HSBC is the latest bank to offer free Wi-Fi to customers, introducing it in 650 branches through a deal with BT.
BT and Avaya recently revealed that 49% of UK banking customers thought free Wi-Fi would greatly improve their in-branch experience.
Carl Howard, head of digital at HSBC in the UK said: “We’ve been listening to our customers about how we can make banking easier for them, and they tell us they like the idea of mobile banking, but in some cases would value being shown how it works.”
In February 2013, Barclays introduced free Wi-Fi in 1,500 of its UK branches, also with BT. Its reasons for implementing a wireless service were almost word for word the same as HSBC's. Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays' retail and business banking division at the time, said: “We’ve been listening to our customers about how we can make banking easier for them and they tell us they like the idea of mobile banking, but would often value being shown how it works.”
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Retail banks are investing in technology such as wireless and tablet devices with staff in branches to improve the customer experience and attract young people.
Barclays managing director UK branches, Barnaby Davis, said last year that the bank does not use traditional business cases for this type of IT investment, but has “a strategic intent to demonstrate our digital credentials.”