Barclays opens bank of the future

Barclays bank has opened a branch in Piccadilly Circus to demonstrate how technology is changing the way the bank can serve customers.

The...

Barclays bank has opened a branch in Piccadilly Circus to demonstrate how technology is changing the way the bank can serve customers.

The branch will use touch-screen technology, known as Microsoft Surface,to allow customers to access information and services.

The conceptual branch, which takes up 8,000 square feet in Piccadilly Circus, is part of a programme to refurbish its entire network of 1,733 branches in the UK.

The bank is piloting Microsoft's Surface technology, which enables users to interaction with digital content through natural hand gestures and touch.

Staff will also walk around with handheld PCs to help customers and the branch has alarge self-service area including a foreign ATM dispensing dollars and Euros and deposit machines for cash, cheques and coins.

The branch will officially open in January.

Mike Amato, chief distribution and product officer at Barclays said the bank has taken inspiration from retailers such as Apple and Nike,and is trying to attract and engage individuals and educate them about the Barclay's brand.

"We have embraced innovative technology and design which we expect to attract the interest of the Piccadilly community in an innovative and generous way and of course enable our customers to be able to interact with us in the way that suits them and in surroundings that are comfortable and accessible for all."

Barclays Bank is currently involved in a multimillion-pound programme to update the IT in its network of branches as part of a company-wide drive to improve the efficiency of its computer systems and reduce overheads.

The bank is spending an estimated £200m to replace outdated branch hardware and software, networks systems, storage systems and its automatic teller machine (ATM) infrastructure with state-of-the-art equipment, through a mixture of outsourcing and in-house development.

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