Round the clock Barclays service works similar to Skype and FaceTime and is first to launch in the UK
Barclays has become the first UK bank to offer banking services via video call, meaning customers can now access services and speak to employees without needing to visit a branch.
Barclays Video Banking allows customers to carry out a face to face video call with a Barclays employee from their smartphone, tablet or computer, wherever they are. The service will run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning customers should always be able to contact someone in an emergency.
The service, which will be made available for Barclays Premier customers from December 8, before being rolled out to the banks’ mortgage, business and wealth customers from early 2015.
It will then be made available to all retail customers, automatically matching customers to a specific member of staff they have spoken to previously, if available.
Face to face
Barclays Video Banking will be enabled by an app available for both iOS and Android devices, as well as via a plugin to install on PC or Mac computers.
“This is a watershed moment for the way people do their banking in the UK – where we will finally be able to interact with customers completely on their terms, rather than ours,” said Barclays Personal Banking CEO Steven Cooper.
“While many of our customers are increasingly using digital channels to complete routine transactions, for the important moments, you just can’t beat face to face conversations, yet traditional branch opening hours don’t always give customers that choice.
“In addition to the availability of our staff in our branches, over the phone or online, we are combining our dedicated staff with digital technology to bring this facility to customers wherever they are and at a time they choose – putting them in control of when and where they want to do their banking”
The launch of video banking is the latest in a series of moves by Barclays as it looks to update its branches for an increasingly technology-savvy customer base. Earlier this year, the bank announced it would be equipping branch staff with iPads and moving them out from behind desks in a bid to deal with more customers face to face.
This also comes as more and more customers are using their mobile devices for banking, with recent figures from Juniper Research estimating that more than 1.6 billion payments across the world were completed using a smartphone or tablet this year, and is set to top the two billion transactions a year mark by 2017.
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