On return from Hong Kong, some of us switched on the major Mancunian derby of United versus City. Like most policymakers, the referee made up new rules at the end of the game to let United win but hey, get over it. In the half-time drizzle, I did note however that Sky Sports ran a new advert for O2 Money (covered in the blog last July):
Here’s the voice over of the ad:
“Transfer spending money from your bank account onto your new Cash Manager Card. Spend it on the things you like the most. Get real-time balance alerts. And never spend more than what’s on your card. The new Cash Manager Card from O2 money. If you want to keep on top of your spending, it’s now in your hands.”
At the end a little sign comes up saying “Powered by NatWest”:
... so you can trust your money will move accurately, I guess.
I then found they had another ad.
This one goes:
“Load cash onto your new Load and Go Card. Spend it anywhere you like. Even online. Get real time balance alerts, then reload it with cash. The new Load and Go Card from O2 Money. With more freedom to spend, your money is in your hands.”
It is primarily targeted at teens, but could also be useful for the unbanked and underbanked as it’s a reloadable cash card. Great for kids, but also for anyone who wants to do stuff online without needed to use or open a bank account.
This includes a bunch of FAQs, such as:
What are O2 Money Cash Manager and Load & Go cards?
They're cards that give you more control over how much you spend. You just load money onto the card, and then you can use it almost anywhere that takes Visa - including shops, ATM cash machines and online. Every time you add, spend or take out money, you can get a text showing your new available balance. So you'll always know exactly how much you've got left. With both O2 Money cards, you can add money online using a UK debit card. On Load & Go, you can also load cash onto the card at O2 shops, any independent retailer or petrol station that show either the PayPoint or e-pay signs.
What's the difference between Cash Manager and Load & Go cards?
With a Cash Manager card, you can load up to £10,000 (once we've verified your details) or £1,800 if we have not verified your personal details. The most you can put on a Load & Go card is £1,800. You can load money onto a Cash Manager card online using a UK debit card. With Load & Go, you can load money online, or you can put cash onto your card at O2 shops, any independent retailer or petrol station that show either the PayPoint or e-pay signs or anywhere you see a PayPoint or e-pay sign.
Why would I want an O2 Money card?
O2 Money cards help you keep track of how much you spend. Every time you add, spend or withdraw money, you'll get a mobile update right away showing how much money you've got left. You can use our online budgeting calculator to work out what amount you want to load onto your card. Because you can never spend more than you've loaded onto your card, you won't run up debt. It's also a good way to introduce your son or daughter to banking and money management. It lets them use their own money to buy on the high street or online, without the risk of over spending because they can't spend more than they've loaded onto the card. We advise any cardholder under 18 years of age to read through the terms and conditions with a parent or guardian for your peace of mind and information.
And lots more interesting stuff in there.
This is the first major mobile financial services launch of a card that I’ve seen, and appears to be more than just an affinity program as it's also the first time I’ve seen a bank, NatWest, openly trying to be just a payments processor for a non-bank. A kind of "Intel Inside for payments".
That "Intel Inside for payments" is definitely something to watch, as that's also the vision of the European Commission when we talk about payments institutions.
This could get interesting ...