Barclaycard Ring is now 2 years old and Jen and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on our experience so far, and say thank you to our community members.
When we were building Barclaycard Ring I repeatedly offered my vision that I wanted this to be a living breathing credit card. A live piece of plastic? How’s that work you say? It does sound crazy. So let me tease that out a bit. First and foremost, there were going to be real people in the community and I wanted it to be very human in here. That’s very different from how typical credit cards work where the plastic, the statement and interacting with customer service representatives are the tangible elements of the experience. I thought the Barclaycard Ring community would be able to experience a broader array of emotions. It would be a place where people would have fun (see the Bitcoin thread, at least that is fun for me), vent their frustrations publicly, get questions answered, or help others navigate the sometimes confusing waters of credit fitness. The whole gamut of emotions would be on display within the community. But that’s just the start.
Barclaycard Ring can live and breathe through its own evolution as a product. Cardmembers get to vote on how the credit card evolves; so this product will never stay still. It will constantly be in a state of motion, changing as the dynamics of credit cards change and as our cardmembers change. We’ve adjusted the late fee, decided to adjust the foreign transaction fee and the cash advance fee and soon we’ll be working on the new plastic design together. The product changes based on what the community decides.
Barclaycard Ring would also live and breathe because it cares. So far Barclaycard Ring and its cardmembers have donated over $16,000 to 3 charities that were selected by the community. The Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, The Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida and most recently, Best Friend’s Animal Society.
We wanted Barclaycard Ring’s transparency to be eye opening for cardmembers. They can see first-hand how we make money on this product. And truth be told, we’ve seen wide swings in profitability from month to month. That’s brought some highs and lows to be sure. But these results reveal the reality of building a new business with new ideas. We have and will continue to shed light on how we operate Barclaycard Ring. If you are ever curious about how something works, please let us know and we can either have the discussion in a forum or write up a blog post for a wider audience to read.
For me personally, I have enjoyed the highs and lows and virtually meeting and interacting with you. Not many people outside of Jen and I are experiencing anything quite like this in banking. So I feel fortunate and I appreciate all that you have brought to the community. I’m looking forward to our 3rd year where we have a lot of great ideas and discussions in store, and am excited to see what you have in mind for the next evolution of Barclaycard Ring.
And now I’ll pass the baton to Jen.
Hard to believe two years has passed since we launched Barclaycard Ring back in April of 2012. When I first joined Barclaycard to manage a community focused on a credit card, I was definitely a ‘newbie’ to the finance industry. My background was in advertising, marketing and social media. I knew very little about profit and loss statements or credit card lingo. So, in a sense, I feel as if we’ve ‘grown together.’
We’ve come a long way in the past two years! We’ve redesigned the home page of the community site, expanded our email capabilities to feature greater content, launched a new financial health series called “The Financial Planter.” And, I’m most proud that our community platform won Lithium’s “Best Social Marketing” award in 2013 for creating a cohesive, branded messaging across all internal and external platforms.
I love to spend my time managing the daily community activity. (I wish I had more time in each day to do more!) I definitely feel I’ve been able to develop relationships with the cardmembers who interact in the community. I enjoy helping each and every one of you with your questions, issues and suggestions. This community has given Barclaycard a unique perspective because of the direct and unfiltered feedback you provide. I’m impressed with how much value, attention and impact your contributions have on the way we do business. We try to focus as much effort as we can on the items that you bring to our attention. And, I feel like I should also thank my colleagues, the people behind the scenes, that have played an important role in the evolution of Barclaycard Ring.
In my world, “content is king.” And, I enjoy leading the efforts to map out what we publish in the community, working with our external bloggers and internal folks, responding to Ideas and answering questions. Every week you can find me posting the blog on Monday and on Tuesdays I start crafting the email for Fridays. (I’m looking forward to everyone’s feedback on changing the cadence of the email to monthly or bi-weekly.)
As Jared mentioned, this has been a terrific experience. Pushing the envelope to truly be transparent with our cardmembers, coordinating the Giveback program and our charity voting program, answering tough questions about credit lines and credit scores in a public forum, and resolving complaints and issues for cardmembers are just a few of the unique elements I enjoy as Community Manager. I’m so pleased to have ‘met’ all of you and hope that my involvement has helped in some way with how you interact with Barclaycard. I’m looking forward to starting our 3rd year and pushing the envelope even farther!