Renren to Pioneer Social Credit Card with China Merchant Back

Somehow, it is hard for me to imagine a credit card feature in China. Yet, the credit card program will have a global influence as a test to see if the combination of credit card, social, location and mobile services will work.

A social networking credit card will arrive on the market this July. It’s a program that wants to prove that social networking is increasingly penetrating people’s lives. China Merchants Bank , which is consider one of the main commercial bank in China, and Renren, the top social networking internet platform in China from China, plan to issue a co-branded “Renren CMB” credit card with social features.

Somehow, it is hard for me to imagine a credit card feature in China. Yet, the credit card program will have a global influence as a test to see if the combination of credit card, social, location and mobile services will work.

CMB will offer information and services provided by over 10,000 of their merchant partners through Renren’s Location Based Services. When the co-branded credit card holders “check in” from their current locations through Renren’s Location Based Services function, they will receive promotional information from CMB merchant partners located in the vicinity.

I like that idea because, for instance, I could walk into a Jamba Juice and find out that if I buy two smoothies I get one free. I might enter a local desert house and discover a great deal on cupcakes. I could even schedule a facial, arrive and find out I can get one free if I schedule and pay for five. The catch is you have to use CMB credit card.

The service obviously is geared toward the impulse shopper with a wide range of loyalty incentive programs for the co-branded credit card applicants and holders. However, CMB is touting that the service will make user’s lives easier and convenient.

The introduction to this new credit card program proves that social networking is increasingly penetrating many aspects of people’s lives.