Home > Credit Cards > China Creates World’s First ‘Social’ Credit Card

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Many credit card lenders in the U.S. are trying to engage customers in new and innovative ways, but a company in China might have beaten them all to the punch.

The popular Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo — a sort of cross between Twitter and Facebook — recently teamed with one of that nation’s largest banks to launch a new type of credit card that allows consumers to link their finances with their online profiles, according to a report from the Chinese tech news site Tech Rice. The program will be tied to Sina’s user verification program named DaRen, which allows users to be confirmed as real people based on government data, as well as information like a profile picture, minimum number of followers and a mobile phone number.

Currently, there are about 4 million users verified through the DaRen program, 90 percent of which are active daily, the report said. In all, Sina Weibo has more than 300 million members, and about 11,000 are signing up for DaRen verification per day.

Because this card will work with verified users, it will also be able to give them “hyper-targeted offers” that will help them save money based on their personal interests, the report said. In addition, there is a sort of shared bonus system that will allow users to earn rewards points both for using the card itself and by being active on the Sina Weibo service. Further, just having the card at all may give Chinese consumers the ability to receive discounts when making everyday purchases.

However, there may also be concerns about personal security through the new credit card system, the report said. If the card is stolen, for instance, it may be used to compromise not only the user’s finances, but also their personal information that’s listed online, as well as their shopping habits. Further, it’s unclear exactly how beneficial the targeted offers would be.

Many companies are now trying to increase their revenues by selling personal information for consumers, and trying to more directly market to those consumers with deals that may specifically benefit them. However, privacy concerns may be impeding many credit card or social networking users from entering into such deals. On the other hand, if mobile wallets become popular in the near future, borrowers attitudes toward linking finances and social networking profile may change.

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