Barclays Bank PLC on July 8 launched an updated version of an account offering designed to give university students more control over their finances by enabling them to select their own overdraft limits and receive alerts when funds are low.
Students who open a no-fee Student Additions account with the United Kingdom-based institution may apply for an interest-free overdraft of up to 2,000 British pounds (US$3,030 or 2,393 euros). Overdrafts are available to customers 18 or older and are repayable on demand.
The offer is good for any student regardless of their year of study and continues for as long as they are in school. Once graduated, Barclays will offer students an overdraft limit of 1,000 pounds at an 8.9% annual interest rate rate.
Participating students receive a Visa-branded debit card that also supports contactless payments for purchases up to 15 pounds. Students also may use the EMV debit cards to initiate chip-and-PIN purchases and cash withdrawals.
Students also may opt to receive free text messages notifying them of pending debits and credits and when they are about to overdraw their accounts.
Discounted mobile-phone, broadband and laptop services are available through Dec. 31 from Phones 4u. The UK-based independent phone retailer is offering savings of up to 90 pounds off laptops and up to 120 pounds off on select mobile phones. Students must visit the Phones 4u website and enter in a six-digit sort code found on their debit card to view the offers available.
In past years, Barclays offered an incentive of mobile broadband through France-based mobile-network operator Orange. Orange offered students 25% off the monthly cost of mobile broadband and a free USB modem, a spokesperson from Barclays tells PaymentsSource. The spokesperson did not comment whether Barclays still is working with Orange.
Barclays improved the mobile incentives this year based on research showing students want more control and flexibility over their finances, text message alerts and dedicated customer service, the spokesperson says. Because of the need to have more flexibility when managing finances, “we decided to give them more incentives such as phones, broadband and laptop deals,” the spokesperson notes.
Barclays also offers graduate services that include an interest-free overdraft up to 3,000 pounds and a Higher Education Account with an interest-free overdraft up to 1,500 pounds.