Barclays has announced the launch of a cloud document storage service called Cloud It that is designed to allow customers to store and search financial documents such as bank statements, bills and receipts on its website.
The service is hosted from within Barclays' online banking platform, and so is only available to customers of the bank, the firm said. The firm said bank statements would be uploaded to the platform automatically for customers to search.
V3 tested the service briefly after the announcemnet and found it already activated in an account. Navigation was simple and pre-existing statements were already loaded onto the platform. Documents can be a maximum of 5MB and are acceptable as JPEG, JFIF, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT, ODT or RTF files.
Barclays told V3 that the platform was built using a number of “home grown proprietary technologies as well as industry standard platforms” although did not divulge specifically what these are.
It also said that the system was built without help from external cloud storage providers, but does have some external services in use such as McAfee tools for virus scanning and NetClean for image scanning.
Barclays also confirmed it plans to develop the product to let customers upload pictures of documents via smartphones in future.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said offering the service to customers should help them declutter their lives and find it far easier to retrieve key data.
“We all have so many bits of paper, documents and files floating around these days that it often feels like we need an extra spare room to house them all. And chances are when you need to get hold of a document at the office, you will have filed it at home somewhere – if you can remember where you put it in the first place.
“Barclays Cloud It is about making our customers' lives easier and creating innovations that allow them to spend less time on banking and more time doing the things that really matter."
Vaswani added that the firm is already assessing how it could integrate the Cloud It tool with its wider mobile application base, and is keen to see how customers use the tool. The feedback they give will be used to guide future developments.
The launch of Cloud It follows on from the firm’s popular Pingit application, which allows mobile payments to be sent via handsets, rather than having to log on to the online platform. This was recently given an overhaul to allow firms to let customers pay for items on their sites via Pingit.
The announcements underline Barclays’ reputation as an innovator in the financial technology space, with the firm also offering free in-branch WiFi and issuing iPads to staff to help speed up and improve customer service.
Despite such innovations, risks from mobile banking and other rapid innovations changing the banking landscape could be creating problems for customers, according to a recent report by financial watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority.
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