Sunday, December 21, 2008

Barclays launches 'brand concept' bank

This must be one of those projects that started when life was a lot better for the banks. The ‘concept branch’ is situated in 8,000 square feet of retail space over three floors in one of the UK’s most expensive locations and is stuffed full of surface technology (remember 'Minority Report') and other high tech gizmos.

I bet there are lot of worried Barclay’s marketers (all though less after the redundancies) thinking that this venture is sending all of the wrong messages to the bank’s customers who are more worried about paying their mortgage than playing with technology. Maybe Barclays is thinking of moving into the entertainment arcade business?

Sorry, I digress.

It is the way of the world that launches of ideas dreamt up in a different era emerge when life is very different. What I will be interested in seeing, when I visit the branch, is how Barclays intends to modify its branches to accommodate the ever increasing number of older people. Will it have more seats? Will it have more (some) toilets? Will the signs all be in large font? Will it be possible to amplify the cashier’s voice? Will there be large keys on the pin keyboard? Will there, will there…

Of course Barclays will not just have designed the branch for the every diminishing numbers of younger people. You know, that group who either don’t have enough money to warrant a bank or who always bank online. Surely not? Dick Stroud

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