If you want to be able to speak direct to your bank via video chat you best head over to Barclays. The bank has announced that it is launching a face to face video chat service for account holders. Initially the service, which launches on December 8th will only be available to Premier account holders, but will be rolled out to all users in 2015.
The service, which is the first of its kind in the UK could be a double edged sword. While it will make the ability for account holders to talk to someone from their own home rather than have to go into their branch is a real bonus as the bank looks to reduce reliance on its brick and mortar branches. The question is though, what happens if this is really successful? Could this contribute to less bank branches being available in the long run as the banks try to save money?
The 24 hour service will mean that staff will have to be extra vigilant as they adjust to dealing with customers visually as well as vocally over what would normally be a telephone conversation to a call centre.
Other areas of interest will be for me personally: How will they deal with a queuing system for video chat? Could this be used to improve security? For example when you make an account they may ask for a photo to keep on records to verify your identity during communications. Eventually though it something like this was really successful it could mean that more and more people are forced to use such as service which would be poor for people with slow internet connections or non-capable phones.
Would you use a video chat system to speak to someone at your bank?
Image credit: Dick Thomas Johnson