After the decision to change their business concept in Europe, American Express’s cards in Croatia, issued by Privredna Banka Zagreb were planned to be replaced with another product that holds same benefits and possibilities. The bank announced previously that this would be a new Visa card, a custom-developed and innovative card product with unique features on the market.
Mercury Processing Services International, as a long standing payment processor for both Privredna Banka Zagreb and PBZ Card (American Express in Croatia), was also immensely involved in this project.
For our company, this meant transferring all of the existing AmEx cardholders into the other system and also producing new hundreds of thousands cards and, of course, making every transition as smooth as possible.
The big technical switch finally happened on July 23rd, 2019 when hundreds of thousands of AmEx holders experienced the seamless transition to the Visa card.
And this is what our Senior Developer Vladimir Volenec said about the process:
During this event each AmEx cardholder just got another ‘converted account’ associated with her/his new Visa PAN. This ‘converted account’ approach enabled us to do the transition with minimal possible set of changes in the system, at the same time enabling cardholders to continue using their beloved AmEx just as if nothing is happening (because in essence, that is exactly true for their old accounts).
He also added that when cardholders start receiving their new Visa cards in the following period, they will be able to use them in parallel with AmEx seamlessly – that is, until New Year 2020 when all of us will have to say final good-bye to AmEx. At that date, all of AmEx cards will become inactive. In addition, he also said that cardholders will hopefully not just get used to their new Visa, but they will also appreciate it for its own undisputable merits, while still having at their disposal all of the features they previously associated only with AmEx.
Anita Marceković, the project leader, also shared her memory of working in American Express but also the new era that Visa Premium card creates:
For eleven years, I was a part of the team that was building AmEx in Croatia, and now leading a project of closing it was more than a challenge for me. Emotions are mixed, on one side, I am proud to successfully implement Premium PBZ Card Visa with fabulous Mercury Processing Services International team of miracle-makers, and very sad on the other side, not to have AmEx Brand in Croatia any more, after almost a half of the century. One era is over, the new one started! Let’s focus on the new star on Croatian card sky to achieve as successful story as AmEx used to be.
Visa Premium Card
The new Visa Premium card substitutes AmEx in every aspect, plus it provides better acceptance network thanks to the unparalleled diffusion of Visa. It is actually an assortment of 12 cards offering contactless payments, insurance packages and loyalty rewards, rate payments without interest and charges, credit cards, travel services, road assistance and many other services and products.
Source: PBZ Card
More precisely, PBZ Card will now offer:
- Premium Visa Gold
- Premium Visa Platinum
- Premium Visa Infinite
- Visa card with a heart
- Visa Revolving
- Visa Croatia Airlines Revolving card
- Visa Gold Croatia Airlines card
- Visa Student
- PBZ Visa shopping
- Visa Business Gold
- Visa Business Platinum
- Visa card for merchants
All additional detailed information on each card are available on PBZ Card’s website.
The distribution of the physical Visa Premium cards will be communicated by PBZ Card on time, and directly to each and every cardholder.
This is what Mislav Blažić, the president of the PBZ Card Management Board, pointed out in the PBZ’s official press release about the values that the new card brings:
“Thanks to the almost fifty years of tradition and excellence in card business, which resulted in high quality service and numerous unique features and functionality that we have developed for our customers, and in some of them we were the first in the world, the exceptional cooperation and loyalty of our customers and business partners, and the new strength we have gained with the partnership with VISA, we have developed superior card products that will be available to all citizens, regardless of the bank where they have an open account. We have created twelve cards, which will allow each of our American Express users as well as all new to enjoy all of the existing benefits developed by PBZ Card and the added value of Visa”.