Barclays offers Nairobi clients free Wi-Fi

Barclays Bank customers in Nairobi are set to enjoy free Internet in the banking halls following installation of a Wi-Fi hotspot by Liquid Telecom.

The Wi-Fi network has been installed at a cost of Sh7.6 million in 10 of the bank’s branches. The hotspot is independent from the bank’s Internet infrastructure to minimise chances of hacking into the lender’s core system.

The branches connected in the first phase include Queensway, Hurlingham, Moi Avenue, Sarit Centre, Village Market, Barclays plaza, Westlands, Muthaiga, Yaya Centre and Bishop’s Gate along Ngong Road.

The bank’s online platforms enable customers to open bank accounts, view and print out bank statements, transfer cash, pay bills and contact customer care at any time of day, among other services.

While there has been high uptake of Wi-Fi in banking halls globally, installation of the service has been slow in Kenya owing to fears of cyber attacks.

According to Serianu Limited, an IT consulting firm, banks and financial institutions remain prime targets for cyber hackers.

The second phase of the Wi-Fi project is expected to see more branches across the country connected to the Liquid Telecom network.

It is estimated that more than 90 per cent of Internet connections in Kenya are made through mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, according to MobiForge, a mobile development resource site.