Nationwide, the world’s largest building society, today announces it has invested in a leading fintech as it aims to disrupt the business banking market by delivering “game-changing” customer service on both the high street and online.
Last year the Society announced that it would launch a business current account in support of the UK’s 5.7 million small businesses, from tradespeople and sole traders to owner-managed businesses.
The £15 million investment in 10x Future Technologies - part of a Series B funding round - gives Nationwide a minority shareholding aimed at creating a true partnership approach to designing and building an innovative digital platform for the new current account. 10x is working with the Society to deliver the digital platform, which will be launched towards the end of the year.
As a mutual organisation driven by member needs and not profit, Nationwide will focus on smaller businesses, many of which have been underserved by the five big banks dominating 85 per cent of the market.
The Society, which has 15 million members, up to a million of whom are business owners, is bidding for £50 million funding from the Capability and Innovation Fund* so it can reach as many small businesses as possible with a fully-fledged proposition.
While acknowledging the growth of digital, Nationwide has maintained steady use of its branches and believes they still play a critical role within communities, both for individuals and small businesses. It comes at a time when many banks are continuing to close branches while others only offer standalone digital services.
As the only major provider not to offer a business current account, the Society is building the service from scratch, and is placing a premium on having a fantastic digital experience as well as providing excellent face-to-face service across its network of around 650 branches. It hopes to achieve the same success as it has seen across personal current accounts, which have grown by 70 per cent in the last five years.
As a member-owned organisation, Nationwide wanted to partner with an organisation that was not only at the forefront of technology and innovation, but also shared its core values. Nationwide is the most trusted financial services brand on the high street and also has the best levels of service on the high street. In the same way, 10x aims to create abetter banking experience – one that makes people’s lives much easier.
Nationwide, which has been working with 10x since last summer to test its thinking around the account and to scope the requirements for delivery, aims to build a service that will deliver a fantastic digital experience - keeping members’ money safe and secure at the same time as providing them with greater choice over how they interact and transact.
The new cloud-native platform will enable businesses to access their account and associated products and services through both a mobile app and online banking. 10x’s team of financial services and technology experts has the knowledge and experience to build a new platform that can quickly evolve to deliver better, more personal, tailored experiences for businesses.
Joe Garner, Chief Executive of Nationwide Building Society, said: “We believe we can become the gamechanger in the business current account market – just as we have for personal accounts. As a mutual and as a building society we are uniquely focussed on our members and meeting their changing needs. Serving people on their terms and to a high standard is at the heart of what we stand for, which is why we are investing in both technology and a truly national branch network. Like us, 10x is aiming to massively improve service in financial services and are therefore a natural partner.”
Antony Jenkins, Founder and Executive Chairman of 10x Future Technologies, said: “Nationwide is one of the UK’s most trusted and service-centric brands and our digital delivery team looks forward to supporting the Society in setting new standards in business banking – just as good digitally as it is in branch. We are incredibly proud to partner with Nationwide as part of our ambition to transform banking.”
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Notes to Editor:
*Capability and Innovation Fund The purpose of the Capability and Innovation Fund is to encourage eligible bodies to (i) develop and improve their capability to compete with RBS in the provision of banking services to SMEs; and (ii) develop and improve the financial products and services which are available to SMEs. The Capability and Innovation Fund comprises a total of £425 million which is divided into four pools. The four pools each have a distinct purpose and are divided into a number of pre-determined grants.
About Nationwide Building Society
Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as one of the largest savings providers and the second largest mortgages provider in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers and members.
Customers can manage their finances in a branch, via the mobile app, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 18,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.
10x Future Technologies (10x) is focused on transforming banking to be 10x better for customers, banks and society.
Using our next-generation, cloud-native platform, we enable our clients to engage their customers with more timely, relevant and personalised experiences when it comes to managing money. The 10x SuperCore provides a transformational end to end architecture designed from first principles to bring forward a new way of banking.
10x was founded in 2016 by Antony Jenkins, former Group CEO of Barclays. Fusing the DNA of Big Tech, financial services and consumer-obsessed industries, the 10x team is a powerhouse of innovators, technologists, designers, and industry-proven leaders transforming banking for the benefit of people and society.