The Customer Effect

What Uber taught Barclays about agile development

  • When the innovators want to innovate faster, legal and regulation departments are still tell them no
  • Barclays is taking what Uber taught it about agile development and applying it as it expands into other digital banking products
close

Email a Friend

What Uber taught Barclays about agile development
At Barclays, piloting a new product even if it's only 70 percent ready is generally better than waiting for it to get to 90 percent. “If you’re waiting for 90 or 95, you're probably guessing that you got it right, and you're probably spending a lot of money, time and precious resources hoping you got it right,” said Paul Wilmore, chief marketing officer of Barclays’ U.S. business, at Tearsheet’s Hot Topic: Mobile Payments conference Thursday morning. Barclays, better know in the U.S. as Barclaycard, is going through a rebranding as it expands its business beyond credit cards and savings accounts -- which have been the bulk of the digital-only bank since it came to the U.S. in 2004 — and prepares to launch online personal loans next year. Being a credit card issuer, for the most part, its brand has lived in the background of its card partner in the US, which include the National Football League, JetBlue and, most recently, Uber. As it builds out its bank offerings (the company recently hinted it might introduce a digital investment service down the road), it’s learning the value of agile product development. Partnerships have a great effect on the bank’s learning process, Wilmore said. For Barclays, partnering with a brand on a credit card and getting it to market generally takes about a year, he said. Uber, with whom Barclays launched a co-branded credit card last month, has helped push the Barclays team out of that mindset. “We go to pitch Uber… and they said, 'we want to launch in six months,'” Wilmore recalled of the initial stages of the partnership. “We said, ‘that’s really ambitious,’ we gave all the caveats we could. The guy that led the program stood up and said 'look, we don't have one project here at Uber that goes more than six months.'” Uber needed to get board approval to allow the Barclays project to go as long as seven months — which is “phenomenal” for a bank to hear by Wilmore’s account: “It gives you some sense of the speed of development of where they want to go. It was absolutely unbelievable.” He also said moving at such speed is something the bank hopes to apply to the rollout of its bank products. Though he’d rather move faster and pilot a product with a small group every time, he said, the reality is there’s a lot of product control at a bank. If the pilot is contained, however — if he can convince people that all he wants to do is a pilot on no more than 100 people, who could be employees — the risk is minimal and his ability to get it past “the gauntlet of regulation and legal” is easier. “I’ve got a million people telling me ‘no,’” Wilmore said. “I still need to go through all those gauntlets to actually bring it to commercialization but that’s fine because then I've learned a lot and I can actually determine if it’s worth the investment to commercialize something or not.”

0 comments on “What Uber taught Barclays about agile development”

Outlier OpinionsMakers

Sponsored, The Customer Effect

Voice of the Customer: How “active listening” drives meaningful consumer engagement

  • Successful bankers act on feedback from their customers in relation to in-person or digital experiences, as consumers hold the key to improving how financial institutions conduct day-to-day business.
  • Today’s consumers have very little patience for financial institutions that do not place them at the center of the customer journey. Ignoring feedback from critical customer journey key points can drastically impede customer acquisition and retention.
Argo | January 19, 2023
Banking, Sponsored, The Customer Effect

How one bank is successfully building deeper customer relationships through digital customer engagement

  • Despite the gains in convenience and capability that digital channels offer, bankers and their customers are missing the relationship aspect of banking. People still want to connect with people.
  • Banks are now shifting their thinking beyond simple “digital transformation” toward “digital customer engagement” and how to leverage the digital channel to support more meaningful customer interactions.
Agent IQ | January 03, 2023
The Customer Effect

The financial state and widening inclusion gap of the LGBTQ+ community

  • A major portion of LGBTQ+ people is currently underserved by traditional financial institutions.
  • The queer community urges the sector to be more inclusive in the marketing and provision of its products and services.
Sara Khairi | December 16, 2022
Sponsored, The Customer Effect

Mobile banking outlook for 2023: Why push notifications are more important than ever

  • Mobile banking usage is quickly growing in popularity as account holders are afforded 24/7 access to their finances and enhanced ease of use.
  • Push notifications enable financial providers to take advantage of this surge by driving account holders to their mobile banking apps and increasing customer engagement.
Larky | December 02, 2022
Sponsored by Visa, The Customer Effect

Holiday travel is around the corner — is it time for a customer experience refresh?

  • New research finds 41% of U.S. adults are planning to travel this holiday season.
  • Nearly three years since the onset of the pandemic, 40% of surveyed travelers reported changing their travel behaviors.
Visa | November 14, 2022
More Articles