Affinity Cards makes marketer chief

Affinity Cards, the UK’s largest pre-pay card provider, has appointed former NTL marketer Peter Wilcock as chief executive. He joins the company this month.

He will be tasked with driving growth at the company, formed following the introduction of pre-paid debit cards to the UK last summer.

Affinity Cards consumer arm BlueCorner is behind the “controversial” top-up cards aimed at teenagers, after partnering with EMAP brands including Smash Hits! and Bliss! (MW January 26).

Other brands in its portfolio include EMAP’s Match, Magic and FHM, wedding store Confetti and sports brand Extreme.

Wilcock takes over the day-to-day running of the company from founder Mark Kennedy, who remains at the company in a group role.

Wilcock was previously managing director of operations at NTL but he left the cable company in June after it cut jobs following its merger with rival, Telewest.

Affinity Cards was founded in September last year to capitalise on the expected popularity of pre-paid cards. The cards act as “virtual wallets” and are bought in the same way as mobile phone top-up vouchers or Transport for London’s Oyster cards, allowing controlled amounts of money to be available on the card at any one time.

Consumer groups have slammed the cards for being expensive to set up and maintain but supporters point to their increased online security, budgeting and availability to sectors such as migrants and un-banked households.

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