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Another issue that was threatening Barclaycard's triumph was the perceived inflation ary nature of the credit card system, which was encouraging individuals to pay for what they did not have, leading to parliamentary scrutiny of the system. In spite of these barriers and the enormous scale of the job, the first British credit card was introduced on schedule.
The credit lines were originally fixed at £100 and £200 respectively. One year after its introduction in 1967, Barclaycard was the first card to provide an extension of credit that enabled card holders to make budgeted purchases on a regular basis. First available in England, Wales and Scotland, Barclaycard expanded in 1967/68 to Malta, Gibraltar and Ireland and soon after to South Africa, Japan and the West Indies, all places where the firm had an established foothold.
The Barclaycard Group also expanded its scope of action through mutual agreements with overseas financial institutions. Barclaycard was initially agreed with Bank of America to be acceptable to BankAmericard dealers and conversely. Barclaycard also implemented cheques of up to 30 available to clients of all British Isles banking institutions in 1969, the increase in credit lines in 1971 and the Barclaycard Masterloan launched in 1972.
The Barclaycard became a dual-function card in 1974, which functions both as a credit card and as a check warranty card. Barclaycard used advanced promotional technologies from the outset, which included color insert advertisements, client mailshots and periodicals. 1968 an award-winning feature movie, "Travelling Light", showed a lady with a card stuck in her swimsuit and showed that a Barclaycard is all you need for your groceries.
The archivist Nicholas Webb tells in this videoclip the story of the birth of the first Barclaycard. Barclaycard experienced a big change in April 1977 with the implementation of the new Visa networking icon and the descent of the signing stripe to the back of the card. In 1977 the company Barclaycard was introduced.
Initially introduced in 1968, it was retired in April 1975 for want of interest. Barclaycard, the new company, was more prosperous, and after the refinement in 1984, it has remained so until today. In the 80s, much more TV advertising was also used, starting with a Dudley Moore advertising and followed by another leading actor, Alan Whicker, who advertised Barclaycard as a travel card.
Barclaycard in June 1990 named a new ad house, BMP DDB Needham, which was in charge of introducing fake espionage ads with Rowan Atkinson, who won several TV Ads. In June 1996, Barclaycard celebrates its 30-year existence with the introduction of a new card face with a "rotating" card emblem.
Continued dedication to better customer service has led to innovation such as the "smart card" with a anti-counterfeiting chip, a 24-hour store and Netlink. Barclaycard Netlink was established in 1995 and was the first UK web site to enable consumers to make their electricity bill payments over the intranet.
In 1997, enhancements enabled clients to review their Barclaycard bills and credit limits and pay their bills on-line using a credit card. Barclaycard International was also founded in the 90s, leading to a rapid growth in several markets, among them Germany (1991), France (1998), Greece and Spain (1999), Botswana (2001), Italy (2002), Portugal and Egypt (2004).
Today, Barclaycard is represented in over 20 different states. In 2002, Barclaycard Direct launched mortgage, security and saving and Nectar, a retention program that allows clients to earn points through specific transactions and service offerings. Barclaycard was renamed in 2004, with Jennifer Aniston as the actor and Jennifer Saunders as the actor in the TV commercials.
Additional acqusitions took place in 2010 with Citibank's credit card operations in Italy, followed by private clients of Egg UK and the small businesses of MBNA Europe in 2011. Barclaycard Breathe, the UK's first green credit card, was introduced in 2007, followed by Barclaycard OnePulse, the UK's first non-contact card in 2008.
Non-contact card issuance, which allows card holders to make under £20 transactions by just pointing their card over the receiver, has been widely welcomed for the ease and pace with which it enables card holders to shop, and the Barclaycard Anywhere, introduced in 2014, enables small and medium-sized companies to make card issuances free of the need for conventional points of purchase using their cell phones.
At Barclaycard, we remain at the cutting edge of bank innovations.