Barclays using biometric technologies to “completely automate” branch operations

October 6, 2014 - 

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of retail and business banking at Barclays, said the British bank is currently developing new ways to “completely automate” as much of its branch operations as it can, according to a report by Express.

Speaking at a banking conference, Vaswani confirmed that 72 of Barclay’s branches now offer next generation cash machines developed by Barclays and German manufacturer Wincor Nixdorf.

The technology has allowed the bank to significantly reduce its staff, with more job cuts to occur in the future as a result of increased automation and the rapid growth of online and mobile banking.

Barclays said that by the first quarter of 2016, more than half of its 1,500-branch network should have new machines installed.

“Because of things like this we have been able to -reduce our FTE [full-time equivalents] in the branch network by 1,300 folks -already,” said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays.

“So the more we can get it done hopefully you will see pretty significant FTE reductions in our physical footprint.”

The newly refitted branches are staffed with cashiers who have been retrained as “community -bankers” equipped with iPads to facilitate the automated process, answering any questions they might have about using the self-service machines.

The next generation ATMs allow customers to withdraw and pay in cash, as well as pay in cheques and bills, some by scanning the QR codes printed on their paper bills.

Barclays is also considering allowing customers to use make withdrawals using their smartphones, via the Barclays app to generate a QR code.

Over the past two years, Barclays has gone from having no mobile banking customers to 3.3 million, allowing the bank to cut down on operational costs, said Vaswani.

Previously reported, Barclays partnered with Hitachi Europe to launch its customer authentication solution, Barclays Biometric Reader, which is backed by Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology, as well as rolling out a voice recognition system, provided by Nuance Communications.

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About Stephen Mayhew

Stephen Mayhew is the publisher and co-founder of Biometrics Research Group, Inc.. His experience includes a mix of entrepreneurship, brand development and publishing. Stephen attended Carleton University and lives in Toronto, Canada. Connect with Stephen on LinkindIn.