First Data International

What Marks & Spencer was doing...

The Marks & Spencer chargecard was a very profitable business line which promoted the cross-selling of FS products to a customer-base of over 5m customers. When M&S Retail decided to accept external credit and debit cards, however, a substantial pressure was put on the chargecard business and prompted M&S Money to re-think its business strategy.

The Marks & Spencer &more credit card was launched in October 2003. The launch involved the upgrade or migration of 2.6 million chargecard customers to the new card and offered the card for new business in stores and through postal applications.This immediately placed Marks & Spencer as the 7th largest credit card issuer in the UK, and constituted the largest ever credit card launch outside of the US.

Linked to the credit card was the &more loyalty proposition. This was the key to success, linking retail spend, retail behaviours and promotion into the financial services product: one without the other would not have been a compelling enough proposition to their customers. This has made Marks & Spencer the only major UK retailer that owns a credit card business which offers unique benefits in terms of management information about its customers' buying patterns both in its stores and across the retail space.