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Capco partnered with NatWest to create a new breed of bank for businesses, Mettle.
NatWest wanted to do more to help small and medium-sized businesses, which are traditionally underserved by the banking industry. They also wanted to design something completely new, outside of their existing technology stack. And that’s where Capco came in.
In just three months, we built a proof of concept. Within six months 50 Mettle employees had begun testing their accounts out in the wild, and within the six months that followed from that, we had our first 100 real business customers.
Since launching the bank to customers, we have helped mature Mettle into a lean operation and smoothly run organization that is compliant with regulation at the level expected of a major bank like NatWest.
Today, Mettle is live with many thousands of customers offering a service that goes beyond just banking, it helps people run their business.
NatWest had a hunch that the market was about to change very quickly, driven by changes in regulation, new entrants, and increased customer expectations driven by adjacent industries.
PSD2 and Open Banking were lowering the barriers for new players to offer new services on top of existing banks, disintermediating them in the process. Meanwhile, loosening of the banking license requirements for new entrants had already led to the emergence of neo-banks in the retail banking space and new challengers in the business banking market.
Everyday banking was changing rapidly, as were consumer expectations of online and mobile services.
All these factors combined have disrupted banks’ ‘business as usual’ and made a fiercely competitive financial services landscape.
We started with the customer. Whilst we understood disruption was likely, we wanted to build a differentiated proposition that really helped improve the financial side of running a business.
Using the ‘Jobs to be Done’ framework we went out and spoke to business owners to understand the key ‘jobs’ they carried out to manage the financial side of their business. We then surveyed hundreds of other businesses to understand the relative importance they placed on doing these tasks to run their business, as well as their satisfaction with the existing tools they currently use. This allowed to us to plot where the opportunity was for NatWest and define a proposition that was genuinely useful to customers.
With our hypotheses for the product, we then set about building a minimum viable product to quickly test customer appetite for Mettle, the business account that frees you to run your business.
Mettle was set up as a new and separate legal entity from NatWest, to allow the business to operate outside of the traditional technology, operations and governance structure. The goal was to deliver at speed and experiment like a true start-up with minimal risk exposure.
Using modern technologies and agile delivery, we set up autonomous, cross-functional mission teams to deliver the proposition. With this structure in place, we were able to take Mettle from inception to the ‘live-proving’ stage in six months, and to market in just 12 months. This was quickly followed by a full launch on the Apple App store and Google Play store.
Capco led the definition of Mettle’s operating model, and approach to customer support, and risk and legal, setting Mettle up to successfully scale their operations alongside their growing customer numbers, whilst remaining compliant.
In developing Mettle’s customer support operations, Capco created a bespoke customer operations tool to support agents with a single view of the customer, and banking operations. Additionally, we implemented 3rd party SaaS support tools like Intercom, Aircall and Zendesk. We also automated the customer account opening process, allowing customers to open a new account in just five minutes, and freeing up customer operations capacity. Put together, these drastically reduced our customer cost-to-serve, and has kept Trustpilot and app store ratings close to 5 stars.
Through Capco’s leadership in product, architecture and delivery management, we were also able to ensure that Mettle was compliant with PSD2 on time, and delivered on budget. We defined and built a bespoke SCA flow, new APIs and reports that were all approved by the regulator.
Before COVID-19, we had already designed a secure remote working environment, which allowed Mettle to seamlessly transition to a remote-first working environment – which it remains today.
Capco took the brief of a market problem, and together with NatWest, designed and delivered a fully functioning and scalable business to customers. We didn’t just build an app, we built a business, complete with customer and business operations such as the fraud and AML processes required to operate a banking product.
We continue to develop Mettle’s own ‘greenfield’ cloud-based tech stack and bespoke tools using agile ways of working to enable continuous integration and delivery, high-scalability and robustness.
The outcome: A challenger bank for NatWest that is a mission-focused business which continues to innovate for the bank and its customers.
To find out more about Mettle, visit www.mettle.co.uk.