Barclays has launched a new online hub that allows businesses to access all their banking services through a single gateway.
When businesses access the hub, called Barclays iPortal, they will be presented with a snapshot of their bank accounts and products. The iPortal will allow businesses to authorise payments, manage cash, trade services and loan facilities.
The interesting aspect of this hub, is how one gains access to it. Barclays has made available a biometric reader which uses Hitachi’s Finger Vein Authentication Technology (VeinID). Used to make payments and confirm transactions, the device’s infrared lights scan the blood flow in a user’s finger. This is part of a recent trend of financial institutions trying to get off passwords.
‘Future of corporate banking’
Michael Mueller, head of Cash Management at Barclays admitted than online banking has traditionally not been easy for businesses.
“Corporate banking solutions that bridge existing products produce disparate, complex and outdated systems that require multiple logins on a variety of platforms, making banking a time-consuming and disjointed process,” he said.
He argues that the iPortal is different because it was built from the ground up rather than being a retooled version of an existing system.
The iPortal includes features such as consolidated ‘to do’ lists, real time alerts and notifications, as well as an overview of group balances, across different business divisions and activities in multiple countries.
Copying consumer banking
Mueller says that the corporate side of banking is taking a leaf out of consumer banking’s page.
“In recent years, banks have rolled out ever more personalised services, to meet consumer demands for ways of banking that fit around their lifestyle. But what’s to say the same idea can’t apply to business users?”
Users are able to send and receive secure messages with Barclays relationship and support teams via iPortal to streamline communication. It will also act as a market intelligence tool, providing users with the latest market research and insights specific to their business and industry.
Barclays iPortal is available to corporate customers with immediate effect, and the first orders for the Biometric Reader will be shipped from November 2015.
It can be accessed through all major web browsers, and the iPortal App will be available on tablet and mobile devices for financial controllers and company executives.
Mastercard is working with Stripe to expedite the payment process for American sellers on the latter's marketplaces using the instant payouts feature from Stripe.
Lloyds has launched biometric finger print authentication for mobile banking.
Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter's smartphone cases.
Digital challenger bank, N26, which has been live for one and a half years and has more than 200,000 customers, rolled out a new feature that allows its customers to transfer money using Siri. All they have to do is talk to it.