Barclays ditches cashier role as branch digitisation continues

Barclays is getting rid of the traditional bank cashier role as it increases reliance on digital channels.

The bank said it will retrain 6,500 cashiers to play a customer advisor role, to provide financial management services to customers, while simple transactions are processed digitally.

The more specialised staff will have an automatic 2.8 percent annual pay rise from October, at a total cost of £3 million a year. Staff numbers are not expected to be affected by the decision.

Barclays will roll out a trial of ‘counterless-branches’ more widely, with branch staff no longer engaging with customers through a glass barrier, according to the Daily Mail. Instead they will walk around the branch, using iPads to help customers with requests such as opening new accounts.

However, branch staff will still be able to process simple transactions, should they not wish to use self-service machines.

"To reduce queuing in our branches we will always encourage customers to take advantage of any new technology that can provide an easier way to carry out their transactions,” the bank said in a statement.

"Customers are always offered a choice and staff are on hand to help or support any customers if they need it."

Last year the bank announced 1,700 frontline staff job cuts as more customers use smartphones for transactional banking and branches for large financial decisions, such as mortgage applications.

The trend towards greater reliance on digital services is being seen across the retail banking sector. According to a report released by the British Bankers’ Association this week, there are now £1 billion worth of transactions made through digital channels each day in the UK. The report also highlights the impact on branches, claiming that banks will continue to rely on a physical high street presence, with 2,200 stores refurbished in the past two years.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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