One of Britain’s biggest lenders, Barclays, has announced plans to launch an online video-chat system, designed to reduce the pressure on their branch networks across the nation. Could this be the way forward for streamlining the property industry?
This is the first UK bank to establish this type of contact system, as many services rely on consumers coming into the branch for face-to-face meetings. However this is a costly regime and Barclay’s main aim for this communication system is to cut costs and reduce the number of branches currently active.
A similar chat service was introduced by Nationwide earlier in the year. However this was a system used within branches to connect consumers to mortgage advisers, not for use in the home.
Not only will the portal allow consumers to enquire directly with Barclays staff via video link, the service will be accessible beyond the usual branch opening hours. This will be a great advantage for those who struggle to visit branches due to work and family commitments.
The new-age way of banking has seen visits to physical offices plummet, as consumers turn to the more convenient online services, which are becoming more advanced. However branches are still required for the more complex offerings such as mortgage interviews, which require a face-to-face interaction.
According to a YouGov survey, over 90% of home buyers and sellers seek conveyancing services from a firm with a physical office location. Therefore could the option of being able to speak to a specialist online whilst still having the reassurance of face-to-face contact, be the next step to improving the conveyancing process?
Maintaining regular contact with clients is integral within the property industry, as there are many steps within a transaction that they need to be kept up to date with. Reportedly, over 33% of consumers are not satisfied with the level of communication with their conveyancing professional. This is therefore a key issue that needs a greater amount of management focus within the industry.