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Barclays puts the branch on the iPad

09 February 2015  |  12715 views  |  4 Team meeting with tablet

Barclays is to equip its roving army of Community Bankers with iPads capable of performing all banking operations previously confined to bricks and mortar branches.

Currently being trialled with 50 Community Bankers and specialists, including mortgage, premier and business advisors across Sunderland, Norfolk and London, the service will be rolled out to all equipped Barclays Bank iPads nationally by the middle of 2015.

Under the plans, Community Bankers will be able to set up a branch remotely using just their iPad and Wi-Fi or 3G connection, to carry out many traditional branch transactions including money transfers, changes to personal details or account openings.

Steven Cooper, CEO, personal banking, Barclays says: “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.”

With customers moving to online and mobile banking, Barclays axed 1700 branch jobs last year and retrained 6500 former cashiers as iPad-wielding Community Bankers.

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 09 February, 2015, 11:46

"capable of performing all banking operations previously confined to bricks and mortar branches" - really?  I hardly think these people will be accepting business cash deposits or a host of other traditional counter services.  Let's face the truth here - they have been retrained as salespeople with a shiny new iPad.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 10 February, 2015, 04:05

"...take the branch to the customer.”

I like this approach. Imagine your bank would help you to fix some issue during your lunch break at or near your office. This kind of service does not need to involve any cash handling in my opinion. But it would be nice to have a real teller coming to the place I am and this even without making an appointment.

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Aditya Gupta
Aditya Gupta - IT Services - Delhi NCR | 10 February, 2015, 06:35

Barclays' approach will aid account origination, as a poster mentioned above - its for salespeople. The bank can deliver more value if the customer can do banking on her own iPad, at a time and place of choice. 

A segment of bankers/agents who can benefit from mobile solutions are micro lenders. In some geographies loan collection is done by agents with portable devices already, with an iPad the funds collection could be updated into the bank's systems in real time instead of end of day upload and recon.

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Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 11 February, 2015, 11:08

In a Q&A a year or two ago, I'd cited the example of ICICI Tab Banking in India and had wondered why banks couldn’t redeploy their tellers to visit customers at their offices or homes to sell new products. While I'm not able to find the Q&A section now, I remember someone commenting at the time something to the effect that, while such things may happen in India etc., bankers will never visit customers in UK. Well, now we have Barclays doing just that in UK. Kudos to Barclays for adapting technology to solve a genuine problem and not for the sake of technology. This also goes to show how a lot of sensible change can happen even in 2 years whereas not much of juvenile change will happen even after 10 years.

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