Pollinate creates award-winning NatWest Payit™ in a UK Open Banking first

Pollinate has created NatWest Payit™- an award-winning Open Banking solution to help merchants collect and settle e-commerce payments in close to real time. It does this by enabling frictionless payments directly from customer bank accounts – helping to improve cash flow, reduce the cost of online payments by at least 25 per cent, and increase conversion at the checkout.

NatWest Payit™ is a simple and secure solution that will be rolled out commercially in early 2020, following a pilot with Carphone Warehouse in 2019 and a subsequent trial with the MS Society, which has seen a significant increase in donations. The technology has already been recognised, with NatWest Payit™ winning the award for ‘Best Open Banking Initiative’ at the Financial Innovation Awards 2019.  

An evolution in Open Banking

NatWest Payit™ builds on the industry’s Open Banking technology and is one of the first to do so in payments (PISP), rather than as an information aggregator (AISP). Jonathan Hughes, co-founder and President of Pollinate, says: “Open Banking is part of a long-term trend in driving down payment processing costs for merchants and increasing convenience for consumers. Services like NatWest Payit™ are simple but highly effective, removing the blocks that get in the way of a successful outcome for both the merchant and its customer – whether that is mis-entering data at the checkout, or high credit or debit card fees on low-margin items.

The next step change will be when Open Banking data is used to create new propositions in loyalty, rewards and offers, by helping merchants build up accurate pictures of their customers’ likes and needs.”

From pilot to a market-ready product

When NatWest ran the pilot with Carphone Warehouse last year, they placed the Payit™ button alongside the existing payment methods and monitored usage. The pilot was a huge success, with a high percentage of customers choosing to process their payment using the Payit™ option.

The next step for NatWest was to partner with Pollinate to develop a market-ready and commercially viable product that was simple and cost-effective. According to Jonathan, the success of the pilot can be attributed to the fact that consumers demand simplicity of user experience: “Consumers expect a simple payment journey. They need to open an app and click a couple of buttons, avoiding the need to enter long card details every time.”

Pollinate partnered with Endava to create Payit™ for NatWest. “Endava and Pollinate work very successfully together to create innovative payments platforms – we share a common ethos and approach to problem-solving.  The biggest challenge was creating an intuitive and simple payments experience for customers, while also working around the slightly different ways that all the UK banks have implemented their Open Banking APIs.”

Jonathan Hughes

A global opportunity

While Payit™ is targeted to the UK, and is an exclusively NatWest product, there is an opportunity for this use of Open Banking technology to be replicated across other key markets, such as Australia or Canada.

“Open Banking legislation and the technology innovation it enables is, and will continue to be, a huge part of the way the retail banking system develops,” concludes Jonathan. “We are getting to the point where smart solutions that fundamentally change the way that merchants and consumers use the banking system – both in payments and beyond – are a reality. Open Banking applications will no doubt be a ubiquitous feature of merchant websites in the near future, and Pollinate is proud to be leading the way with NatWest Payit™.”

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