December 04, 2000

Increasing its commitment to the needs of U.S. Hispanic consumers, MasterCard International introduced MasterCard en Espanol.com (http://www.mastercardenespanol.com).

"Access to credit and other financial services is a critical issue for Latinos, whether they are new immigrants or entrepreneurs seeking capital for a new business," said Larry Flanagan, Chief Marketing Officer for MasterCard. "For a variety of reasons, a significant percentage of Latinos face unnecessary obstacles that limit their relationship with a bank, restrict access to credit cards and, therefore, prevent them from establishing a credit history. Through MasterCard en Espanol.com and other services, MasterCard is addressing this community's needs and opening doors to increased financial opportunities."

"MasterCard is working to create a network of its financial institutions that will offer specialized services to our U.S. Hispanic consumers," Flanagan continued. "Through this effort, we hope to remove many of the barriers that some Hispanics have encountered when they consider banking opportunities."

Earlier this year, MasterCard launched the first Spanish-language television commercials by a major payment card brand. The ads are part of MasterCard's global, award-winning 'Priceless' campaign and are currently running on the Univision and Telemundo television networks.

According to advertising tracking research conducted in October by Strategy Research Corporation for MasterCard, the ads appear to be increasing Hispanic Americans' awareness of both the brand advertising and the 'Priceless' tagline. The survey found a 21 percentage point increase in the proportion of those who recalled seeing MasterCard advertising in Spanish.

These scores went well beyond expectations and prove that the Spanish language 'Priceless' advertisements are making an impact in this community.

"Research tells us that Latinos view a credit card as a symbol of success," Flanagan added. "However, only 56 percent of U.S. Hispanics own a credit card. Through the launch of MasterCard en Espanol.com, we hope to reach out to the U.S. Hispanic community and close this gap."

Educational materials on MasterCard en Espanol.com were developed in conjunction with LULAC and Arvizu Advertising and Promotions, a Hispanic-owned firm based in Phoenix, AZ. In addition to announcing MasterCard en Espanol.com through the Spanish-language 'Priceless' ads, MasterCard is also informing Latinos about the site - via Yahoo en Espanol and Univision.com.

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