In a first of its kind partnership aimed at benefiting from the popularity of English soccer in Southeast Asia, an Indonesian bank has signed an agreement with a major club to launch a suite of payment cards.

PT Bank Negara Indonesia announced March 25 that it had agreed to work with English Premier League soccer club Chelsea to offer cobranded Bank Negara-Chelsea credit, debit and prepaid cards.

The companies signed the deal March 23, a spokesperson for the Jakarta-based bank tells PaymentsSource. “We expect to expand our customer base to the youth in Indonesia with these payment cards,” he says.

Cardholders will receive various soccer-related benefits, such as free official Chelsea merchandise, including shirts signed by players of Chelsea’s main team, the spokesperson adds.

“We expect that Indonesian Chelsea fans will be keen to show their support by applying for Chelsea-branded payment cards with which they will gain access to the many exclusive club-related benefits,” he adds.

The initial phase of the strategic partnership expires in four years, by which time the companies expect to renew their relationship as the cards gain in popularity, the spokesperson says

Bank Negara issues 1.7 million credit cards and has more than 10 million debit cardholders, according to the bank. The issuer also operates a relatively small prepaid card program; it declined to release card totals.

The companies will disclose fees, interest rates and other associated charges once the deal becomes operational, likely by June, the spokesperson says.

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