The FINANCIAL — Bank of Georgia, one of the leading banks in Georgia, has issued a new series American Express Blue Credit Card that provides a number of benefits and services, as well as several core benefits associated with the American Express brand and products around the world.
Card members will earn 1% cashback on all purchases and 0.5% on all ATM transactions. Higher cashback is also available at select merchants and there is no limit on the cashback that can be earned.
Blue Credit Card members are automatically enrolled into the American Express Selects Program, a global network of select merchants providing exclusive offers and discounts to American Express card members.
“The new credit card has several features which make it unique. The income of the individual should be from 400 GEL, which is less than for other American Express cards and we offer cashback, which is the return of cash up to 5%. Moreover, it provides high credit limit and 55 days interest-free credit on purchases and cash withdrawals,” said Irakli Gilauri, CEO of Bank of Georgia.
The price of a credit card is 25 GEL annually. Transactions by American Express card are available in approximately 3,000 merchants throughout Georgia and the rest of the world. The card can be used widely within Georgia in restaurants, hotels and shops. Card members have access to cash from any Bank of Georgia ATM and at more than 800,000 ATMs around the world.
In total Bank of Georgia has realized 15,000 American Express cards. From which 500 are Gold and the rest Green cards. The sales of cards reached 3,000 units in July.
“During the last months our sales have been growing, reaching 3,000 units per month. We forecast sales of 50,000 units of American Express Blue card within 12 months. Moreover we plan to have sales of 30,000 American Express cards by the end of the year,” declared Gilauri.
“The launch of American Express Blue Card signifies the commitment Bank of Georgia has to having innovative products focused on the needs of customers in Georgia. We have been cooperating with Bank of Georgia since 2009, already launching Gold and Green American express cards,” declared Alex Furber, Vice President, Business Development, American Express Global Network Services.
“We also see an evolution of products similar to the evolution of the markets in Georgia and we see significant opportunities in this market. We feel very privileged to have this exclusive partnership with Bank of Georgia as the Bank has a number of key areas that are consistent with strategies, they are focused on their customer, they have s strong brand and very strong commitment to the customer,” Furber added.
“The popularity of American Express card is in its flexibility, modern style and based on customer needs. In the case of Green and Gold cards the customer saves points which later can be redeemed for different gifts. In the case of the Blue card we give customers money back. The card is successful not only in Georgia but throughout the world,” declared Gilauri.
According to Gilauri, the total credit portfolio reached 1.9 billion GEL as of July 2010.
“The credit portfolio has been increasing for 8 months already. In June only we have provided 150 million USD worth of loans. We are certain that the credit portfolio will grow,” added Gilauri.
Bank of Georgia, one of the leading banks in Georgia, separated executive governance from its supervisory board recently.
“The new system is a standard of modern corporate governance, providing better administration and better control of the company’s management by its supervisory board. At present in western countries and America there is a tendency of implementing this system,” said Giorgi Chiladze, Deputy CEO of Bank of Georgia.
“The change in corporate governance won’t change the Bank’s policies. The decision of separation of executive governance from the supervisory board was made last year.
The management of the supervisory board was also changed. Neil Janin is now in charge of the supervisory board replacing Nikoloz Enukidze, the former chair of the board, having led the board over 4 years. According to Chiladze, the structural changes were under Enukidze’s strategic vision and architecture.
Neil Janin, a Canadian national, before joining Bank of Georgia, was Director of McKinsey & Company in Paris, where he joined the Firm in 1982.
Over his 27 year long career at McKinsey, he conducted engagements in the retail, asset management, and corporate banking areas. His work spanned the functions of strategy, organization and operations. He has practiced in Europe, Asia and North America.
Before joining McKinsey, Janin worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank (now JP Morgan Chase) in New York and Paris, and Procter & Gamble in Toronto. Janin holds an MBA from York University, Toronto and a joint honors degree in Economics and Accounting from McGill University, Montreal.