First to launch a credit card and first to provide ATMs, Barclays has proven itself a truly innovative and genuinely customer-centric bank since it was founded 326 years ago, before the Bank of England — and even the United States — was formed. Today, innovation remains at the heart of its culture and the customer at the centre of its strategy.
Personal relationships with 24 million people in the UK
CEO of Barclays UK, Ashok Vaswani, is proud of the relationship his business has with around 24 million people throughout the United Kingdom and he is clear about his vision to strengthen the relationships between Barclays and its customers. “Our ability to partner with these individuals, to understand them better and do more to meet their entire financial needs is a very compelling prospect,” he says.
Creating personalised and comprehensive relationships with its customers is no pipe dream for a bank of Barclays’ size. Ashok says Barclays UK is leveraging its analytical and digital capabilities to understand individual customers and interact with them in ways that “really take care of our customers, deepen our relationships and truly breakout from the pack.”
Tailored products and services
Already a leader in many of its products and services, Ashok says Barclays UK is focused on ways to make its products and services more tailored and even more easy for customers to use. “Whether it’s in the payment space, the transactional space, the credit card space, the wealth space, or for our business banking plans, we are moving ahead. Digital offers a tremendous opportunity for us to be able to meet the needs of clients in a completely new and a unique way.”
Technology allows customers to connect in their own way
In recent years, Barclays UK has seen an enormous increase in the number of customers who use their mobiles to access banking services. Now, 92% of all payment transfers, 53% of account opening and 55% of loans are mobile says Ashok. “Today, we have 5.2 million customers on the mobile phone. On average, these customers come to us through our mobile bank app about 28 times a month,” he says. “We’ve seen significant transformation around mobile and we have automated the interaction at our branches. We have designed machines helping customers do everything they want to do, right from withdrawing money, depositing cash, depositing cheques and coins, obtaining coins and making payments and transfers.”
As well as saving customers time and money, automation of processes has cut costs for the business. Ashok points to examples like money counting machines. “What took a person two and a half hours every evening now gets done in about 15 minutes.”
Barclays’ digital technology allows its customers to conduct their banking in a way that suits them, when it suits them. More importantly, it doesn’t leave customers to bank on their own. “Along our transformation journey, we were the first bank across Europe and the UK to have launched video banking, so from your mobile banking, you can tap a button and you will get a real life person to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, wherever in the world you are. Long before that, we had launched Smart Call, so if you are in the mobile app and you want to talk to somebody, you can just press a button.”