A “Digital by Default” strategy drives market-leading innovation and digital customer engagement.
Barclaycard is a leading global cards and payments provider serving more than 28 million customers and 89,000 merchants. It is a subsidiary of Barclays PLC, one of the world’s largest and most respected financial services companies.

A “Digital by Default” strategy drives market-leading innovation and digital customer engagement, enabling Barclaycard to maintain leadership in the UK and global payments market.

Digital is no longer a differentiator, but a necessity in the marketplace
While having the first credit card introduced in the United Kingdom and being renowned for innovation— including an award-winning loyalty program and contact-less payments— Barclaycard’s ability to grow and maintain its competitiveness is dependent upon its capacity to leverage and respond to the rapidly changing digital behaviors of its customers and competitive landscape.

As customers shift from the open internet to navigating within closed networks—e.g., within social media, music, and gaming forums—traditional online acquisition approaches, transactional websites, and digital presence are increasingly outdated. While Barclaycard focused heavily in traditional digital assets and operational channels, its customers were moving from fixed internet to mobile and mobility experiences. In fact, its customers’ digital sophistication was rapidly outpacing that of consumer businesses, resulting in a growing gap in the institution’s ability to address and exceed customers’ needs and expectations.

This consumer transition was compounded by heavy digital investment across competitors and increased competition from new entrants, including new financial services companies and pure digital players (PayPal, Google, and Amazon).

Addressing these challenges required Barclaycard to redefine its approach for digital channels with a new vision of becoming “Digital by Default.”

Supported by digital and customer experience expertise 
Barclaycard asked BearingPoint and West Monroe Partners to build upon its prior experience defining digital strategies for the company’s other global business units. Under the leadership of its Digital Engagement team, Barclaycard established a virtual project team that included key stakeholders from the brand, sales and marketing, operations, finance, and IT functions. BearingPoint and West Monroe Partners provided digital and customer experience experts to assist the project team. The joint project team developed a shared digital strategy, set up a digital governance and delivery program, and then delivered the first steps in Barclaycard’s “digital switchover” to truly become “Digital by Default.”

Phase 1: Vision and best practices
During this phase, West Monroe Partners and BearingPoint helped Barclaycard:
  • Assess the current state of digital capabilities and practices
  • Conduct industry interviews and a global survey of digital leaders
  • Define a new digital vision and key strategic principles
  • Engage key stakeholders to secure long-term buy in
  • Identify quick wins and their impact on delivery plans

Phase 2: Growth strategy and digital engagement experiences
During this phase, the joint project team’s top priorities were to:
  • Develop strategic imperatives for Digital to address business and customer needs
  • Design game-changing digital engagement experiences
  • Conduct customer and organizational impact analyses
  • Review technology, including servicing websites, content management, and serving and social media
  • Develop a business case with OpEx reduction and revenue drivers
  • Establish a prioritized, multi-year road map

Phase 3: Program management and content management execution
During the final phase, the team’s top priorities were to:
  • Establish a cross-functional Digital governance forum
  • Develop a short- and medium-term investment road map
  • Set up and manage a cross-functional content management function within the Digital Engagement team
  • Oversee the offshore development partner for content management
  • Execute identified content management requirements

Reaping the benefits
With the support of West Monroe Partners and BearingPoint, Barclaycard has been able to align dozens of digital initiatives across the bank. It already is starting to reap the benefits of the initiative.

Executive and company-wide buy in:
  • Common and clear understanding of the role, potential, and importance of digital strategies
  • Organization-wide buy in of the “Digital by Default” vision and strategy—from the executive committee to business delivery teams

Strategic digital investment:
  • Coordinated effort and spending, aligned across the business
  • Clear direction on digital initiatives

Reduced operating expenses:
  • Significant reduction in time-to-market for digital content/marketing campaigns—from weeks to hours and minutes
  • Estimated reduction in client acquisition cost by up to ₤10 million relying on a diversified channel mix and the reduction of both aggregators and direct mail
  • Estimated reduction in both paper-based and human-based telephony communications costs by ₤20 million

Growth opportunities and market relevance:
  • A focus on digital channels, digital innovations, and identified partnerships with closed networks to engage, acquire, and service customers where they are
  • Early advantage in leveraging digital trends and behaviors to capture new customer segments and demographics
  • A strategy that maintains Barclaycard’s digital innovation in the payments marketplace
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