Barclays teams up with Bt to offer free public WI-FI in UK branches; Over 1,500 Barclays branches to get free Wi-fi provided and managed by BT
(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) BT today announced that Barclays will become the first major UK high street bank to offer free Wi-fi access for its customers in branches nationwide.
The new Wi-fi service is the latest move by Barclays to make banking easier for its customers - by providing more opportunities for them to access the internet.
The Wi-fi hotspots will be rolled-out across 1,500 of Barclays branches across the United Kingdom, allowing them to offer a richer, more seamless experience for customers across digital and in-store channels.
Barclays customers will be able to use any wireless-enabled PC, tablet or smartphone to connect to the internet, download its mobile banking apps including Pingit, access www.barclays.co.uk and other internet sites often faster than if they were using 3G. Earlier this year, BT's 'Youbiquity' financial sector research1 revealed that free in-store Wi-fi access was high on the most-wanted list for consumers in the UK, Germany, Spain and USA. Indeed some 41 per cent of the banking customers who took part in the survey felt that free Wi-fi would greatly improve their in-branch experience.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO, Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: "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. 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."
Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services said: "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. 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. BT is delighted to be helping them provide the state-of-the-art, multi-channel service experience that their customers demand."
The project has already begun following initial trials by BT in three Barclays branches. BT has successfully rolled out the technology to more than half of the 1,500 branches, with these now being available for customer use. The remaining branches will go live with the service during February and March 2013.
The technology will be provided and managed by BT as a 'white label' service. This means it will be visible to the public in branches as 'BarclaysFreeWifi'. In order to initially connect to the service, customers only have to click to accept the T&C's.
For more information visit www.btwifi.com
Enquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369 . From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369 .
All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre
Notes to editors
The project has been running for six months and included initial trials to prove the technology and customer demand for the service in three branches. Since the trials, the teams, together with colleagues in Openreach, now have successfully deployed over 800 branches with the full BT Wi-fi service, and in total it will be rolled out in over 1,500 branches by April 2013.
1 BT's Youbiquity survey was conducted by Davies Hickman Partners Ltd on behalf of BT and Avaya. The total sample size was 2,000 UK, US, Spanish and German consumers and the survey was carried out online.
BT Broadband customers have free and unlimited access to one of the largest wi-fi network in the world with hotspot numbers recently passing over 7.5 million across the globe. The hotspots can be found at homes, independent businesses, city centres and well-known brands including Starbucks, GAME, John Lewis, Hilton and Thistle hotels, Welcome Break and RoadChef service stations, American Airlines and SkyTeam airport lounges, plus Network Rail stations. For more information about free wifi for BT Broadband Customers, visit www.bt.com/freewifi
BT is one of the world's leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group's revenue was 18,897m with profit before taxation of 2,445m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com
Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.
With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.
For more information, please visit www.barclays.co.uk and follow the Barclays UK our Press Office Twitter: https://twitter.com/barclaysuknews
Sam Ireland, Business Support Manager BT Newsroom
Tel: 020 7356 2830
Mob: 07739 925055
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