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Canada’s oldest retailer is teaming up with one of the country’s newest financial technology companies to offer a new credit card.

The partnership between Hudson’s Bay Co. and Neo Financial announced Tuesday comes three months after U.S.-based Capital One said it was ending its relationship with HBC and Costco Canada in 2021.

Iain Nairn, president and CEO of Hudson’s Bay, says the new Hudson’s Bay MasterCard is part of the retailer’s “digital-first strategy” to improve the company’s digital offerings and customer experience.

He says the company has increasingly “digitally savvy” shoppers that will appreciate the new card’s digital applications, though customers will also receive a conventional plastic card.

Andrew Chau, co-founder and CEO of Neo Financial, calls the partnership the “next generation of credit card and retail innovation.”

He says it’s “symbolic” for the new financial company to partner with a retailer as iconic as HBC.

“It’s melding together this technology and the retail front of Hudson’s Bay to create one of the most advanced and rewarding credit cards and financial products in Canada,” says Chau, also a co-founder of food delivery service SkipTheDishes.

Hudson’s Bay permanently laid off more than 600 workers across Canada last month amid ongoing store closures due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

The company said nearly half the company’s department stores remained temporarily closed, forcing the retailer to make adjustments.

But while the brick-and-mortar business has been hammered by the pandemic, the company said its e-commerce business has been growing.

Nairn says the partnership with Neo will help the centuries-old retailer enhance its customer service through the financial company’s digital app, cash back, rewards points and enhanced security.

“Partnering with a Canadian company, built on innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit, will help us deliver a better shopping experience to Hudson’s Bay customers and, in fact, reward them as they shop with us,” Nairn says.

HBC says there are nearly two million existing Hudson’s Bay credit card holders.

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