Qorus Banking Innovation Awards 2014 - Winner

Barclays Digital Eagles: Closing the Digital Divide

Submitted by
10/09/2014 Banking Innovation


Becoming the most digitally savvy workforce in the world.

Innovation presentation

The Digital Eagles project started in May 2013 with 18 colleagues who wanted to share their passion for technology with their colleagues to enable Barclays to better serve customers in a rapidly changing world.

But with more than nine million people in the UK lacking basic online skills, the bank realised it could share what it had learned even more widely. Now there are more than 16,500 colleagues around the world who have voluntarily joined the initiative, providing a completely free service to both customers and non-customers. This ensures that no one misses out on what the internet has to offer.

The speed of technological change posed a massive challenge to the business. In recent years, Barclays has introduced a vast range of new technology for both colleagues and customers, driven by a consumer need to bank digitally. The pace at which the technology was being introduced was faster than the colleagues could learn how to use it through traditional methods. Barclays needed a way to educate 26,000 colleagues across 1,660 branches and nine operations centres, as well as nine million customers – this is where the idea of the Digital Eagles was born in April 2013. This change was happening at a time when the bank’s business was being rocked with negative stories in the press. Consequently, the bank wanted to show the public that it cared, and not just about banking.

The Digital Eagles were tasked with making Barclays ‘the most digitally savvy workforce in the UK’. Their role was to visit a different branch or operations centre every day to bring digital into the heart of every colleague and customer, and to train colleagues so every site would have a permanent Digital Eagle presence. These colleagues would then be kept fully informed of app upgrades and new functionality whilst communicating digital issues and general communications to the network.

Uniqueness of the project

The Digital Eagle initiative is the first of its kind in the banking industry. By initially employing 18 Digital Eagle leaders, Barclays has been able to build a network of colleagues that work to achieve the visions of the bank’s leaders. The Digital Eagle initiative is an example of incremental innovation that acts as a catalyst within the current business model and indicates that Barclays is prepared to educate its customers and assist them with more than just the traditional banking solutions. The Digital Eagles will continue to be pivotal in securing Barclays’ future in the new digital era.

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