The Wi-Fi hotspots give customers the ability to use any wireless-enabled PC, tablet or smartphone to connect to the internet, download our mobile banking apps including Barclays Pingit, access barclays.co.uk and other internet sites – often faster than if they were using 3G.
Together with the 9,000 Apple iPads being used in our network of 1,600 branches in the UK, our colleagues can now work with customers anywhere in the branch for maximum convenience. Customers can also see and immerse themselves in online apps on the iPad there and then, with staff close by to guide them through the features.
The Wi-Fi programme came about after feedback suggested free in-store Wi-Fi access was high on the most-wanted list for consumers in the UK, Germany, Spain and the US. Some 41% of customers who took part in a BT Youbiquity financial services study said they felt free Wi-Fi would greatly improve their in-branch experience.
Barclays – along with our Wi-Fi partner BT – then fast-tracked a deployment programme, rolling out the free Wi-Fi package to the entire branch network in just six months. This meant Barclays became the first UK bank to initiate the service in the process.
Now, eight months after the first hotspots appeared, the figures speak for themselves: with 400,000 Wi-Fi sessions and 25,000,000 Wi-Fi minutes being used each month.
Barnaby Davis, Barclays Managing Director of the UK branch network, said: “Barclays has a really strong history of innovation. We did not produce a traditional business case for the Wi-Fi rollout. It was about us being first for our customers with something we felt was really important.
He added: “Our customers love the Barclays iPads because they love the idea of a bank being that progressive. Colleagues co-ordinating in the banking hall can work wherever the customer’s happiest, making everything much quicker.”