The Competition and Markets Authority’s “Open Banking” initiative promises to turn UK banking on its head. Here’s why banks need to show their customers some more love – and how Nationwide already does.

Open Banking: Why some banks won't need to work harder

Personal customers and small businesses should be getting a better deal from their banks, says the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). For too long, established banks have found it far too easy to hold on to their customers – and the CMA plans to do something about it.

At the moment, only 3% of personal and 4% of business customers switch to a different bank in any year. But if the CMA’s proposed changes have their intended impact, that’s about to change.

Are you trapped in an unloving relationship with your bank?

Although it’s tempting to heap yet more criticism on banks already dogged by public distrust, clearly some of the blame rests with consumers.

Do we really think switching is too hard? Or are we just lazy, assuming all the banks offer pretty much the same service levels, products and charges?

The CMA’s Open Banking initiative aims to end our complacency by simplifying account switching, much like comparison sites encourage regular switching and (in theory) increased competition between insurance providers.

More than 40% of UK drivers will switch motor insurance provider this year, according to Consumer Intelligence, largely through easy-to-use price comparison websites. The CMA’s question is: why should banking be any different?

So what should banks be focusing on if they’re to win in a more dynamic market with vastly increased customer churn?

Loving your customers just became even more urgent

The answer’s simple: love your customers. By treating customers how you’d expect to be treated yourself, you’ll be best placed to understand how to improve and broaden your services.

Banks that use the advantages of Low-code to turn this insight into a digital reality will have the best opportunity to maintain and grow market share.

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Low-code helps businesses introduce customer-facing innovation faster. By helping customer service, operations and IT teams work together to improve customer service processes faster they can roll out new, innovative services ahead of competitors.

Nationwide is doing it already

Nationwide Building Society use MATS Low-code to drive a range of customer service improvements. But what’s really interesting is how Nationwide’s existing, Low-code powered capabilities compare to the CMA’s new requirements.

What the CMA demands

What Nationwide is already doing

Improve the current account switching service, to make it easier to shop around and open new accounts. Current Account Switch Service
Nationwide moves customers’ direct debits and standing orders for them, and takes care of the entire switching process from beginning to end. The process is powered by MATS Low-code.
Give customers much greater control and visibility of overdraft charges, ensuring they’re clearly told when they are about to be incurred and have an opportunity to avoid them. Low-balance alerts and payment retry alerts
Nationwide’s free text alert service helps customers manage their money more easily, including low-balance alerts and payment retry alerts designed to help customers avoid unnecessary charges. Again, this is powered by MATS.
Send out event-based prompts – such as warning of branch closures or changes to savings rates or charges. SavingsWatch
Nationwide’s SavingsWatch service ensures customers get warned if their savings interest rate moves up or down. And if a new savings account is launched, customers are alerted. SavingsWatch is powered by MATS Low-code.
Publish trustworthy and objective information on quality of service on websites and in branches. Measuring customer satisfaction
Nationwide uses an independent research company to ask 12,000 Nationwide customers every month about the quality of service. The results are always published online – you can see them here.


Working smarter, not harder

With great customer service processes like these already in place, Nationwide attracts a lot of new customers and came 3rd in a recent report charting the winners and losers of the switching guarantee service. MATS Low-code helps Nationwide to deliver streamlined customer onboarding processes for mortgages and ISA Savings Accounts.

As the UK banking market continues to transform, the advantages of the MATS Low-code platform will allow Nationwide to roll out further improvements and innovation faster and cheaper than its competitors.  So if the CMA prompted changes drive UK customers to shop around, Nationwide is already positioned to take full advantage.

Learn more about using Low-code for co-creation

If you’d like to know more about using Low-code to support digital co-creation, ask to see a demo of our MATS platform.

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