Barclays staff to emerge from behind the counter and onto bank floor, equipped with Apple iPads
The business sales team at Apple could be about to land a large bonus with the news that Barclays intends to equip more than 6,500 of its staff with the iPad tablet device.
The British bank plans to place more staff on the bank floor, dealing with customers face-to-face, rather than from behind the bank counter.
Barclays said its new Community Banker role will see 6,500 branch staff employed in the traditional cashier role, moved from behind the bank counter, to dealing with customer needs more personally.
Barclays said the move, starting from 1 October, reflects a radical shift in banking of late, with customers increasingly choosing to conduct basic transactions through a digital platform. They only tend to come into the branch for “more in-depth conversations with staff.”
With the move, the bank hopes to give staff more time to support customers “from branches through to the wider community.”
The bank said it will equip its 6,500 Community Banker staff with Apple iPads to help them deal with customer inquiries, and will also invest in its 1,500 branches in the UK, to make them more counter-less.
“Every ‘B1 Cashier’ will move up a grade to ‘B2 Community Banker’, more accurately reflecting their role with customers,” said the bank.
“We know that really helping customers requires a lot of valuable people skills and this change is about investing in our colleagues and recognising their talents,” said Steven Cooper, CEO, Barclays Personal Banking.
Barclays told TechweekEurope as far back as 2012, that it intended to equip a number of its branch staff iPads in an effort to improve customer experience and reduce waiting times. The adoption of the Apple-manufactured tablet by such a major financial institution is a huge vote of confidence in the iOS platform, and reflecting the banking industry’s readiness to adopt more mobile-based technologies.
Other banks, including Virgin Money and RBS, are also said to be investing in less traditional banking approaches.
Tablets and wearable tech are increasingly being adopted by large businesses. British Airways for example, as far back as 2011, equipped its cabin crew with the Apple iPad in order to replace paper and improve customer service.
Some airlines have already issued iPads to airline pilots to replace paper manuals and documents, which ordinarily weigh 25 to 35 pounds.
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