Earlier this month, Barclays announced an in-branch beacon technology trial to make life easier for customers, especially of those with disabilities. Based within an app, the technology will notify branch staff when a customer with an accessibility need enters the branch. The initiative, developed in response to a customer from the Barclays Sheffield branch, will reduce the need for customers to have to explain their accessibility needs each and every time they enter the branch, and will allow colleagues to assist customers more effectively.
Customers can choose to opt-in to the service by pre-registering their information through an app. These customers can share information about their accessibility need and even a photo of themselves, so they can be identified as soon as the app senses the Beacon and sends a notification to a colleague in the branch. A colleague with an iPad at the front of the branch will then be alerted of their arrival, allowing Barclays to provide a quicker and more tailored service for any customer with an accessibility need.
Other initiatives to support customers with accessibility needs include high visibility debit cards designed to aid visually impaired customers enabling them to easily identify their card in busy environments. Barclays also became the first bank in the UK to introduce Audio Cash Machines enabling customers with poor vision to use headphones to be guided through the services available at the banks ATMs.
Elaine Draper, Director of Accessibility and Inclusion at Barclays, said in an official press release: “The work that we have already carried out around accessibility has raised awareness of the issues that people with disabilities face when entering bank branches. Beacons are the latest in a long line of innovative initiatives from Barclays designed to make our customers lives easier, particularly important for people with non-visible disabilities - something our customers have told us is an issue”.
The accessibility feature is currently available on iOS operating systems as part of the trail. The initial 3 month trial is being held at the Sheffield branch in Pinstone Street since 3rd December 2014.