Barclays launches face-to-face video banking
Barclays has made a major online move by launching new video banking services.
The Barclays Video Banking venture is aimed to retain the personality of the retail branch, whilst allowing customers to save time and fit banking into their busy schedules.
The project is a ground-breaking, round-the-clock video service that allows customers to skip the high street trip but still speak face-to-face with advisors.
New technology is “a watershed moment”
Steven Cooper, chief executive of personal banking at Barclays, said: “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.”
An online service will be available on computers and laptops, while smartphones and tablets can download a video app similar to popular platforms like Skype or FaceTime.
The bank’s Premier customers will be the first to trial this new technology before it is rolled out to mortgage, business and wealth customers from early 2015. Retail customers will then be given a chance to test this new way to do banking.
Concerns raised over the impact on high street banks
Experts believe that the majority of banks will close over the next two decades as the majority of banks move more of their services online.
Deutsche Bank analysts have predicted that the number of branches that a high street bank requires could dwindle to 500 across the country; for popular banks such as Lloyds TSB, that would mean a more than 75 per cent reduction.
However, the underlying reason for this is due to fewer customers choosing to visit the high street branch. The automation of services is “driven by footfall going down”, said Anthony Jenkins, the Barclays chief executive, earlier this year.