Halifax unveils cashback card

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The Independent Online

Halifax, a unit of HBOS, has launched Britain's first-ever debit card that gives customers cash back on their purchases. The new account is intended to prise market share from the Big Four high street banks, and offers 1 per cent cashback on debit card purchases worth up to a total of £10,000 a year.

Halifax, a unit of HBOS, has launched Britain's first-ever debit card that gives customers cash back on their purchases. The new account is intended to prise market share from the Big Four high street banks, and offers 1 per cent cashback on debit card purchases worth up to a total of £10,000 a year.

While many credit cards, such as Egg, offer cashback, this is the first debit card in Europe to do so. HBOS said it had only come across two US banks that offer debit cards with cashback.

Customers will receive cash back on all purchases made with the card, including internet shopping, but bill payments made by direct debit as well as cash advances and travellers' cheque orders will not qualify.

The so-called Moneyback account will be available from February to customers who credit their account with at least £1,000 a month, by paying their salary into it. But if they miss two consecutive payments, they forfeit all the accrued cashback. The account's overdraft rate of 13.9 per cent is the lowest on offer.

Andy Hornby, the head of retail at HBOS, said: "We're opening up another front in the battle with the Big Four by launching Moneyback. I am very confident that Moneyback will deliver significant market share growth." Since Halifax and Bank of Scotland, which merged to form HBOS, launched a high-interest account in 2001, HBOS's market share has grown from 9 to 14 per cent. With more new initiatives in the pipeline, the bank is confident that it can boost its market share to about 20 per cent.

HBOS reckons the cashback could be worth about £100 a year to the average household. Debit cards now account for 65 per cent of all card purchases made in Britain and more than eight in 10 adults have one.

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