Magazine article American Banker

Conn. Bank Expects Mobil Promotion to Pump Up Debit Business

Magazine article American Banker

Conn. Bank Expects Mobil Promotion to Pump Up Debit Business

Article excerpt

A Connecticut bank is hoping to fuel debit card use with a promotion linked to the gas pump.

Webster Bank of Waterbury is giving Mobil Oil Corp.'s Speedpass to new customers who sign up for a Visa check card and checking account by June 30.

Webster executives said Speedpass, which lets drivers charge fuel by waving a key chain in front of an antenna on the pump, is a convenience for customers. Customers who take advantage of the promotion can have Mobil purchases paid for directly from their checking accounts.

The $9.8 billion-asset bank has 150,000 off-line debit card customers and is hoping to add thousands of new accounts. It is "the first bank to feature the Visa check card and Mobil Speedpass in combination," said Peter Mulligan, executive vice president for consumer and small business banking.

Jeffrey N. Brown, executive vice president at Webster, said people who rely on debit cards also like Speedpass.

"We had identified that we had specifically wanted to go after heavy debit card users," Mr. Brown said. "We were looking for some sort of tie-in that would be very current, a little cool."

Webster is among the growing number of banks ardently promoting debit products. "We have worked very hard over the past couple of years to get as many of these cards into our customers' hands as possible," Mr. Brown said.

Sara Jordan, assistant card marketing manager at Mobil, said the promotion "allows us to leverage somebody else's customer base and get more word out about Speedpass. …

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