York­shire Bank goes dig­i­tal with the ‘B’ word

Yorkshire Post - Business - - FRONT PAGE - BERNARD GINNS BUSI­NESS EDITOR ■ Email: bernard.ginns@ypn.co.uk ■ Twit­ter: @bernardginns

YORK­SHIRE BANK is to launch a new dig­i­tal bank­ing plat­form in the com­ing weeks af­ter in­vest­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of pounds on tech­nol­ogy to pre­pare for its fu­ture as a stand­alone chal­lenger bank.

Chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Deb­bie Cros­bie said ‘B’ goes live this spring and will ap­peal to dig­i­tal savvy cus­tomers of all ages.

She said thou­sands of con­sumers have helped to de­velop the mo­bile and tablet ser­vice in an ef­fort to make it as user-friendly as pos­si­ble.

It will be CYBG plc’s first ma­jor prod­uct launch since de­merg­ing from Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank and float­ing on the Lon­don Stock Ex­change last month. In an in­ter­view with The York­shire Post, Ms Cros­bie said new tech­nol­ogy is bring­ing enor­mous changes to the bank­ing in­dus­try.

She added: “If I think about the changes that have hap­pened in the last 10 years, bank­ing is un­recog­nis­able. I sus­pect that pace of change is only go­ing to in­crease.

“It is fas­ci­nat­ing to see how tech­nol­ogy can change not only the way you de­liver ser­vices but the way you find out what cus­tomers want...

“Lots of banks talk about cus­tomers de­sign­ing tech­nol­ogy. We have re­ally done that be­cause we have had more than 10,000 peo­ple look at the de­vel­op­ment on the way through, we have held work­shops and we have re­ally got be­neath and be­hind what peo­ple like.”

Ms Cros­bie, for­merly a chief in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cer at Cly­des­dale and York­shire Bank, said B’s fea­tures and lan­guage have been de­signed fol­low­ing feed­back from cus­tomers, rather than what pre­vi­ous banks and web­sites pro­vided.

She added: “The idea is you have a bank­ing ap­pli­ca­tion, which is on your tablet or your mo­bile, whichever your pref­er­ence is, and you can see all of your hold­ings, it will give you lots of in­ter­est­ing in­for­ma­tion, it will en­cour-

The whole ethos is about putting power back in the cus­tomers’ hands.

Deb­bie Cros­bie, chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer of CYBG

age you to learn about the way that you spend and man­age your money bet­ter and it gives you lots of in­for­ma­tion that we think will help you to man­age your money bet­ter.

“The whole ethos is about putting power back in the cus­tomers’ hands so they can man­age money in the way they would like to man­age money as op­posed to the way banks tell you to man­age money.”

Ms Cros­bie is con­fi­dent that the new ser­vice will be well re­ceived by cus­tomers. It has been pi­loted with staff and re­ceived a pos­i­tive re­sponse.

She said the len­der has con­sis­tently in­vested £100m a year on tech­nol­ogy and change in the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Last year and this year, the an­nual in­vest­ment has risen to £150m, she added.

Ms Cros­bie added: “It is my re­spon­si­bil­ity to make sure that our staff, our cus­tomers and our share­hold­ers see the value from that and I am very con­vinced they will...

“One of the things cus­tomers told us is the thing they worry most about in life is money. The whole point of this is to make sure cus­tomers can man­age money, see what is go­ing on, it is very trans­par­ent, it is very easy for them to use.

“So what we hope is that peo­ple will see it can help them man­age their money and take some of that worry away.”

Bri­tain’s big five high street banks are in­vest­ing in new tech­nol­ogy to keep up with fastchang­ing con­sumer habits.

But as cus­tomers choose to do more on­line via low-cost bank­ing apps, they are vis­it­ing branches less. Ms Cros­bie said CYBG would con­tinue to in­vest in branches where it works for cus­tomers, but ad­mit­ted that more would close in the fu­ture.

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