Marcello Baricordi, Visa, General Manager UAE and Global Account Lead MENA
Visa, the leading global payments technology company, celebrated the launch of its exclusive Visa Signature premium card in the UAE last evening at the Armani Hotel, Dubai. The event was attended by Kamran Siddiqi, General Manager for Visa in MENA, Marcello Baricordi, General Manager UAE and Global Account Lead MENA, as well as senior executives of Visa’s partner Banks in the UAE.
Based on extensive market research on domestic and international lifestyle needs of UAE customers, the Visa Signature Platform aims at providing the upper affluent cardholders with a truly rewarding experience along the entire Travel Lifecycle.
In the Planning phase - Visa Signature offers a unique Visa Web Site where customers can plan for their favorite destinations in the world, with a “one for all” access to the Visa Best Offers around luxury hotels globally.
In the Booking phase - Visa Signature offers a Concierge Service with a team of personal assistants available around the clock to assist individuals with their entertainment plans, business meeting arrangements and special shopping requests.
In the Travel phase, Visa Signature offers the comfort of free unlimited VIP Lounge Access in 35 Airports globally and the peace of mind ofTravel Insurance.
At Destination, Visa Signature offers a Unique and rewarding Fine Dining Program, covering over 50 premium restaurants in the UAE in which customers get upfront discounts and ongoing rewards on spends.
Presenting details of the premium product, Marcello Baricordi stated: ”This launch marks a major milestone for Visa and our banking partners in the UAE as we roll out a truly unique product in our portfolio, first in Central Europe Middle East and Africa Region”
“An innovative product, the Visa Signature Platform is the result of extensive research undertaken here, locally in the GCC, to build an exciting value proposition targeting the upper affluent customers of the region. A platform that fulfill the needs of customers that are pragmatic and status-oriented, aspiring at recognition and differentiation, seeking unique privileges, enhanced offers and higher rewards for their lifestyle” Baricordi continued.
“Our research revealed that the upper affluent cardholders seek for a product that provides a superior international travel experience, as travel represents a natural component of the UAE, a market with its high expatriate demographic breakdown. According to our research, 62% of upper affluent customers travel regionally and 95% travel internationally (both for business and pleasure), approximately 50% stayed at a five-star hotel on the last trip in the region, and are quite used also to book direct through airline / hotel website (58%)” Baricordi said.
“Our research revealed also that the upper affluent cardholders seek privileges that recognize their status as preferred customers in their domestic lifestyle as well. These upper affluent customers in the UAE shop at major shopping malls (92%) enjoying luxury brands, Dine at high-end restaurants / hotels (69%), Value the experience and not just the product (53%), Value discounts and special deals (aspiration to 15% discount)” Baricordi continued.
“In a nutshell, these customers enjoy a premium lifestyle which deserves special treatment, and this is where our Visa Signature Card steps in,” he summed up.
The product offers customers acceptance at more than 29 million worldwide locations, including one million ATMs in the Visa Global ATM Network.
Issuing banks will introduce the Visa Signature credit card in the region in the coming weeks and will be providing details to their respective customers.