Barclaycard US Will Launch the First “Social” Credit Card

Simon Zhen

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Mon Mar 5, 2012

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Credit card users often have very little say in the features and terms of their cards. Imagine a credit card that uses the power of crowdsourcing to design these features and terms — that is what Barclaycard US aims to offer this spring.

The Ring card, as Barclaycard US calls it, is touted as the “first social credit card to be designed and built through the power of community crowdsourcing and driven by the influence of an online community of cardmembers.”

A social media forum will allow cardmembers exchange ideas, offer suggestions and provide feedback to Barclaycard to shape future card features. Additionally, in the name of transparency, Barclaycard will reveal information on the card program’s profit and losses.

“People are losing trust in banks,” said Paul Wilmore, managing director of consumer markets at Barclaycard US, in prepared remarks. “It’s at an all-time low frankly. People are trusting their family and friends, heck, even strangers more than the banks and the brands that they interact with.”

Barclaycard will share Ring card figures on the number of active accounts, average purchase amount, average balance and percentage of good standing balances of the entire community.

The no-frills approach

Despite the opportunity to make ongoing changes to card features, the Barclaycard Ring MasterCard aspires to be a no-frills credit card that doesn’t rely on rewards programs to attract customers.

The Ring card will have no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, no penalty APR and a regular APR of 8%.

“A rewards junkie would probably not be attracted to this card,” said Wilmore added.

The straightforward concept and low interest rate pits the Ring card against credit cards such as Citi’s Simplicity card and Chase’s Slate card.

The Barclaycard Ring MasterCard has been in alpha testing mode since December 2011 and is slated to be available to all consumers in April 2012.

Here’s a short video the Ring card’s concept:

 

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