalty scheme, and Europay, Mastercard and Visa credit payment simultaneously.
For Boots, the combined card will create new opportunities for electronic marketing through in-store kiosks and online servicing of accounts via bootsadvantage.com. Customers will get Egg's standard credit card service and interest rates.
An Egg spokeswoman said the card would allow customers to build up more advantage points and enjoy the convenience of having only one card instead of two.
Boot's Advantage card scheme has 12.3 million cardholders, and more than 40 per cent of the transactions in stores are linked to the card.
Up to 300 jobs could be created at the Egg call centre in Derby at a result of the project. To support this and other initiatives, Egg is developing an additional call centre with a total capacity of 1000 on the same site.
In a separate deal, Egg has announced that its own customers will receive free antivirus and security software from Network Associates. The software, worth around £100, is designed to further instil customer confidence in online transactions, and will be downloadable from www.egg.com from November 2000.
The software offered will include antivirus software, personal firewall, intrusion detection software, email and disk encryption software.
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