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New Latvian charge card

January 13, 1999, 08:00 CET

A joint charge card for private customers has been launched by Statoil Latvia and Unibanka, one of the largest Latvian banks.

This is the second time a card based on the Cirrus/Maestro concept is being introduced in eastern Europe. Called Unibanka/Statoil Extra Maestro, it can be used at service stations and shops as well as for withdrawals from cash machines and Unibanka's branches.

Transactions are debited immediately against the user's account. Credit cards for private individuals are very uncommon in eastern Europe, explains Baiba Rubess, manager for marketing and public affairs at Statoil Latvia.

"Such cards are mainly granted to companies," she says. "But charge cards debited directly against salary bank accounts have become very popular since they were first introduced by Estonia a couple of years ago."

The new card gives the user automatic membership in Statoil Extra, the Baltic variant of the group's Premium Club customer loyalty programme.

Statoil currently operates 73 service stations in the three Baltic states, including 31 in Latvia.