Barclaycard Sonic Device – Creating a Branded Payment Sound

Client: Barclaycard
Agencies: CORD Worldwide (Strategy and Creative Direction), Massive Music (Composition)



As the world speeds up, there is a growing need for fast, convenient and flexible ways to pay for things. This is increasingly leading to new form factors like mobile phones being used for payments alongside the growing acceptance of online payments.

With a history of being at the forefront of innovation Barclaycard are well placed to help customers experience new simple, secure and innovative ways to make, take and manage payments. Our pioneering spirit is currently focussed on developing contactless mobile payment technology for today and cutting edge payment methods for the future. Contactless payments means a customer can simply tap and go. In this fast paced world a payment sound can create confidence and reassurance so our customers know their payment has gone through successfully.

The Barclaycard payment sound is a sound that is simple to remember and reassuring. It is also a sound that has stature and status – demonstrating our presence and leadership in payments. It stands out in our noisy world but not because it shouts the loudest but because it is distinctly different from the bings, bongs and boings of everyday life.

Over time our customers will rely on the sound to help them get on and make the most of their day without the hassle of queues and complexity. They will hear it in the places they love to visit; their favourite coffee shop, their best bar, their most romantic restaurant. They will hear it whenever they make a payment, on their phone, laptop or in store. It is a sound they will carry with them – it is their payment sound.

Additional information

Research data and brand image

5 sonic options were put into qualitative research in the UK, 6 x 45 minute triads, 4 x consumer triads, 2 x SME triads. In the US (New York), 6 x 45 minute consumer triads. We also carried out online quantitative research with 1000 participants.
For both research method we tested the 5 sonics for:
1. Innate appeal
2. Fit to payment scenarios – demonstrating an online, mobile and in store payment
3. Fit to Barclaycard’s brand – analysing participants responses against out brand truths to understand which sonic most effectively conveyed our brand.

In summary

100% respondents believing we should introduce the sonic and that it would be a reassuring sound for them at the payment moment.
81% of participants instinctively liked the sonic
68% felt it was a relevant sound for payment
76% felt it was an appropriate sound for payment

Verbatim comments included: “a notification” “to the point” “soft and light” “simple and catchy” “young, playful & contemporary” and performed significantly well against brand image filters ‘smart’ ‘clear’ clean’ ‘acceptance’ ‘reassuring’ and ‘straight forward’.

Monitoring awareness

From September awareness of the sonic is being tracked as part of our brand tracker.


To create a multi-sensorial experience we have animated the logo to work in harmony with the sonic. The guidelines demonstrate the full range of assets (sonic, animation used separately or together) including how where and when to use the asset.

Time period of realization

January 2010 – July 2011



Synched animated logo