History

Rich Experience and Long Tradition

The long tradition in issuing and accepting cards is one of the important elements of PBZ Card's success. The Company's brand with the longest presence on the market is certainly American Express, present already for forty five years on the Croatian market, while PBZ Group was one of the first in Croatia to introduce Mastercard and Visa card products.

There are forty products and a large number of services, many of them introduced to the Croatian market by PBZ Card and this makes the Company's history rich with significant events. Among the most important years is 1965, when Zagreb Esplanade Hotel became the first sales establishments accepting American Express cards in Croatia, and 1972, when the license agreement was closed between the Atlas travel agency and American Express. Already in the next year the first series of personal American Express (charge) cards were issued. In 1994 the first Gold Card was issued, as the prestigious card intended for people with higher income. Since 1998 the American Express card issuing and accepting licensee is Privredna banka Zagreb, that is, PBZ Card. Due to the strong support by Privredna banka Zagreb, which is at the top of Croatian banking, the new era of fast development ensued, when the company introduced numerous new products and services. The American Express portfolio in Croatia now has about 20 various products, and PBZ Card is one of the most successful licensees of this brand in the world.
From the rich history of American Express we should also mention the year 2000, when cardmembers in Croatia were offered a possibility to participate in the Membership Rewards program, rewarding them with attractive gifts. In 2003, Blue from American Express was introduced to the market as the first card with the chip technology, and in 2004 the Platinum Card, the most prestigious card on the market. There is also the new American Express Card with a Heart, issued in 2008, with a humanitarian character because PBZ Card donates money to the projects "Monitoring Children with Neurorisks" by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia and “For a Better Life of Children in Social Care Homes” by the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Politicy of the Republic of Croatia, for each purchase with this card.
Business with banking cards began in 1998, when Privredna banka Zagreb enabled the acceptance of MasterCard cards on ATMs and POS devices, and in 1999, when it started issuing Maestro debit cards, tied to the current account, as one of the first on the market. During the next years the range of MasterCard and Visa brands would be expanded with many charge, debit, credit and pre-paid cards for individuals and legal entities.
In the beginning of 2006 the integration of PBZ Group card business in one company, PBZ Card, the former PBZ American Express enlarged its business with the card portfolio of Privredna banka Zagreb, including the MasterCard and Visa brands.
The uniting of the PBZ Group card portfolio in one company enabled the best utilization of all potentials, knowledge and experience in applying the business standards of the world renowned trademarks of American Express, MasterCard and Visa, supported by a good knowledge of the local market in order to offer cardmembers and business partners products and services of the highest quality.
In 2007, PBZ Card purchased JUMBO TRAVEL SERVICES, Ltd, a successful travel agency, and thus strengthened its travel arrangements and other programs with special benefits for cardmembers. In the beginning of 2008, as the first on the Croatian market, PBZ Card finalized the project of implementing the EMV (chip) technology to the entire card portfolio, thus offering additional security and simplicity of card use.
In 2012 the Company introduced the new travel services brand - PBZ Card Travel American Express offering even higher quality of service, in line with the American Express standards. PBZ Card became a member of a large and successful international family Global American Express Travel Partner Network, and the Company’s travel services now have a new dimension.
During 2014 and 2015, the PBZ Group continues to improve its services by introducing the latest payments innovations. The Group unveiled a new PBZ Wave2Pay service - the first contactless mobile payment service in the Croatian market which is based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology for NFC (Near-Field Communication) mobile payments at POS terminals of the PBZ Group. The PBZ Wave2Pay service is currently available to the Visa Inspire card members and American Express card members, making PBZ Group the first American Express Card-issuing partner to introduce the HCE mobile payments for American Express cards.

There are forty products and a large number of services, many of them introduced to the Croatian market by PBZ Card and this makes the Company's history rich with significant events. Among the most important years is 1965, when Zagreb Esplanade Hotel became the first sales establishments accepting American Express cards in Croatia, and 1972, when the license agreement was closed between the Atlas travel agency and American Express. Already in the next year the first series of personal American Express (charge) cards were issued. In 1994 the first Gold Card was issued, as the prestigious card intended for people with higher income. Since 1998 the American Express card issuing and accepting licensee is Privredna banka Zagreb, that is, PBZ Card. Due to the strong support by Privredna banka Zagreb, which is at the top of Croatian banking, the new era of fast development ensued, when the company introduced numerous new products and services. The American Express portfolio in Croatia now has about 20 various products, and PBZ Card is one of the most successful licensees of this brand in the world.

From the rich history of American Express we should also mention the year 2000, when cardmembers in Croatia were offered a possibility to participate in the Membership Rewards program, rewarding them with attractive gifts. In 2003, Blue from American Express was introduced to the market as the first card with the chip technology, and in 2004 the Platinum Card, the most prestigious card on the market. There is also the new American Express Card with a Heart, issued in 2008, with a humanitarian character because PBZ Card donates money to the projects "Monitoring Children with Neurorisks" by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Croatia and “For a Better Life of Children in Social Care Homes” by the Ministry of Demographics, Family, Youth and Social Politicy of the Republic of Croatia, for each purchase with this card.

Business with banking cards began in 1998, when Privredna banka Zagreb enabled the acceptance of Mastercard cards on ATMs and POS devices, and in 1999, when it started issuing Maestro debit cards, tied to the current account, as one of the first on the market. During the next years the range of Mastercard and Visa brands would be expanded with many charge, debit, credit and pre-paid cards for individuals and legal entities.

In the beginning of 2006 the integration of PBZ Group card business in one company, PBZ Card, the former PBZ American Express enlarged its business with the card portfolio of Privredna banka Zagreb, including the Mastercard and Visa brands.

The uniting of the PBZ Group card portfolio in one company enabled the best utilization of all potentials, knowledge and experience in applying the business standards of the world renowned trademarks of American Express, Mastercard and Visa, supported by a good knowledge of the local market in order to offer cardmembers and business partners products and services of the highest quality.

In 2007, PBZ Card purchased JUMBO TRAVEL SERVICES, Ltd, a successful travel agency, and thus strengthened its travel arrangements and other programs with special benefits for cardmembers. In the beginning of 2008, as the first on the Croatian market, PBZ Card finalized the project of implementing the EMV (chip) technology to the entire card portfolio, thus offering additional security and simplicity of card use.

In 2012 the Company introduced the new travel services brand - PBZ Card Travel American Express offering even higher quality of service, in line with the American Express standards. PBZ Card became a member of a large and successful international family Global American Express Travel Partner Network, and the Company’s travel services now have a new dimension.

During 2014 and 2015, the PBZ Group continues to improve its services by introducing the latest payments innovations. The Group unveiled a new PBZ Wave2Pay service - the first contactless mobile payment service in the Croatian market which is based on Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology for NFC (Near-Field Communication) mobile payments at POS terminals of the PBZ Group. The PBZ Wave2Pay service is currently available to the Visa Inspire card members and American Express card members, making PBZ Group the first American Express Card-issuing partner to introduce the HCE mobile payments for American Express cards.