Uber partners with Barclays on app-centric Visa card

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Brief:

  • Uber, the ride-hailing service available in more than 600 cities worldwide, and global bank Barclays introduced the Uber Visa card aimed at millennials who are predominant users of ride-sharing, per a statement.
  • Beginning Nov. 2, consumers can apply for the card in the Uber app or online and be approved in minutes, per the release. Once approved, the credit card can be added to a customer’s Uber wallets to pay for rides and earn rewards. Cardmembers will also receive a physical card.
  • The no-fee Uber Visa Card offers point rewards, including 2% back on online purchases such as Uber, shopping, video and music streaming services. Rewards also include 4% back on dining, including restaurants, bars and deliveries by UberEats, and 3% back on travel. Each percent back is equal to one point, which is worth one cent when used for reward options: Uber credits, cash back or gift cards.

Insight:

It’s interesting that Uber decided to partner with Visa for a bigger push into payments and rewards considering millennials have a reputation for avoiding credit cards in favor of newer digital-first solutions. On the other hand, Uber has faced backlash in the past for how it treats customers’ private data and partnering with a well-known financial companies like Barclays and Visa could be a signal that it is taking data protection seriously. 

Uber needs to rebuild trust and confidence with consumers not only because of its track record on privacy but also as a result of months of well-publicized internal turmoil at the company and high-profile gaffes. User growth appears unaffected in a major way so far but Uber is also facing stiffer competition than ever from Lyft and a number of suits by ad tech firms. 

While Uber and Barclays’ credit card is aimed at millennials who are likely to use ride-sharing, several surveys have shown that the generation either misunderstands credit cards or avoids them altogether. Less than a third of millennials said they have a credit card, compared with more than half of people age 30-49 and about 70% of people over 65, a Bankrate survey in 2016 showed.

Millennials may have had a bad experience with debt, either from crushing student loans or the financial distress faced by their families during the Great Recession in 2008-09, when unemployment jumped to a 26-year high of 10%.

Sixty percent of 18- to 36-year-olds have reeled in their spending in order to save more money, according to a Bankrate.com study this week. Millennials said they were cutting spending also because of worries about the economy, job security as well as debt, the survey found.



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