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Mar 30, 2007

O.W. man wins Belize Bank debit card raffle

Story PictureIn December 2006, the Belize Bank launched its new debit card as a form of payment for its more than forty thousand clients countrywide. As a promotion, cardholders had the chance of winning thousands of dollars in a raffle. Today the lucky names were drawn at the Belize Bank headquarters in downtown Belize City. According to Belize Bank’s Vice President of Electronic Banking, Jose Cardona, the card spells convenience for customers.

Jose Cardona, V.P. Electronic Banking, Belize Bank
“Pretty much all the banks lead by the Belize Bank have been trying to make banking in Belize more convenient, more efficient. So we are trying to bring the entire banking environment in Belize up to first world standards. Last year we changed our entire point of sale system; we implemented one thousand new terminals countrywide. So the terminals where you pay at a store or at a hotel, we deployed a thousand of those terminals, trying to make the point of contact where these cards are accepted far more convenient for all of our cardholders. So anybody with a credit card or a debit card, having the Visa logo, can use these cards at any of these points of contact. So what we are trying to do is make all of banking more efficient and more capable for everybody.”

Jacqueline Godwin
“And another attraction to using this card is that there are no charges.”

Jose Cardona
“There are absolutely no charges to the cardholder. The card is issued free of charge if you have a savings account or current account with the Belize Bank, you simply apply for one of these cards or if you have one of the older cards it will be replaced automatically. As a matter of fact, the older cards ceased functioning today. Those cards will no longer function and they will be replaced by this new one. No annual membership fees, no transactional fees of any type, so you can use it at the ATM or at the merchant, but it’s more efficient to use it at the merchant. Why should you carry cash in your pocket and run the risk of being assaulted, why have the inconvenience of writing cheques? It’s far easier to just take out the card, swipe it and the transaction is finished.”

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Today’s lucky winners were electronically chosen. In the first of two draws, customers inside the bank around eleven this morning did the honours. While the grand prize of five thousand dollars to cardholder Orlando Carrillo went without any surprises, the pick for the first consolation prize of a thousand dollars left everyone in disbelief.

[Computer revealing name]
Jose Cardona
“This is your name.”

Glenn Caliz
“Oh my god!”

Jose Cardona

Glenn Caliz
“I win.”

Jose Cardona
”This is your card number? Can I you’re your card?”

[People cheering]

Jose Cardona
“This is the person that has actually won.”

The second consolation prize of another thousand dollars went to Zaira Martinez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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