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. Continue reading
Some of the UK’s largest banks have made changes to the way that they charge people for their returned direct debits, in a move that could save customers as much as £200million every year in unnecessary charges.
Until they made the changes the banks, that include Barclays, The Co-operative, HSBC, Nationwide, RBS and Santander would process direct payments in the early hours of the morning, and if the funds weren’t present issue a charge and return the direct debit as unpaid. This can be extremely unfair and frustrating for customers that have money paid into the account that clears hours later. For payments for things such as loans and insurance customers can often end up being charged twice; once by the bank and once by the vendor.
Now the banks will re-attempt to take payment later in the day, just in case funds have cleared into the account since the initial request during the early hours. This could also give customers a chance to nip into their local bank branch to deposit more cash to ensure that the payments are made on time. Even this could save people a lot of money. Continue reading
The average income families have left after paying all of their critical bills has dropped to around £155, which is the lowest that it has been in 3 years.
While the economy is showing small signs of growing, at the lower end of the pay scale people are just struggling to live as real world living costs stretch beyond family incomes. The average British home has an income of just under £700 per week, of that £700 £117 is paid in taxes and £427 is spent on essential bills, transport, housing and food.
The report was compiled on behalf of the supermarket giant Asda by the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Asda is attributing the drop in spare money available to families on rising energy costs matched with the fact that incomes cannot keep up with the rate at which prices are falling. In the year up until April average income has risen by just 0.8 of a per cent which is the lowest it has been since the statistics started being recorded in 2001. This is bad news for the government, who are trying to encourage the UK to spend more money to help the country recover from a terrible economic chapter. Continue reading