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Amazon and Barclays partner for collection point trial

Amazon packaging 2 - Kay Roxby - shutterstock_361754777 725 x 500

Barclays has teamed up with internet shopping giant Amazon to use its outlets as collection points for deliveries in an attempt to breathe new life into its branch network.

The bank has been trialing delivery lockers across sites in London. If successful the plan could be extended across the Barclays network.

Amazon already delivers to hundreds of click and collect sites around the country, with customers able to pick up packages from Post Offices, newsagents and train stations. The Barclays plan could open up 1,500 more.

The bank declined to comment on the plans, but Amazon’s website makes clear that some Barclays branches are being used as click and collect sites.

The scheme is part of an effort by Barclays to find new uses and revenues for its network. Branch banking has been shrinking across the UK banking industry, with half of all branches closing in the past 20 years.

Finding new uses for branches that will draw in customers or create potential new revenue streams could help make branches more viable and help to halt the decline in their numbers.

Reports last week suggested that Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland are set to close a further 400 this year. HSBC is likely to close 200, while RBS and Barclays will close about 100 each.

The banks have found that customers are shifting online, but critics say the closures will hammer small firms and the elderly, who rely on branches.

Derek French, director of the Campaign for Community Banking, which has fought branch closures for several years said: ‘The bank closures will accelerate the death of the British high street.’

The Mail on Sunday last week reported on the campaign group’s fears that some banks were using ‘trickery’ tactics to close branches, by cutting opening hours.

With shorter opening times, customer numbers drop, enabling banks to claim that there is no demand for the branches.

Barclays, meanwhile, has been carrying out a big overhaul of its outlets. A source said the bank had invested £700 million since 2008 refurbishing them.

It is also trying to expand outside its branch network, by offering services in Asda supermarkets and through Barclays Collect, a new pick-up service for small businesses’ cash takings.

Image: kay roxby / Shutterstock.com 

Source : ThisIsMoney.co.uk
www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-3531773/Amazon-delivery-tie-Barclays-fuels-hopes-bank-branch-network-stay-open-high-street.html

10 April 2016

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