Barclays to provide free WiFi in branches

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Have you ever been encouraged to use the self check out in a supermarket or airport? You’re ushered in and kindly helped by a member of staff who will show you just how easy and fast it is to do things without a member of staff. Take that a stage further and when you’re in the Apple Store you use the app, scan your items, pay through the app and away you go – I love it!  But then I’m a bit of  techie geek, so no surprise there. Safe to say though that most people do love it and it makes life much easier.

In a fairly unsurprising and somewhat belated move, this experience will now greet you in your local bank. Barclays are clearly an innovator when it comes to technology, as we’ve seen with Pingit, and now they’ve stolen first mover advantage on this. WiFi will be offered on a white label basis from BT, so when you go to your Barclays branch, you’ll connect to “FREE Barclays WiFi”, accept terms and conditions and away you go.

I really think this is great to see, and I also hope to see the same thing happening in all the other banks. I would question one thing, and that is if Barclays could have gotten a bit more value from this. Clearly there is massive benefit in encouraging people into a self serve mentality, as the cost savings are substantial, and no doubt this will have been the basis of the Business Case and ROI. There could have been a lot more intelligence and interactivity with their customers if they had added a new dynamic with Social WiFi which would have also brought useful retail analytics information.  That said, still great news and I am a bit biased given that’s what we do.

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