With BNP, I have a choice of cards


This advertising poster shows a hand indicating the range of Carte Bleue bankcards marketed by the Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP). A Visa Premier Carte Bleue bankcard stands out from the series of cards shown in the foreground.

Launched in France in 1967, the Carte Bleue bankcard took slightly more than 10 years to become a common payment method. Shunned by merchants due to its cost, the competition with cheques and cash, and perceived as a luxury product, the CB bankcard began to breakthrough from the 1980s. Its growth started with the rollout in 1981 of automatic teller machines (ATM), which let customers consult their account balances and the history of the last 10 transactions or even to receive bank messages. These were attractive services that automatic teller machines (ATM), simple cash machines, had not previously offered.
Moreover, the implementation of interbanking in 1984 led to the very fast growth in the number of cards in circulation in France. In 1986, the country had more than 5 million cardholders. It was at this period of democratisation of the bankcard that the Carte Bleue Group added a new product to its range: the Visa Premier card. This was an upscale card similar to the foreign Gold cards, intended for high revenue individuals that offered a series of specific services. It added services to the international card, created in 1974. The launch of the Premier service marks the beginning of the segmentation strategy, which aimed to offer a specific product to a well-identified clientele.


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    Well of History

    Since 1822, history has made us a key player and a witness of transformations taking place in society and economy in Europe and around the world. We invite you to share in our story and explore our archives to learn more about our constantly changing world.
    Jean Lemierre Jean Lemierre,
    of BNP Paribas