Vietnam bank to issue co-branded cards with Manchester United

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BIDV executives at a meeting on April 18 where they announced a tie-up with English football club Manchester United for issuing Visa credit cards

The Hanoi-based Bank for Investment and Development has tied up with English football club Manchester United to issue co-branded Visa credit and debit cards.

Under an agreement they signed April 18, BIDV would be the football club's only Vietnamese partner for Visa cards until 2017, news website VnExpress reported Friday.

But the bank did not disclose the value of the contract, saying merely it is "significantly large."

Tran Xuan Hoang, deputy director of BIDV, said the tie-up would be good for the bank because Man Utd has a massive number of fans in the country.

A survey last year by UK-based Kantar Sport -- which raised not a few eyebrows with its claims --found that Man Utd has around 26.5 million "followers" in Vietnam, of whom 9 percent are fans, putting it in fifth place in the world.

Quach Hung Hiep, another BIDV deputy director, said the bank is optimistic since Man Utd has signed similar deals that have proven successful with many other banks like Santander Consumer Bank in Norway, Maybank in Malaysia, Shinsei Bank Group in Japan, Danamon Bank in Indonesia, and Krungsri Bank in Thailand.

The number of Man Utd fans in those countries is not as high as in Vietnam yet the deals have gone well, he added.

According to the bank's website, it will hold a ceremony in Ho Chi Minh City on April 25 to unveil the co-branded cards.

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