Barclays accepts photo documents for mortgage applications

Barclays allows mortgage advisors to submit photos of supporting documents via smartphone or tablet

Barclays now allows in-branch advisers to submit photographs of documents required for mortgage applications via a smartphone or tablet device.

Previously, these documents would have had to been submitted to the system using a scanner, but can now be photographed and added using Barclays’ online mortgage submission system.

Richard Merrett, technical director from mortgage broker Alexander Hall, said: “The Scan and Attach enhancement to Barclays' online system has been extremely well received by our advisers and administrators.”

Once images have been photographed, they can be added via smartphone to the customer’s online case study folder, along with documents that have been scanned.

This could lead to cases being resolved faster, as brokers will no longer need to access a scanner before adding documents to a client’s file, allowing changes can be made on the go.

Parts of the system have also been replaced by easy-to-use tick boxes, making the online application process faster.

Jackie Uhi, managing director of mortgage distribution at Barclays, said: “The launch of these enhancements to our online mortgage submission system is an important milestone in an ongoing journey of bringing improvements designed to support brokers and help them deliver the very best service for customers.”

The technology is a further expansion to the online cheque payment scheme launched by the bank last year, which allows customers to pay in cheques by taking a picture on their smartphone when using online banking.

Barclays has been investing in new technology over the past year, including the launch of a 24-hour video banking service that will enable customers to receive face-to-face service from anywhere using iOS and Android devices, desktops or laptops.

The bank also plans to launch biometric vein scanners for business customers to allow authentication using the customer’s finger, eliminating the need for PINs and passwords.

These technological developments have taken place in light of several branch closures. In 2014, it was predicted the consumer bank would have to cut 12,000 jobs globally due to restructuring plans, according to a Computer Weekly source.

The bank retrained 6,500 traditional branch staff last year so they can offer financial management to customers as IT increasingly takes care of day-to-day transactional services.

Instead, the firm has focused on mobile and other online services, and was ranked top for mobile banking offerings by Forester Research, which claimed many other banks had fallen behind.   

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