Barclaycard UK and Affiliate Window have launched an online store where Barclaycard Freedom cardholders may earn cash-back rewards when shopping at participating merchants, the United Kingdom-based issuer announced Dec. 8.

Affiliate Window, a UK-based division of Digital Window Ltd., is supporting the online store through its marketing platform and is providing the technology to help merchants track performance.

Barclaycard developed the online store as an additional option for Barclaycard Freedom cardholders to earn rewards. Cardholders “earn rewards in pounds, not points, so it is easy for consumers to understand the value they receive,” a Barclaycard spokesperson tells PaymentsSource.

Moreover, merchants may benefit from the visibility their brand receives among the Barclaycard customer base, she adds.

Cardholders may access the store through Barclaycard’s online-banking website called by signing up and creating a username and identification number, the spokesperson says. The store has 80 online retailers, including Currys electronics, Comet Group PLC and HMV music stores, she adds.

Merchants pay an undisclosed fee to participate in the online store.

As a special promotion for the online store’s launch, Barclaycard will provide the first 40,000 cardholders 5% cash back for each British pound they spend there through Jan. 5. After that, they will earn 1% per pound spent, the spokesperson says.

Cardholders may earn the cash-back rewards primarily only through the online store, though such benefits also are available when shopping at some physical merchant locations as well, the spokesperson explains.

The concept of an online store is not new, but it certainly appeals to consumers because “there are a number of merchants under one roof,” says Red Gillen, a senior analyst with Boston-based Celent LLC.

The challenge Barclaycard may have, however, is that supporting the program may not be enough to change consumers’ purchasing behavior, Gillen says. Once the 5% cash-back promotion is over, consumers may not see much value in a 1% reward, he adds.

Additionally, given that the 5% offer is only during the holiday shopping period, it may teach cardholders to only use their cards only during the holiday instead of throughout the year, Gillen contends. 

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