Barclays has teamed up with BT to become the first major UK high street bank to introduce free Wi-Fi for customers in its 1500 branches.
The bank says the move will enable customers to use any wireless-enabled PC, tablet or phone to connect to the Internet, download its mobile apps, including Pingit, and access its site.
BT, which is providing and managing the technology as a white label service, has already rolled out Wi-Fi to more than half of Barclay's UK branches, with the rest slated to be added by the end of March.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO, retail and business banking, Barclays, says that a major reason for the move is to encourage take up of its mobile apps.
"We are always keen to show our customers how easy our mobile apps are to use, so we are now rolling out free Wi-Fi across our Barclays branches, and our front line staff say this will help them give product demos using our customers own mobiles and tablets. We hope by providing this free service our customers will be able to instantly download and use all our mobile apps, and we are on hand to show them how," says Vaswani.
Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services, adds: "It's no secret that banks are facing some of the toughest challenges of any sector, so it's great to see forward thinking companies like Barclays prioritising their investments, so they can deliver great service for their customers as well as the bottom line."