Leading challenger bank refines online proposition as digital banking arms race heats up.
Metro Bank, the first in a flurry of UK-based challenger banks to receive a licence over the past five or six years, has launched an upgraded version of its commercial internet banking platform. Organisations with subsidiaries are now able to use a single customer view dashboard to keep tabs on all offshoots.
In response to direct customer feedback, Metro Bank’s updates also allow clients to access their full transaction history on-demand, from the date that the account was opened up to the present.
Security settings can also be tweaked by users. Customers can now customise their payment limits and the levels of verification and authorisation that are required in order to access an account. Options span from self-authorisation to a two-manager verification and authorisation sign-off process.
“We‘re committed to making our customers’ banking experience simple and straightforward,” said Mark Stokes (pictured above), managing director commercial at Metro Bank. “That’s why we listened to their feedback and designed our site around their needs.”
Metro Bank recently unveiled its financial results for the third quarter of 2016, which were headlined by a 73 per cent year-on-year increase in lending, with loans to commercial customers accounting for 35 per cent of its total lending.
Metro Bank does not currently use marketplace lending platforms as a distribution channel for lending to small businesses, as far as we’re aware, but has been lending through consumer focused peer-to-peer site Zopa since May of last year. The challenger bank currently holds around £7.3bn in deposits, with 52 per cent coming courtesy of commercial customers.
Its revamped digital banking platform was built by Backbase, a fast growing fintech software provider. Jouk Pleiter, CEO of software firm, said that Metro Bank “is empowering entrepreneurs to take more control of their online banking experience”.
Metro Bank blazed the trail for UK challenger banks by becoming the first new high street bank to open in the UK for over 100 years in 2010. But the disruptor is now at risk of being disrupted, with a fresh wave of well-funded digital-only banks – featuring Starling, Atom, Tandem, Loot and Monzo – looming large on the horizon. To complicate matters further, Metro Bank’s consumer lending partner Zopa announced plans to pursue a banking licence of its own last Wednesday. Metro Bank will likely continue to refine its online banking proposition as it attempts to fend off the competition.