Money & Motoring1st April 2015

Beacons at Barclays - A Step Forward in Accessible Banking?

Seeking to respond to the sensory needs of its customers Barclays introduce new programme

by Sarah Lawrence

Do you bank at Barclays? Are you aware of the Beacons Programme? Sadly for me, this pilot programme is not yet available in any of the Barclays branches in Wales, or indeed in Scotland or Ireland, but the Beacons Programme does look like an exciting one. The details below are taken from the Barclays website, but the programme shows what steps Barclays are taking with the aim of becoming the most accessible bank to people with sensory loss in the UK.

To fine tune it to the needs of the many and varied communication needs of deaf customers, if you have an account in any of the branches being used in this first phase of the programme, it would be great if you could get involved. Banks haven't asked about our communication needs in the past, we have had to adapt to their unbending systems, but with this programme they are asking, so it would help greatly, if deaf people could sign up and take part so that we can mould 'Beacons at Barclays' to our needs.

If you have already signed up to take part and would like to share your banking experience through the Beacons programme with us, please email me at:  Shared experiences help us all! Here's the information from Barclays explaining what this is about and how you can get involved.

Beacons at Barclays

Beacons technology at Barclays helps you bank more easily if you have an accessibility requirement. Find out how you can help us meet everyone’s needs by joining our pilot.

Beacons at Barclays – We-re working hard to make it easier for everyone to bank with us. So, we’re adding new technology in our branches to help.

What are Beacons and why are we using them?
We’re working hard to become the most accessible and inclusive bank for our customers and clients – regardless of any disability or impairment. So we’re introducing Beacons to our branches.

Beacons are a piece of technology that let us know when you arrive in branch, and inform us of any accessibility requirements you’ve told us about. That way you can get any support you need from us in our branches. And you can always let us know if you don’t need our assistance that day.

How do Beacons work?
You’ll need to download an app to your mobile device and register your details. Once that’s done and the app comes in to the beacon range, the apps technology will send us a discrete notification when you enter the branch. We’ll see your photo, name and any accessibility requirement/s you’ve told us about – so we’ll know right away how to make your visit to us easier.

While it doesn’t push you to the front of the queue, Beacons technology will help us serve you in the right way – as soon as possible.

How can I get involved?
In order to make this service as useful and easy as possible, we want your feedback so we can offer Beacons in more branches.

As we’re in the early stages of testing this technology, it’s only available in 10 branches for 3 months, and participation is limited. We’re hoping to use this in more branches later on this year.

  1. Do you have a disability or impairment you’d like to tell us about in advance so we can help you in branch? (For example, needing to lip read, receive sighted guide assistance or needing a Hearing Loop)
  2. Do you have an iOS device (Apple iPhone) using iOS7 or above?
  3. Do you bank in one of the following branches:

    •  Sheffield – 121 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 2JW
    •  Islington – 38 Islington Green, London, N1 8EH
    •  Chelmsford – 40/41 High St, Chelmsford, CM1 1BE
    •  Ipswich – 1 Princes Street, Ipswich, Suffolk, IP1 1PB
    •  York – 1-3 Parliament Street, York, YO1 8SE
    •  Liverpool – 48B & 50 Lord Street, Liverpool, L2 1TD
    •  Warrington – 23-25 Golden Square, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1TW
    •  Cheltenham – 128 High Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 1EL
    •  Eastbourne – 63/67 Terminus Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 3NW
    •  Luton – 28 George Street, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 2AE

If you can answer ‘yes’ to all three of the above questions, and would like to be involved in our ‘Test and Learn’, we want to hear from you. Please email us with the subject line ‘beacons’ to and we will be in touch. Please be aware we have a limited amount of positions available.

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Deaf Lifestyle / Money & Motoring

1st April 2015