HSBC offers free Wi-Fi to customers in its branches

Banknotes seemingly rising out of a mobile phone and into the sky.

HSBC has implemented free wireless access in its branches around the UK, following similar moves by Barclays.

The service has been rolled out to 652 branches throughout the country via BT's Wi-Fi network. Customers within the branch will be able to access the service to browse the internet or carry out mobile banking.

This follows research by BT and Avaya revealed that 49 percent of UK banking customers felt that free WiFi would "greatly improve their in-branch experience".

Customers will now be able to test out the HSBC app before they download it themselves and will be guided through the features by staff.

Carl Howard, the head of digital at HSBC in the UK said the service had been introduced to make it easier for staff to show customers how mobile banking can be used.

"We've been listening to our customers about how we can make banking easier for them, and they tell us they like the idea of mobile banking, but in some cases would value being shown how it works," he said.

"Our branch staff can now demo our Mobile Banking app in branch to get people started, as well as demonstrating how new mobile payment service Paym allows customers to pay their contacts using just a mobile number."

HSBC recently announced it had seen over 2 billion of payments and transfers made on its mobile banking app, as well as over one million log-ons each week.

Barclays has been offering a similar service to customers since February last year. Barclays, HSBC and other financial firms are also part of Paym. This service is set to expand later in the year with more banks and building societies coming onto the mobile platform.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.