KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, U.S.A., 1996 JAN 25 (NB) -- Block Financial,
an H & R Block (NYSE:HRB), company, has announced a Visa card
created just for Internet and World Wide Web users.
The card is called Webcard. One of its features is the ability to
check your account balance around the clock in real-time via the
Internet. "Cardholders can monitor their current account activity
or review data as far back as 12 months and even check to see if
their payment was received," said G. Cotter Cunningham, vice
president of Block Financial Corp.
The company said it has addressed security concerns about
revealing credit card numbers by designing the online account
review feature so actual account numbers never appear online.
To make the data more useful, Block has set up the Web site so the
account information can be imported directly in many of the popular
word processing, spreadsheet, database, and personal finance
programs, including Quicken.
Webcard is issued by Columbus Bank and Trust Company, an affiliate
of Synovus Financial Corp. The card carries no annual fee. The
company said it will soon launch a direct mail, advertising, and
telemarketing campaign to publicize the card.
Cunningham told Newsbytes the easiest way to apply for a card is to
complete an online application online. Block Financial's home page
on the Web is at http://www.conductor.com .
Cunningham said two levels of card are available. The Gold card is
the one being promoted. It carries a 12.9 percent interest rate for
the first six months. After that the rate reverts to whatever the
prime rate is, plus 6.9 percent. Currently the prime rate is 8.5
Applicants who don't qualify for the Gold card can still receive a
Classic card, said Cunningham. Initially that card carries a 12.9
percent interest rate for the first six months. After that, you
pay two points more than Gold card holders.
Block said the Webcard is the first in a series of co-branded
financial products slated for introduction this year. Other
services to be offered include online bill payment, which is set
for launch in the next 60 days, and online checking services.
Cunningham said the pricing structure for the bill payment
service hasn't been set yet, but will be competitive.
Block Financial already offers the Compuserve Visa, a credit card
exclusively for Compuserve subscribers. The company said it has
already issued more than 100,000 of the Compuserve cards.
(Jim Mallory/19960124/Press contact: Julie Eisen, Block Financial,