Investor Spotlight: Barclaycard US: combining business with citizenship to make the world a better place

Barclaycard US, a top-10 U.S. general purpose credit card issuer based in Wilmington, Del., has launched an innovative new program to help students save money to get to and through college. The program brings together the company’s passion and commitment for community involvement with the opportunity to empower the next generation with skills and tools to achieve economic independence, security and success.

Barclaycard US has a long and proud tradition of supporting the communities in which it operates. Each year, Barclaycard US strives to meet an ambitious community service goal that challenges colleagues to actively support non-profits of their choice. It’s a key part of the company’s culture.

In 2013, more than 98 percent of colleagues participated in volunteering or fundraising activities.   Close to 1,500 colleagues volunteered more than 44,200 hours – an average of nearly 31 hours per colleague – and donated more than $1 million to charities.

At Barclaycard US, business skills are used to make the world a better place by helping people achieve their ambitions in the right way.  Community investment is focused on financial education, business skills and employability skills.

To help young people fulfill their potential, Barclaycard US teamed with public and private partners to create Dream Accounts — a unique savings product and innovative mobile application that aims to improve college graduation rates among low-income students.

Studies have shown that only eight percent of low-income students will obtain a college degree. A significant barrier is a lack of basic knowledge about how to afford and apply to college. However, these students are four times more likely to graduate college if they have a savings account in their name with as little as $500.

Dream Accounts supports Barclays’ business strategy to grow US consumer deposits and allows the business to diversify its funding sources.  For students, it provides a simple and rewarding product that supports their goal of college education with unique features designed to encourage them to save and grow.

The Dream Accounts savings product allows kids to be primary account holders and reward them for good savings behavior. It’s the only product of its kind in the US and currently has 11,000 accounts.

The mobile app will use social media to connect college students with high school students to share tips on getting mentally and financially prepared for college. Content on the app includes videos and blogs from college student mentors, a financial dashboard to track a student’s savings towards college, and milestones for getting into college.

One hundred-fifty students piloted a prototype of the app in December 2013. Their usage and feedback was used to refine the next phase of development.  A full version of the app is planned for launch in the fall of 2014 with 1,000 students in Delaware schools.

The success of Dream Accounts has not gone unnoticed.  The product is a finalist for the Barclays Citizenship Awards 2014 in the “Contributing to Growth” category.  The Citizenship Awards is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate those around the world who go above and beyond to make Citizenship part of everything Barclays does.

Barclaycard US colleagues are passionate about leaving things better than they found them.  Stewardship is one of the company’s core values and Dream Accounts is an illustration of how Barclaycard US helps the people in the communities where they live and work.

About Barclaycard US

Barclaycard US is the U.S. credit card arm of Barclays, a global leader in financial services. It creates customized, co-branded credit card programs with some of the country’s most successful travel, entertainment, retail and financial institutions.  Barclaycard US also offers payment card products under the Barclaycard brand and online savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit (CDs) for consumers. Barclaycard US is committed to responsible corporate citizenship. The company employs 1,600 associates at locations in Wilmington, Delaware; Newark, Delaware; Henderson, Nevada; and Wilton, Maine.

For more information please visit www.barclaycardus.com.