U.K. lender HSBC made progress in the launch of its digital banking platform for small businesses, Kinetic, which is now operating in beta phase, Reuters reported on Monday (Nov. 11).
Initially dubbed “Project Iceberg,” HSBC Kinetic aims to connect small businesses with mobile-based banking solutions, including a current account, overdraft and spending and cash flow management analytics.
The Kinetic tool was developed by about 150 of HSBC’s London staff. The bank expects a full launch of Kinetic in the first half of next year, when it is expected to integrate with HSBC’s banking infrastructure.
HSBC Head of U.K. Small Business Banking Peter McIntyre said the bank plans to onboard hundreds of thousands of small business customers onto the Kinetic platform when it officially launches. The bank also plans to expand Kinetic into new geographic markets.
Reuters noted that McIntyre remains confident in Kinetic’s ability to gain traction, even amid economic uncertainty in the U.K. “I think this is the best time to do it, to bring more financial insight to customers at a difficult time,” he told the publication.
According to the news outlet, HSBC’s newest small business digital banking offering is one of several rolling out in the market from traditional High Street lenders that are facing higher pressure from FinTechs.
Late last month, HSBC posted an 18 percent loss in pre-tax profits for the third quarter of 2019, with the bank’s CFO Ewen Stevenson also announcing restructuring plans in the U.K. and U.S., where the FI’s losses were greatest. “Returns are very, very weak across both of those businesses,” he said at the time. “We need to get those returns up. We haven’t yet sized what that means in terms of the restructuring.”
Reports noted that RBS is also planning a full launch of its standalone digital consumer banking platform Bó later this month, with features such as user budgeting, saving and spend analysis, targeting users with less than $128 in savings.