New Barclaycard gives 'members' a say
Filed under: Credit Cards
Barclaycard's American division is to launch the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard card that will use "the power of community crowdsourcing", including social media comments, to decide how it operates.
Ringing in the changesThe Barclaycard Ring MasterCard card will have one, "low" interest rate of 8% for all balances, no balance transfer fee, no annual fees and "simple, easy-to-understand terms".
But card holders – what Barclaycard calls cardmembers – will be able to interact online with the company, looking at how many people owe how much, what proportion are paying their bills on time and so on. They can ask questions and feedback decisions on how they think the company should act.
Barclaycard describes it as: "Cardmembers will have visibility into the card's financial profit and loss statements. An online framework will provide cardmembers with the ability to influence decisions that impact how the card is managed and serviced and a unique Giveback program will enable the community to share in the profit generated from its collective decisions.
"Using social media, the community will also provide a forum where cardmembers can exchange ideas, share knowledge and provide direct feedback to Barclaycard US to help determine future features of the product."
New way of thinkingPaul Wilmore, managing director consumer markets, Barclaycard US says: "We want to change the way people think about credit cards and their credit card company by putting the power back in the hands of customers.
"Barclaycard Ring will give cardmembers a voice to help decide how the card can best work for them -- along with the unique opportunity to benefit from its collective performance.
"We want to pull back the curtain that has traditionally separated banks from their customers and give our community a say in weighing economic tradeoffs that can create a better cardholder experience."
FeedbackBarclaycard Ring cardmembers will be able to feedback on such business objectives as how to get more customers to go paperless to save money, and make suggestions for customer services improvements they'd like to see. But they'll also be able to vent their frustrations at poor service or if they feel they're being ripped off.
Wilmore went as far as to compare Barclaycard's scheme with traditional mutual organisations such as credit unions. "Some might say we're creating a virtual credit union or community bank, but we're taking that model much further by giving our members a seat at the table to help decide what card features and benefits are really best for them."
Barclaycard Ring is currently in alpha testing and will be available to consumers in the US later this spring.