The Universe card is a local product that offers exclusive and international products and services, say Timothy Zrinzo, CEO Insignia Cards Limited and Frederick Ellul, CEO Insignia Lifestyle Services (Europe) Limited.

How has Insignia Group of Companies grown from a luxury lifestyle management group to become a card issuing business?

In the past, Insignia offered luxury lifestyle management services through the distribution of cards offered by third party banks. With the experience gained through years of handling high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth individuals, and the extensive portfolio of clients built, a strategic decision was taken to bring the expertise in-house and become a card issuing entity ourselves. For this reason, Insignia Cards Limited was set up in Malta and became a principal member of Visa.

This enables us to come to the market with a more comprehensive product offering, taking ownership of the process from beginning to end and ensuring that our customers benefit from exemplary service.

Beyond the mass market is a small group of high-net-worth individuals with a demand for bespoke and luxury products and services. How do you cater for this niche market?

The essence of our company and product offering originated and was tailored to service this niche high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth market. Insignia is purposely structured in a way in which allows us to meet the demanding needs of such individuals.

We have a global footprint to cater for this market, having 24/7 services available to assist with any requirement. Our personal assistants and workforce are specifically trained to cater to any need. This includes travel arrangements such as flight, hotel and transfer reservations, arranging a private performance by a celebrity musician, cultivating rare art collections, gaining access to high profile invite-only social events and award ceremonies, hiring an entire exotic island or finding that rare or exclusive item even if it is not available in the client’s country of residence.

Businesses must study and understand their clients and offer innovative products

This service offering has traditionally been available through the use of premium payment cards issued by Insignia whereby one of the main benefits is the bespoke lifestyle management services and travel assistance. Through Insignia Cards Limited in Malta, we have adapted these high-net-worth and ultra high-net-worth services to be available to a wider audience through some of our products offered on the local market.

Universe is the first credit card alternative to Malta. How important is it to innovate in business?

At Insignia, we place a lot of importance on launching innovative products that cater to the evolving needs of our clients and the general public. In today’s fast paced and competitive environment, businesses must be able to study and understand their clients and offer innovative products to meet their changing needs.

The Universe card is a unique and innovative product. Being an alternative to a credit card, it offers many benefits including lifestyle and travel assistance, an insurance package, cardholder rewards, a prize draw at launch allowing customers to win up to 100 valuable prizes and, of course, financial control, flexibility and freedom.

The beauty of this service is that it allows the local market to gain access to services that usually wouldn’t be readily available to the general public.

How does the Universe card work?

No credit checks, no commitments, no interest and no requirement for a bank account. That is, in essence, how the Universe card works.

The Universe card provides safety, security and travel convenience. It is accepted worldwide and cardholders have access to 24/7 support, making it the perfect travel companion. Simply load the Universe card and use it like a credit card. Funds can be loaded via bank transfer or card-to-card transfer from wherever the client is in the world. This way, clients are in control of their own personal finances and the card is a safe alternative to carrying cash abroad.

With Universe online services, clients can access their account to check loads, transactions, available funds, reward points and even to load the card while on the go.

As the Universe card comes with up to five supplementary cards for family and friends, you can treat a loved one or a dependent to the same financial freedom. Supplementary Universe cardholders also benefit from the primary cardholder lifestyle management services, travel insurance and all other benefits.

What kind of lifestyle products and services does the Universe card give access to?

As long as it’s legal and ethical, we can make it happen. This unique service is available worldwide, around the clock and delivers the highest level of service and discretion, enabling our clients to feel at home wherever they are. Whatever the requirement – be it booking flights, finding a hotel or even organising a gift for a friend – the lifestyle management services team will endeavour to fulfil any request. Dedicated to providing cardholders with the best possible service, our consultants will use their wealth of knowledge and expertise to do the hard work for you.

Universe cardholders are also eligible for exclusive benefits and privileges in Malta at a number of premium hotels, restaurants and for ground transportation services including discounts, offers, upgrades and freebies.

Are these products and services local or international?

The Universe card is a local product yet the benefits to the customer are international since it is a Visa card that may be used worldwide and the lifestyle management services are also available wherever the customer is in the world. Universe also offers a travel insurance package to give cardholders peace of mind when overseas. More information about Universe cards is available at

What are your plans for Insignia’s growth in Malta?

Malta was strategically chosen to be the hub for Insignia’s card issuing business since it offers a talented workforce and opportunities to cross-sell our products in other European jurisdictions. We have ambitious plans for projects and products that should appeal to the local market as well as international markets.

Insignia will continue to grow in tandem with the needs and requirements to service our growing customer base in a first class manner.