Tapping into a rewarding partnership
A partnership with Bink, the Payment Linked Loyalty business, means seven million Barclays customers can link card purchases to their reward schemes, without having to carry a wallet full of physical loyalty cards. We find out how the partnership came about – and why it’s part of Barclays’ strategy as “an incumbent with a challenger mindset”.
More than seven million Barclays customers are waving goodbye to plastic loyalty cards as the bank’s partnership with fintech Bink allows users of Barclays’ mobile banking app to digitally store loyalty cards and to automatically earn rewards and other benefits simply by paying with their linked Barclays payment card.
The partnership is part of Barclays’ growth strategy to ‘partner for success’ with innovative fintechs who can complement the bank’s existing suite of services. While Barclays brings scale, experience, customer trust and regulatory security – the fintechs contribute ideas and flexibility that can benefit Barclays’ customers and clients.
“We have now become the partner of choice for all fintechs,” says Ashok Vaswani, Barclays’ Global Head of Consumer and Payments, citing deals with Bink, PayPal and MarketInvoice, “and we will accelerate such partnerships. The customers are keen, and we will deliver for the customer.”
“We’re delighted with the partnership on two levels,” says Bink’s CEO and Director Mike Jordan, for whom the relationship offers a huge opportunity for growth. “Firstly we see Barclays as a bank that wants to add value for people with their shopping and banking. Secondly, we’re a UK-based fintech, and partnering with a substantial brand like Barclays is great for us. We know Barclays is at the forefront of bringing innovation to customers and sees partnering with fintechs as a core part of that strategy.”
“A practical solution to an everyday problem”
Bink’s technology allows customers to securely link their payment card to their loyalty memberships. Simply by shopping with their linked payment card they are identified and automatically rewarded, meaning customers no longer need to carry their loyalty cards, nor do they need to worry about missing out on rewards ever again. Keen to test the technology, Barclays began by integrating Bink’s services into its Launchpad app – the test version of the full Barclays app.
Launchpad, in which Barclays opens up its application interface to third parties, “allows companies to test their ideas on a working version of our app with real customers. If the test is successful, it’s a simple process to convert it to our main app”, explains Vaswani.
It was the beginning of a successful partnership, and Barclays is rolling out the service onto its full app, and has also taken a minority stake in the firm – confirming its commitment by leading a £10m funding round into the UK-based company.
“Bink has created a practical and innovative solution to an everyday problem and we’re excited to support them in the next stage of their growth,” said Ruchir Rodrigues, Global Head, Digital and Platforms, delivering news of the investment.
With Rise, Eagle Labs and Barclays UK Ventures, Barclays has created a range of platforms in which collaboration and partnership can be fostered. “We live in a very exciting time for our industry where the deployment of new technology is making new business models and partnerships possible for the first time”, says Vaswani, who sees Barclays as “an incumbent with a challenger mindset.”
Vaswani sees the changes in the payments landscape as customer-led: “There’s no doubt that technology is disrupting financial services, but in a way that’s a simplification: it’s the consumers that are doing the disrupting.” Partnerships with payments companies like Bink can lead to Barclays delivering the most complete payments services for customers in the new world of mobile banking.
Behind the Bink collaboration is a further partnership between Barclays Execution Services (BX) and the Barclays 360 team. Coordinating the delivery of the app between Bink and Barclays, a dedicated technology team ensures data security and adherence to governance demands.
Ramki Sankaranarayan, MD Digital Channels and Adoption, described the Bink partnership as “another great example of how partnering with our technology colleagues and external fintech partners allows us to really deliver exciting new enhancements for our customers while delivering a key differentiator for the bank. It’s another step in our ambition to become the go-to money management service in the UK.”