OnePulse: So Far, not so Good

Barclaycard Onepulse Ad on the London TubeUpdate on the Barclaycard OnePulse. Apparently, getting an application out to me in the mail is too difficult for these guys because I haven’t received it yet. I also don’t quite understand why I have to re-apply for this card. Instead, shouldn’t I, as a valued Barclaycard customer living in London, have been offered the opportunity to upgrade/whatever to the OnePulse card? Big campaign behind this OnePulse thing all over the Tube (see inset: “Welcome to the Future.”) I don’t feel very welcome in your future, Barclaycard. In fact, I’m on the verge of canceling my existing card and writing the whole thing off.

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6 Comments on “OnePulse: So Far, not so Good

  1. That is pretty shocking on their part…

    It’s a positive step though – done right this kind of functionality on a card beats the hell out of doing the same on a mobile phone for a few reasons:

    1) Rollout rates aren’t subject to an upgrade cycle measured in years that have to factor in battery usage, price sensitivity, different aesthetic requirements and pitched battles between hordes of operators and handset manufacturers

    2) No 60% cut to the Operator which might mean the people who actually provide value in the chain can turn a profit… (that’s cynical of course, but sadly you can’t run away from the example of DoCoMo’s 10% thriving content ecosystem vs. the mess everywhere else)

    3) I have a gut feeling that i’m happier to slide my wallet over the Oyster reader than my phone, because phones are more stealable to the guys hanging around watching people leave the Tube. They could scan for an iPhone or Nokia N95 and ignore the people with the PAYG bricks, and see where you carry them… but then they could scan for the expensive looking wallets too. On average is the cash in people’s wallet less than the value of phones facotring in those that are insured?

  2. I applied online on 9 October in response to an email. Nothing except a letter (not acknowledgement – just a further promo) since.

    Don’t think they want real cusotmers…

  3. DON’T APPLY!!

    I, unfortunately, had my application accepted and got my card a few months back. But I have since found a fault in the service.

    If you have your visa card blocked (which happens relatively fequently as a result of Barclaycard protecting itself from online fraud) and oyster request an auto-top-up while the card is blocked, they will block the oyster part of the card FOR GOOD. This means that if you ever want to use the card again as an Oyster, you need to send off for a whole new card.

    Given my card is blocked every couple of months this means I would have to get a new card every couple of months.

    Needless to say I am now using a normal Oyster card and my Onepulse is just a visa card.

  4. Well — as a quick update, after a few back-and-forths with Barclaycard, I did eventually successfully receive my “Onepulse” card and I have been using it for a few months without incident. I can say that at this point the “cashless” feature is pretty much useless because no merchant that I use regularly accepts it. So – effectively what I have now is an Oyster card that also happens to be a Visa card.

    I haven’t had my card blocked yet so can’t verify that issue, Laurene. However, it sounds unlikely to me that it would work that way since the Oyster element in the card is (I believe) completely separate from the Visa and the Visa cashless — it’s a different smart chip. So I don’t see how Barclay could switch it off. Can anyone confirm that?

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