Community Crowdsourcing: Credit Card Goes Social


Simple. Collaborative. Transparent. Not words that immediately leap to mind when talking about consumers’ relationship with their credit card companies. But that’s exactly the association that Barclaycard US (a ComBlu client) is trying to build with its introduction of ‘the first social credit card’ driven by cardmember community input.

Low interest rate (8% vs. the industry average 15%), low fees and simple terms are certainly a big part of the equation. But the social elements at its core are what could make the Barclaycard Ring a game changer in the payments space. It centers on an ability to provide cardmembers with:

  • Visibility into the card’s financial performance – a peek behind the virtual curtain at its profit and loss statements offers a higher level of transparency and goes a long way in establishing a new customer dynamic;


  • A voice in decisions that impact how the card is managed and serviced via the community framework – enabling members to weigh in on customer experience and pocketbook issues; and,


  • A share in profits generated by those collective decisions.


Here’s how the brand describes its social offering.


Effecting change in this environment is no small task. Consumer trust in banks has continued to decline. In recent studies, the Reputation Institute and Edelman Trust Barometer count financial sector firms among the least trusted by consumers. In this environment, incrementalism won’t do. Through its community construct, the firm looks to “put the power back in the hands of customers,” a fundamental shift that strives to change how consumers see and interact with their credit card company, according to Paul Wilmore, Managing Director for Consumer Markets at Barclaycard US.

Rolled out at social mecca SXSW this week, there’s been lots of buzz about the concept, considered ‘revolutionary’ in a highly regulated industry not known for its willingness to embrace social.

BCUS Tweets

In an onsite interview with genConnect, Wilmore explains the importance of giving cardmembers ‘a seat at the table’ to help build this new kind of relationship — one that synchs with regulators’ drive for greater simplicity, clarity, transparency and fairness. As Barclaycard Ring becomes available to consumers later this spring, this will be a community to watch.

Cheryl Treleaven
Cheryl Treleaven


Engaging your customers is at the heart of successful marketing programs. For more than 20 years, Cheryl has been building and executing content and thought leadership strategies designed to do just that. She is excited to be applying that well-honed skill to a help companies like Microsoft, Cisco, 3M, Intel, Capital One and Barclaycard tap into their stakeholder communities and build sophisticated content strategies.

Her experience base spans a range of industries – from technology and financial services to retail, travel, consumer products and healthcare. Cheryl has served as an integral member of her clients’ marketing teams, providing counsel on marketing and brand strategy, thought leadership, media relations, product introductions, and event management.

Prior to joining ComBlu, Cheryl spent 10 years leading corporate marketing for large, complex organizations.

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