UK-based conglomerate Virgin has said it will "shake up" the South African credit card and mobile phone markets with the arrival of its cobranded products.
Sir Richard Branson’s company has stated that it will end the raw deal South African card users get from established issuers by launching its own branded credit card, in association with local bank Absa, onto the market on June 26.
According to reports, Virgin Money’s credit card, which will be offered in a joint venture with Barclays-owned local bank Absa, will offer consumers 0%interest for the first three months, followed by a rate of 15.75%.
Virgin’s rate will stack up well against indigenous card offers and will represent the start of a full service retail banking assault on the South African market. According to the Financial Times, the Virgin-Absa joint venture plans to roll out retail banking, loans, insurance and pension products over the next two-and-a-half-years.
Meanwhile, Virgin also plans to launch its mobile business in South Africa with a view to breaking the dominance of the big two, Vodacom and MTN. Virgin already operates a sizeable mobile service in the UK which aimed at younger adult consumers.