‘Cash doesn’t crash!’ Barclays app and online banking outage sparks warning after bank branch closures

Barclays bank branch with cash ATMs outside

Barclays said sorry to customers who were affected by the online banking and mobile app issues which left the two services not working

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 22/10/2023

- 08:00

Updated: 22/10/2023

- 10:52

Barclays apologised to customers after they were unable to access the mobile app and Online Banking for hours this week

Hundreds of GB News viewers have highlighted the importance of cash following an outage that left Barclays customers unable to access their bank accounts for more than two hours on Tuesday.

The bank apologised to affected customers at the time, stating people could still use their automated telephone service as normal, but warned their phone lines were “very busy”.

People took to social media to share their distress about the matter, with some pointing out that in-branch banking wasn’t an option either as their local Barclays bank branch had been closed.

Barclays is among a number of banks and building societies to have closed bank branches in recent years - 5,668 branches have disappeared from the high street since January 2015, according to Which?.

WATCH NOW: GB News visits pub landlord who only accepts cash

NatWest Group, which comprises NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland and Ulster Bank, has closed the most branches of any banking group, with 1,314 sites having shut.

Barclays is the individual bank that has reduced its network the most, with 1,098 branches now closed, Which? said, with 1,140 set to have closed by the end of 2023 since 2015.

Responding to the news of the Barclays app and online banking services not working, one person wrote on the GB News Facebook page: "Just pop into your local branch!! WAIT!!!! can’t do that."

Another penned: "And that's why we need branches open and cash!!!!!" More than 250 people "liked" the post.

A message liked by 48 Facebook users read: "This is why we need to have more bank branches open and to keep using cash."

Many more GB News readers showed their support for the ability to use cash, despite a move towards online banking and contactless card payments.

Have you got a money question or story you'd like to share? Get in touch by emailing money@gbnews.uk.

A social media user commented: "It’s cash all the way…this technology just is not reliable…KEEP CASH KEEP CASH KEEP CASH…."

Another warned: "We need to use CASH, take some out each week for shopping etc., If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it!!"

GB News spoke to Martin Quinn, campaign director of the Payment Choice Alliance, who highlighted the importance of having payment choice - meaning if digital payment options do fail, they can still have a way to pay.

He said: “It’s just not good enough for those who solely rely on banking apps, to be left high and dry when technical issues cause meltdown.

“The best advice is to always carry some cash, not just as a back-up, but increasingly using cash as your main payment source, because as in the case of the Barclays issue, cash doesn’t crash.”

Barclays bank branch

Barclays is the individual bank that has reduced its network the most, with 1,098 branches now closed


Ron Delnevo, campaign committee chair of the Payment Choice Alliance, told GB News: “IT incidents, such as the financial exclusion of Barclays digital customers on Tuesday, are very common.

"Every week there seems to be yet another IT failure.

“These badly impact the public and hit particularly hard where ‘cashless’ has already been imposed.

"Unlike digital options, cash never crashes - it always works. But where it cannot be accepted in daft ‘cashless’ businesses, the public are left totally unable to buy what they want and need."

A Barclays spokesperson said: “Where there is no longer enough demand to support a branch, we maintain an in-person presence though our Barclays Local network, live in over 260 locations, based in libraries, town halls, mobile vans and our banking pods.

"We also support access to cash with our cashback without purchase service, 24-hour deposit-taking ATMs and by working alongside the Post Office and Cash Access UK.”

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