Inside Barclaycard’s Co-Branding Strategy

EXCLUSIVE – What’s a bank to do when it’s core market is somewhere else and it’s trying to establish itself as a major player in a market already dominated by a set of major banks?

The answer, at least to Barclaycard, is co-branding.

Based in the U.K., Barclays is one of the major banks in Europe. In the U.S., however, it’s relatively new and relatively small.

Barclaycard, Barclay’s U.S. bank, launched its branded consumer business in the U.S. back in 2011. The bank declined to reveal the number of users.

Nevertheless, the bank has goals to expand and accumulate customers in the North America markets and for that it has adapted the strategy of partnering with tech and fintech companies, according to its CMO Paul Wilmore.

In fact, Wilmore told Bank Innovation that a “majority of our business comes from co-branding.”

Barclay’s most recent partnership was with car-service app Uber. The card launched in November 2017. The card, powered by Visa, was built “using APIs,” Wilmore said.

While Wilmore could not reveal the number of users of the Uber-Barclaycard had accumulated over the past three months, he said the bank was “very happy,” with the number and has received “a lot of positive feedback,” on the card. He added that the success of the card is particularly encouraging since it was the first digital card the bank created purely on a mobile app. More on the Uber card here. 

So does this mean more partnerships in the mobile banking space? Wilmore admitted that mobile banking is, indeed, an area of interest.

“We’ve are trying to develop a digital journey,” Wilmore said. “The question is how we create a mobile process. As an industry, we’ve been slow on capitalize on that phenomenon.”

As for future partnerships on this subject, Wilmore could not reveal any projects in the pipeline but reminded that “we have a very favorable view towards fintechs.”

Some of its other notable co-branding projects include its partnership with airline company American Airlines, Visa, book retailer – Barnes & Nobles and NFL, as well as JetBlue, which Barclaycard took over from American Express after Amex decided to end the ten-year partnership in 2015.

To learn more about digital banking and fintech partnerships, join us on March 5-6, 2018 at the Parc 55 in San Francisco for Bank Innovation 2018. Click here to register.

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