plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

December 27, 2007

barclaycard one pulse – is this a good idea?

Filed under: Uncategorized — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

barclaycard onepulseSo there’s a new card from Barclaycard – called one pulse. It’s a hybrid of a credit card, an Oyster card (for public transport in London) and also you can use it for small cash purchases by touching it against a special card reader in participating shops.

This third feature means that it’s a card that really is quicker than cash. You can spend up to £10 in a small transaction, and this will be added to your credit card bill in the usual way. In the UK all standard card transactions require the use of chip and pin, this is a way to avoid that *hassle* and pay for small items cheaply.

I don’t live in London so it hasn’t been marketed to me, as there are (as far as I know) no shops accepting it up here as anything other than a credit card – and of course I don’t use an Oyster card every day. My friend has one, and he says that he hasn’t really used it for the cashless feature, but that it’s quite convenient to only carry round one card for both travel and purchases.

I’m not sure. I know there is a hope that people will spend more money if they have this card than they would if they bought with cash – basically the man from Barclaycard said almost exactly that on the BBC Radio 4 moneybox programme on Saturday. It’s also true that small change is expensive to handle – especially if you are talking about vending machines and the like. I can see why people selling us stuff would want to switch to this new cashless system. But, what’s in it for us?

Do any of you use the new onepulse? Is it really convenient, or do you just spend more money? Whether you’ve got one or not, tell me what you think of the idea?

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