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Barclays is testing iBeacon tech to improve in-branch accessibility

Matt Brian, @m4tt
12.02.14
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Compared to other banks, Barclays is often way out ahead when it comes to embracing new technology. After becoming the first financial institution to let customers transfer money using only their mobile number, the company also let some business users swap PINs, passwords and authentication codes for fingerprint scanners. For its latest tech trial, Barclays wants to make things easier for customers coming into its branches, so it today announced that it's become the latest UK company to trial Beacon technology.

From tomorrow, Barclays Sheffield will trial its own Beacon service called Barclays Access, which will notify staff when a customer with an accessibility need enters the branch. Instead of having to state their requirements every time they do some banking, visitors will be able to opt-in to the service by supplying information about their requirements via an iPhone app. The app also allows customers to upload a photo, allowing staff to identify them as soon as they enter the premises. iBeacon technology uses Bluetooth to detect when a person using the app enters the building, which then alerts a colleague via an iPad at the front desk.

Barclays Access

While beacon technology will help provide faster and more personal service for customers with accessibility needs, the bank already has some ways to support those without a smartphone. Customers can order high visibility debit cards for easier identification and utilise the bank's audio-enabled ATMs simply by plugging in their headphones.

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