Barclays Bank is to offer free WiFi network services in 1,500 of its UK branches, the company announced today.
The service, which is supported by UK telco BT, will allow the bank's staff to demonstrate its mobile apps to customers while they are in the branch, said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Retail and Business Banking.
"We’ve been listening to our customers about how we can make banking easier for them, and they tell us they like the idea of mobile banking but would often value being shown how it works," he said in a statement. "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.”
BT has been testing the WiFi service in three branches of the bank over the past six months. The service is available in over 750 branches from today and will be installed in a total of 1,500 by the end of March.
The telecoms giant said it introduced the free WiFi service after a survey of 2,000 UK, US, Spanish and German consumers found that 41% of respondents felt that free wifi would "greatly improve their in-branch experience".
“Whether it’s in the branch or through remote channels such as mobile banking, the technology now exists for organisations to connect their customers to the right people and the right information in a seamless, cost-effective way," said Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT Global Services.
"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," Alvarez said.