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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)- Today the firm MasterCard launched  in Costa Rica, in partnership with the National Bank (Banco Nacional), its first “Black” debit card for Latin America, aimed at customers with higher incomes.

    The MasterCard director for Costa Rica, Honduras and Guatemala, Gabriel Pascual, explained at a press conference that Costa Rica was chosen to introduce this product because it has a greater number of affluent customers in the region.

    “We could not choose another country because of the advancement of the banking system and also because the average affluent customers in Latin America is 9.2%, whereas in Costa Rica it is 13%,” he argued.

    The Black line card will be aimed at customers of the National Bank of Costa Rica, the country’s largest bank, which has more than 1.7 million debit cards in the local market.

    The BNCR manager, Fernando Naranjo, explained that this card will be delivered, by invitation, to customers with a higher volume of bank transactions.

    The goal for this year is to place 500 cards, and 1,000 in 2014, but within three or four years it is expected to have about 20,000 customers in the service, he said.

    The new debit card corresponds to the line of services of the highest MasterCard quality, so it includes services and offers such as preferential access to sites and events, benefits for travelers, special insurance and guarantees.

    “We will be the first bank in the region and in Latin America that cares about their selected debit customers, providing customized product, differentiated and designed to meet the most demanding needs,” said Naranjo. For Pascual, this debit card addresses a market segment that is complemented by the luxury credit cards.”The affluent segment is becoming a group increasingly sophisticated, demanding financial tools that meet their needs,” he said.

    MasterCard’s manager indicated that the rest of the year this same card will be introduced in other countries like Panama, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and that in the future the market will reach South American nations such as Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Chile. EFE

    The Costa Rice News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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