Banc One Corp. and Sony Electronics are luring customers to a new private-label credit card program with interest-free financing for a year on big-ticket electronic items.

The Park Ridge, N.J., electronics retailer will begin offering two categories of financing to customers Oct. 14.

Customers who buy any single Sony product or group of products that total $500 to $999 will be eligible for a year's worth of 0% financing, plus no monthly down payments during that time. Purchases of $1,000 or more qualify the consumer for the same financing deal through January 1997.

Consumers who buy any Sony VCR, regardless of price, will receive 0% financing for one year.

Once consumers participate in the financing programs, they are eligible for a private-label card issued by Bank One Private Label Card Services. Following the interest-free period, the card carries a 19.6% interest rate until April 1, 1996, which jumps to prime plus 13.9%.

"We have developed a pretty strong reputation for this kind of service," said John Russell, a Banc One spokesman, explaining why Sony opted against using a nonbank to handle the new card. He added that Sony will handle the bulk of merchant recruitment because "they're the ones that have contact with the stores."

In a statement, Bob Weissburg, vice president of strategic planning for Sony's consumer products sales division, said that "extended financing programs have captured the attention of American consumers."

Sony said it would promote the new financing program through advertising during ABC Monday Night Football and Fox's NFL coverage. Point of sale promotional materials, retail, print, and broadcast ads will also be used.

Sony has annual sales of about $8 billion.

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