Social media has crossed a new frontier. Sign up for the
Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
and you are encouraged to join an online community on the Web site,
where you may influence the card's operations and evolution. Even
if you're not a regular on Facebook or Twitter, you might be
tempted by the card's appealing 8% interest rate.
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Paul Wilmore, managing director of consumer markets for
Barclaycard US, hopes that the community will serve as a virtual
credit union where members engage with one another, share stories
and ask for advice. Plus, he compares the company's dialogue with
its customers to a shareholders meeting. Cardholders may propose
changes to the credit card's terms (there is an online moderator).
One recent post suggested that cardholders who do not call customer
service should receive a credit. Wilmore anticipates Barclaycard
will pose three or four of its own questions to the community once
or twice a year. For example, participants might be asked whether
the late fee should be dropped from $25 to $10 and the interest
rate raised to 8.25%.
Barclaycard plans to show the card's profits and losses online
and to introduce a Giveback program in which cardholders receive a
share of the profits. The community will then decide whether the
profits should be returned to individuals or donated to
To qualify for a Ring card, Barclaycard US is looking at
applicants' payment record with other lenders, FICO credit scores
and any previous experience that Barclays has had with them.
Wilmore expects the average credit limit to be several thousand