Barclays is launching a community banking initiative that will allow staff equipped with iPad tablets to offer a broad range of branch services to customers throughout the UK.
Under the scheme, which will be rolled out nationally this summer, Barclays employees will be given secure access to services that are typically only available at branches through Wi-Fi or 3G connections. This includes money transfers, changes to personal details and account openings.
The aim is to help customers in rural communities that are under-served by bricks and mortar branches.
In 2013, Barclays announced 1,700 frontline staff job cuts, as many banks continue to shut branches and rely more heavliy on digital channels. It has since announced plans to close about 400 branches across the UK which will be replaced by smaller outlets inside Asda supermarkets.
The project is currently being is currently being trialled with 50 Barclays Community Bankers and specialist, including Mortgage, Premier and Business advisors across Sunderland, Norfolk and London. It will be rolled out nationally by the middle of 2015.
“The days of banking services only being available by visiting your local branch are a thing of the past,” said Steven Cooper, CEO for Personal Banking at Barclays.
“Community Bankers on the move are now able to support a much wider geographical area and are free to drop in to local communities when and where they are needed most.”
“Alongside the availability of our colleagues in traditional branches, through video, mobile, telephone, and social media, this new pioneering technology will allow colleagues to access branch services securely in minutes anywhere and at any time - whether it’s in a local village hall, library or community centre, we can now take the branch to the customer.”
The service builds on Barclay’s plans to equip 6,500 in-branch staff with iPads, as it seeks to replace the traditional cashier role.