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Lanistar’s ads “misleading”, warns regulator

The fintech’s claims that it is home to “the world’s most secure payments card” are unsubstantiated, rules the ASA.

a person sitting in a field of flowers with a bird and a bird

Lanistar's CEO and founder Gurhan Kiziloz/Lanistar

Since its launch last year, Lanistar has struggled to stay out of the headlines.

Earlier this month it looked to be making a comeback after securing authorisation from the FCA after teaming up with fellow fintech Modulr, but now it looks as if it’s fallen foul of the regulator once more.

On 19 May 2021, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) published a ruling stating that Lanistar’s claims that it had “the world’s most secure payment card” were misleading.

The ASA was looking into Instagram ads run by Lanistar since 24 November 2020, just days after the firm launched its social media campaign that saw it face the wrath of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for the first time.

The ruling, which was first reported by Financial News, was upheld and concluded that there was no evidence to support Lanistar’s claims of being the “world’s most secure payment card”.

In its decision, the advertising body wrote: “The ASA considered consumers would understand it to mean that the features of the Lanistar card were proven to be the most effective at protecting users from fraud compared to payment cards from all other providers.”

“There was no information, therefore, available that related to how effective the card was at protecting users when used in real life, compared to all other payment cards. Because we considered the evidence was not adequate to substantiate the claim “The world’s most secure payment card”, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

Lanistar also reported provided out of date evidence, with a large chunk of the proof provided coming from all the way back in 2018, years before the fintech officially launched.

As a result of the decision, Lanistar is not allowed to use the complained about ad again and must also ensure that it has “adequate substantiation for claims made in their marketing communications.”

At the time of writing this article, there are still several ads on both Lanistar’s Instagram page and on the pages of influencers who are promoting Lanistar with the statement that has since been refuted by the ASA.

Also, Lanistar’s app still describes its cards as “the most secure payment cards in the history of rectangles.” 

Back in November, Lanistar caught the attention of many after an incessant social media campaign that saw a bevvy of influencers and celebrities, including several Champions League football players, raving about the fintech and its “polymorphic debit card.”

Just days before, the fintech had been flagged by the FCA as potentially carrying out fraudulent activity because Lanistar failed to mention that it was yet to receive authorisation from the regulator.

The fintech also saw the brakes applied last year after its sole investor pulled out.

In July 2020, the fintech announced a £15m funding round from Turkish VC fund Milaya Capital, owned by Yasam Ayavefe, only for the investor to pull out of the deal in October, rather Kizlioz would be raising the cash from family and friends. 

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