There’s a mood of change at Barclaycard. Once seen as the problem child of the Barclays Group, it appears to be much more loved these days. A recent trading update advised of strong profit growth in the UK division and the US arm on course to make a profit in 2007.
It’s not just improvement in bad debt provisions. A more independent focus and innovation (rare in financial services) is driving the brand forwards.
I criticised Barclaycard for lack of ambition when they launched the One Pulse card. I feel absolutely certain that their recent decision to invest in mobile payment market testing, is a direct response to my post.
Of course, it is impossible for any organisation, no matter how large, to do this on their own. But all the technologies already exist and it only takes some co-operation on the technical as well as commercial side between the different parties to make things work for the customer. In this case the parties are Barclaycard (banking), Nokia (handset manufacturer), O2 (mobile network), TfL (Transport for London), Visa (card issuer), TranSys (consortium that runs the Oyster proximity payment system).
What a fabulous piece of joined up thinking! I’d love to be one of the guinea pigs. Furthermore, I am already a customer of every one of these organisations. The bad news? There are only 500 trial places available. Anyone know how I can get on the list???