NatWest, the U.K. financial institution owned by RBS, has launched a mobile app-only small business bank account, according to reports on Tuesday (Nov. 6).
Asset Finance International has reported the launch of Mettle, the digital bank account for SMBs. The solution is NatWest's response to small firms' demand for digital financial services, offering current account services, invoicing, bookkeeping and a debit card.
Mettle is entirely mobile, allowing new small business customers to open an account when they download the app. The solution offers enhanced financial analytics and forecasting, which is displayed on the mobile platform, while SMBs can also generate invoices and send invoice payment reminders to customers from their mobile devices.
"With a constantly evolving banking and technology landscape, we know we need to adapt in order to offer new customer-focused solutions," said NatWest Chief Executive of Commercial and Private Banking Alison Rose in a statement. "The premise for Mettle lets our customers focus on 'forward-looking' finances, combining technology and proactive insights so [SMBs] can make better decisions and run their businesses more successfully."
The solution is currently in pilot phase, reports said. Small businesses that want to try the service must request an invitation to download the Mettle link; early users will be able to collaborate with developers to drive the evolution of the service before a possible full-scale launch.
"Being able to engage with our customers and to get their direct feedback, at this early stage, is extremely important to us," Rose added.
The Mettle platform was created in a partnership between NatWest and 11:FS and Capco. Small businesses do not have to be an existing client of NatWest to sign up for a Mettle account, the company noted. The pilot of Mettle follows several earlier initiatives from RBS to enhance its small business offerings, including the acquisition of digital accounting software firm FreeAgent earlier this year, as well as the rollout of Esme, its digital business lending offering.
NatWest itself has also introduced digital SMB services, with a deal made earlier this year to link small business clients to MarketInvoice's trade finance offerings. Last year, the FI announced a collaboration with SpendLabs to create a mobile financial management app for businesses.