I have just received a letter from Barclaycard telling me that they are not just withdrawing their innovative OnePulse card but are also simplifying their range of credit cards.
While the withdrawal of a very useful (despite the lack of joined up thinking) and truly multi-application card is annoying, the simplification is more disturbing.
We have spent the last few years discussing the merits of customer centricity, using big data for a better knowledge of customer behaviour and preferences, and the panacea of “the segment of one”. This has been borne out by numerous case studies which have
shown that when a cardholder has a “relationship” with his card then usage increases.
One of the main advantage of modern card platforms is the ability to manage a highly segmented and differentiated portfolios of card products, and provide a range of compelling propositions that can be targeted at discrete segments of the market, which can
be defined by such factors as demographics, behaviour, risk, affinity, profitability, etc.
At a time when I see many innovate issuers looking to exploit such capabilities to launch new product, attract new customers and drive card transactions, I wonder why Barclaycard have decided to take the opposite approach.