UK building society Nationwide has announced two partnerships to help launch a business current account for Britain’s 5.6 million small businesses. The society says that the partnerships, with Mastercard and ClearBank, will enable it to deliver on milestones on the journey to launching its business current account proposition early next year.
Nationwide was awarded a £50m grant from the Capability and Innovation Fund, administered by Banking Competition Remedies Limited (BCR), earlier this year. This funding will support the society’s plans to deliver a fully-fledged business banking proposition including credit cards, unsecured loans and savings. It will also be used to develop a suite of associated products and services aimed at making the lives of business owners easier, from support with accounting and cash flow to assistance with foreign payments.
In preparation for the launch, Nationwide has already made a £15m investment in 10x Future Technologies, which gave the society a minority shareholding aimed at creating a partnership approach to designing and building a digital platform for the current account. 10x is now working with the society to deliver the digital platform.
Nationwide says it chose to partner with Mastercard for its payments innovation and technology, background in business banking, agility and experience of navigating the fintech ecosystem. Nationwide’s business banking customers will receive Mastercard debit cards following the launch early next year.
The partnership with ClearBank will enable Nationwide to use a payments platform that will deliver access to real-time payments services, such as Faster Payments.