Asda has announced a trial with Barclays Bank to open branches within selected supermarkets.
Four pilot bank branches are set to open in February 2014 with services available seven days a week, mirroring the opening times of Asda stores.
The first branch is set to open within the Asda Birchwood store in Cheshire in February. It will be followed by branch openings within stores in Pudsey, Watford and Broadstairs, with the goal to extend the pilot to eight stores by early 2014.
Services available outside of traditional Barclays opening hours, which are typically 9am to 5pm Monday-Saturday, will utilise self-service technology to allow Asda customers to carry out regular transactions such as paying in cash and cheques, withdrawing and transferring money, and paying bills.
“This is the next step in the evolution of how we continue to make our stores relevant to our customers’ everyday needs, giving them access to banking services to use at their convenience – when they want, and how they want it,” said Karen Hubbard, executive director for property at Asda.
“Access to banking services is an underrated but important asset to any community but in many areas, these services just aren’t available to families. In partnership with Barclays, we’ll trial banking services in our stores for the communities which need it the most.”
Barclays’ Steve Cooper said that the bank hopes to have a network of branches at locations such as supermarkets by 2017.