Capturing this spirit of innovation at Barclays
Banking and information technology have been inextricably linked throughout human history, from the invention of writing – cuneiform evolved to record trades – to the stock ticker, to internet and mobile banking, and high frequency trading.
Driven by consumer behaviour, Barclays first embarked on its digital journey in 1961 when it opened the UK’s first computer centre for banking in London. Automated branch book-keeping was introduced in the Cavendish Branch that same year and in 1967 the bank unveiled the world’s first ATM, offering ‘Barclaycash’ from its branch in Enfield, London. In 1995 Barclays was the first bank to launch a website.
Today, Barclays’ reports a 60% year-on-year increase in ‘digital footfall’. On average, people now use mobile banking twenty four times a month.
The power of technology increasingly means that banking is no longer the sole preserve of traditional banks. Last year PayPal processed $315 million dollars of payments daily. In the same time Amazon transacted $24 billion of payments for other sellers in addition to their own sales.
Mobile phone technology is behind much of the change in the way we bank. In the UK there are now more mobile phones than people while in little over a decade, Africa has become the second most connected region in the world by mobile subscriptions. M-PESA, a mobile payments tool initiated in Kenya, is now actively used by 18 million people. In East Africa, mobile banking has leapfrogged traditional banking, introducing a new way to exchange money for previously unbanked consumers and in Europe, Barclays Pingit became the UK's first person-to-person mobile payments service when it was launched in 2012.
Contactless payment technology has also exploded in popularity with 61% of people preferring to pay with card rather than cash. In October 2013, Barclays joined forces with the Royal British Legion to facilitate the first ever contactless Poppy Appeal – an annual fundraising drive in the UK in support of wounded soldiers and their families. Barclaycard donated 400 mobile card payment terminals across the capital to drive donations from the public by using just their debit cards. Watch the video below: