Barclays pays customers to bank online

The importance of online and mobile banking in the future of UK banks is clear as Barclays starts to pay customers to use the channel

Barclays has started paying customers to bank online.

With online and mobile banking channels offering banks the opportunity to cut staff and branch numbers, the high street banks are introducing schemes to retain and attract customers, including a new generation that prefers to bank online.

Barclays is no exception and is now offering customers up to £180 a year for banking online and using its mobile banking app.

Launching on 20 April 2015, Barclays Blue Rewards costs £3 per month but customers receive cash benefits, regardless of how much money they have with Barclays. Customers using the service must deposit at least £800 per month into their current account and have at least two direct debits.

Customers can earn up to £15 cash rewards each month and can receive cashback through registered suppliers. Customers can earn an additional 1% cashback when booking with Expedia, as well as other shopping partners such as Gap and Boots. Customers collect cash rewards into a digital Rewards Wallet, accessed through Barclays Online Banking or the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

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Catherine McGrath, managing director of personal banking at Barclays, said: “Building lasting relationships with all of our customers means rewarding everyone, no matter what they earn. The more you bank with us, the more cash you get to use as you choose. With rewards on savings and other Barclays products launching soon, customers can be confident we’ll continue to give their monthly earnings a welcome boost.”

One customer said Barclays is not as responsive as it should be to online customer requests. "It sounds great, but it would be even better if Barclays would send me the replacement PINsentry I have requested but not received over the last eight months."

Banks conceal levels of cyber theft

Banks are eager to encourage customers to bank online and through mobile apps. They have invested in the technologies that enable them to reduce costs with fewer staff serving customers, and fewer branches. Banks are even prepared to hide the level of cyber crime they suffer, and cover the costs of losses to customers online.

Speaking at a TechUK conference this week, Adrian Leppard, commissioner of City of London Police, said cyber criminals are stealing more money online – but banks are not reporting the full extent of the theft.

He said only one in five cyber crimes is reported. Of those, only another one in five provoke a proper response from law enforcement agencies.

Leppard said the low reporting rates resulted from banks writing off cyber fraud as operating costs.

Online banking is the most used digital service in the UK, according to research by Fujitsu. Some 67% of people surveyed said they bank online, as UK citizens seek to make every day processes faster and simpler.

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