Behind the scenes of an award-winning open banking partnership

6 min read|Published April 21, 2022
NatWest wins the Celent Model Bank 2022 Award

Hard work and providing the customers with what they need pays off – Tink’s long-time collaborator NatWest has won the prestigious Celent Model Bank Award 2022 for its Digital Spending feature – a tool powered by Tink’s open banking technology. Tasha Chouhan, UK & IE Banking Lead at Tink and Geddy Meguyer, Lead Experience Manager at NatWest reflect on the making of the award-winning feature – and the importance of a successful partnership.

TL;DR – Quick summary
  • NatWest has recently gotten recognised with the Celent Model Bank 2022 Award in the ‘open banking’ category.

  • Their Digital Spending Tool – built in partnership with Tink – was highlighted as one of the motivations behind the award.

  • We talk to Tink’s Tasha Chouhan and NatWest’s Geddy Meguyer to understand a bit more about the partnership – and what has made it so successful.

TL;DR – Quick summary
  • NatWest has recently gotten recognised with the Celent Model Bank 2022 Award in the ‘open banking’ category.

  • Their Digital Spending Tool – built in partnership with Tink – was highlighted as one of the motivations behind the award.

  • We talk to Tink’s Tasha Chouhan and NatWest’s Geddy Meguyer to understand a bit more about the partnership – and what has made it so successful.

In November 2019, NatWest launched the Spending feature with Tink on the NatWest Group’s main mobile banking app. The idea behind the digital spending tool started with a wish to fulfil the customer need to better track their financial outgoings.

‘The launch of the Digital Spending Tool came in response to a combination of two factors. The first was growing demand from customers for help in understanding their habitual spending patterns. NatWest’s customer research found that many struggle to track their outgoings, and that answering the question of “where does my money go each month” is key to enabling better financial management,’ says Geddy Meguyer, Lead Experience Manager at NatWest.

The collaboration has been a success since its start. As a testament to this, NatWest has leveraged more and more of Tink’s technology to provide its customers with money management tools, and started a three-way partnership with Cogo and Tink to boost sustainability.

‘The implementation of our technology into NatWest’s mobile banking app went fantastically. After close collaboration on categorisation, NatWest was able to launch categorised transactions, budgets, a newsfeed and insights with Tink – all within a year,’ says Tasha.

The key ingredients of a successful partnership

Naturally, there were challenges to overcome. Back in 2019, Tink’s experience mainly came from the Swedish market – and UK customer behaviours are different. ‘Market specific categorisation was a challenge. But we worked collaboratively with the NatWest team and Tink’s Enrichment team to refine the data science behind Tink’s technology to increase the level of categorisation accuracy, and it worked wonders,’ Tasha explains.

After all, collaboration is one of the key ingredients of a successful partnership. Tasha elaborates: ‘To me, a successful partnership is when you become like an extension of each other’s business. To do that, you need to be in near-constant communication with one another, be reactive to the other’s requests and proactive on new ways of doing things.’

Geddy at NatWest agrees, and adds ‘For me a successful partnership is built on shared values and a combined care for our customers. We build, together, the right tools to support our customers to thrive.’

'To me, a successful partnership is when you become like an extension of each other’s business.'

Tink + NatWest = millions of financially empowered customers

NatWest’s Spending feature has managed what it set out to do and more: it has given NatWest’s customers the power to better manage their money. With it, they can keep track of their spending, set budgets, and be provided with personalised insights into their spending habits. Thanks to Tink and NatWest’s partnership, millions of UK customers are improving their financial situation.

‘We have seen fantastic engagement with the Digital Spending Tool as well as some compelling individual success stories. Since the launch of the Spending feature in December 2019, over 8.3 million of NatWest customers have already used it. With a large percentage of this group engaging with it on a regular basis (returning more than once in a rolling 90 day period),’ Geddy says.

‘The 2020 launch of new features was the real indication of partnership success. The Spending tab launched Newsfeed and Insights which was made accessible to 9.4 million digital customers. Six months after implementation, 24 million insights were generated with over 25% of customers taking action on this,’ Tasha adds.

What it means to win the Celent Model Bank 2022 Award

'We have proven that through well-chosen partnerships and an unwavering dedication to our customer we are able to foster digital financial capability interactions that have meaning and help our customers to become financially better off'

NatWest’s successful use of open banking technology to strengthen its banking and payment services makes them a worthy winner of the Model Bank 2022 Award for Open Banking.

‘I’m really proud of the teams across both NatWest and Tink for coming together to create an award winning experience for our customers. We have proven that through well-chosen partnerships and an unwavering dedication to our customer we are able to foster digital financial capability interactions that have meaning and help our customers to become financially better off,‘ Geddy remarked.

What are your wishes for the future of this partnership?

‘I wish to continue to work with NatWest on their sustainability initiatives, as well as financial inclusion aspects of money management: that is, enabling the underbanked with money services designed to help them accomplish their financial goals.’ Tasha concludes: ‘I’m really looking forward to what our partnership will bring in the future.’

Geddy at NatWest adds: ‘I look forward to the future of the partnership with Tink, as we continue to serve our customers both face to face and digitally in an ever changing financial environment, Tink’s tools and skills will support our strategy to help our customers and communities to thrive.’

Congratulations, NatWest, on winning the Celent Model Bank 2022 Award. It's certainly well-deserved 👏

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