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Barclays is the first major UK high street bank to offer free WiFi to its customers in branches nationwide, to help its mobile banking drive.

Barclays is the first major UK high street bank to offer free WiFi to its customers in branches nationwide, to help its mobile banking drive.

The new WiFi service, built by BT, is being rolled-out across 1,500 of Barclays branches across the UK.

Barclays said customers using the service would be able to download its mobile banking apps, including cash transfer app Pingit, access its main websites faster than using 3G, as well as third party sites.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: “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 would often value being shown how it works."

He added: "Our front line staff say WiFi will help them give product demos using our customers own mobiles and tablets. We hope by providing this free service our customers will be able to instantly download and use all our mobile apps."

BT has already installed the networks in more than half of the 1,500 branches. The remaining branches will be connected by the end of March.

The "white label" service is visible to the public as "BarclaysFreeWifi" and users only have to click to accept terms and conditions to get access.

At the end of last year Barclays ordered 8,500 iPads to be used by branch staff for its mortgage business.