Finland's OP Bank Group and Kesko unit K-Group have announced that the long-term cooperation deal they agreed last year will come into play with the introduction of cards that enable customers to combine banking and insurance services, as well as collecting loyalty scheme points.

The companies signed an agreement in June 2006 for extensive cooperation in areas such as card development, payment transfer services, cash management, customer financing and insurance products offered by Pohjola, which is set to join the Plussa loyalty scheme in May.

The aim of the collaboration is to develop a diversified range of new products and services for the customers of OP Bank and K-Group. The first of these products will be launched in May, from which time customers will be able to either combine the Plussa program feature with their existing OP Visa card or acquire a new K-Plussa MasterCard.

In addition, as of May, customers will receive Plussa bonus for any insurance policies with Pohjola.