Barclays to launch 'face-to-face' video calls for customers

Barclays Bank Financial Results Due

Barclays bank is set to launch new Skype-style video calls for customers, allowing them to speak to staff 'face-to-face' from their smartphone, tablet, laptop or computer.

In what the banking giant described as a "watershed moment", the service will be available 24/7 and customers will be automatically matched to a member of staff they have spoken to previously where possible.

Those who wish to use the service will first need to download the video banking app and will be required to answer a series of security questions in order to prove their identity.

Steven Cooper, chief executive of personal banking at Barclays, told the Daily Mail: "This is a watershed moment for the way people do their banking in the UK - where we will finally be able to interact with customers completely on their terms rather than ours."

The service is set to launch for Premier customers next Monday, with business accounts, mortgages and investments, and eventually all retail customers able to use the service by the end of 2015.

The new technology is likely to add weight to Barclays' plans to cut costs by closing more high street branches, but campaigners say some customers could be alienated by the move.

James Daley, founder of Fairer Finance, told the paper: "By getting rid of branches you begin to exclude people who are unable to bank in any other way. Many older people are just not comfortable dealing with their finances online."

What do you think? Are you happy doing all your banking online, or would you prefer to be able to visit a branch? Leave your comments below...
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