Insignia Cards has been providing a 360-degree concierge and finance services to ultra-high net worth individuals for the past 27 years, assisting clients from booking luxury accommodation to sourcing the most exclusive events, and anything in between. 

As part of its drive to provide clients with a convenient bespoke card service that best suits their needs, Insignia had branched into the financial services sector – a natural progression as it seeks value added avenues of growth. Today, it is focusing on bringing this bespoke service to the corporate world. 

BusinessNow.mt sat down with recently appointed CEO JP Fabri to discuss the company’s ambitions for the future and how it plans to capitalise on its experience.

“Insignia has successfully created an entire ecosystem that revolves around high-net worth individuals. In fact, our services are all designed to accommodate the very specific needs of people who have little time on their hands but have the means to acquire the best services available,” explains Mr Fabri. “One such service that has taken off effectively is Insignia Jets. It’s an app that helps clients book private jets within minutes, offering the level of service expected by the most exigent of clients. And it is this experience working with the world’s most prominent, that has allowed Insignia to provide a specialised card service that is quite unique in its offering,” Mr Fabri reveals.

In fact, Insignia Cards Ltd, a principal member of VISA, offers both personal, from Jewellery to the Royal card, and corporate C by Insignia and Platinum Business cards that simplify use for specific applications. “One niche in which Insignia Cards are exceptionally useful is the yachting and superyacht business where we provide a tailor-made structure that allows the various members of crew, from the captain onwards, to manage funds and execute payments efficiently,” Mr Fabri illustrates. “For example, competitor solutions will often require a captain to use multiple cards to fuel up, due to unwieldy credit limits. Using Insignia’s solution a captain can responsibly fuel up in one transaction, using one card – the expense management tool further enables transparency making it extremely convenient for all.”

The financial services company used its experience to cater for other specialised markets, including the jet chartering industry, as well as luxury brands and private banks.

“What sets Insignia apart from its competitors is the level of customer care and attention to detail,” Mr Fabri affirms, as the company boasts round the clock assistance for its patrons. Insignia Cards is set to continue building on this reputation for excellent service and create new products that provide the usual superior financial facilities associated with the cards, coupled with specific advantages relating to determinate sectors. 

“We are looking at creating a card specialised in wellness which will have benefits linked to the best spas, holistic treatment centres, med-aesthetic clinics, and related services. One such other specialised card will take the gourmet world by storm, partnering up with Michelin-standard restaurants, guaranteeing access to the best eateries at a last minute’s notice, even if they would otherwise be fully booked. Ultimately, we want to be in a position to offer the ultimate user experience for our clients whereby they will be able to simply design their own card, for ultimate benefit customization. This pick and choose functionality will offer them the possibility to create a benefit system for their card, that best reflects their lifestyle and goals,” Mr Fabri expounds.

But what about recent episodes, whereby Insignia Cards has been fined by the FIAU for deficiencies in due diligence processes? Here, Mr Fabri explains that the company is eager to look forward as it continues to strengthen its lines of defence. “We all know that due diligence processes, AML and CFT in Malta have taken a completely new life over the past few years, with authorities adopting more stringent methods, new regulations, and reporting requirements. As industry players, we are aware of the importance of such structures, and we have enhanced our team with highly specialised personnel to assist us in these areas. The industry as a whole, Insignia included, has experienced the shifts and changes in the regulatory landscape, prompting a transformative wave across the sector. We eagerly embrace these changes as they present opportunities for progress.”

“At the end of the day, dialogue remains key in all the process, and even though we have won the constitutional case for breach of human rights, we are driven to turn this episode into an opportunity for growth and learning, ensuring that AML compliance remain a priority. It is critical that regulators remain open to industry communication”.

Looking ahead, Mr Fabri adds, Insignia seeks to leverage its vast experience in the luxury lifestyle sector, and position itself as an expert in the field. 

“Over the decades of operation, Insignia has built a veritable treasure throve of data and experience dealing with the worlds most prominent ultra-high net worth individuals. This means that we have been there as trends shifted, new customs appeared, and clients sought new services. Naturally, our success meant that we were always at the forefront of these changes, building a very specialised knowledge base for the sector. This puts us in the best position to assist both at a commercial, but also at a policy level,” JP notes.

“Malta has been going through an incredible regeneration process, shifting towards high-end tourism. This has been on the cards for a very long time, and naturally it takes a while, but we are glad to see it happening. However, we feel we can assist the country taking the necessary steps for it to compete with other world-class destinations. We cannot continue offering fragmented luxury in poor quality surroundings. For us to convincingly attract a certain type of visitor we need to ensure a high-end experience, end-to-end. This will require a heightened level of coordination, but we have done it before in other sectors and I believe we can do it here as well and Insignia is committed to support this transition,” Mr Fabri concludes.

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