The business banking service that helps you get ahead today
RBS collaborated with 11:FS to design, build and deliver a new challenger, standalone service, Mettle, focussed on small business owners - sole traders and limited companies with up to two owners.
An underserved, overcharged sector
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are a hugely underserved part of the banking market. Business owners have traditionally been offered little more than a standard current account, but charged a highly monthly for it. These services do little to support SMBs around business critical functions such as invoicing, payments and reconciliations, to provide a real-time view of its finances.
RBS wanted to change this by creating a new digitally native service, Mettle, that would be on the side of the small business owner. It engaged 11:FS to lead the project and deliver on its vision.
We couldn't have done this without 11:FS - you’re our amazing partners.
Our customer behaviours are changing and we knew that we needed to change also. We’ve had to learn. Big organisations are terrible at thinking they knew what to do and we had to listen to customers and our partners.
CEO of RBS
What we did
RBS engaged 11:FS from the project’s inception, recognising that building an entirely digital service and brand, within an incumbent required a new way of working. It appreciated 11:FS’ collective experience in helping to build leading retail challenger banks and know how that could be implemented and embedded into its new service.
This included a new cultural approach to building the services and ensure it could deliver “like a start up”, driving an iterative approach to deliver with the quality and pace to succeed as a challenger.
Our approach to Mettle was there was no substitute for having talent that had already successfully delivered new challenger services to market. 11:FS led the project overall, as well as heading up Product design and development with company co-founder Jason Bates, and the engineering through our CTO, Ewan Silver.
The project began with a ‘Discovery phase’, underpinned by 11:FS’ approach to defining customer requirements using the Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) framework. This involved talking to small business owners across the UK to uncover the limitations with current services, their requirements around payments, invoicing and more, and how a digitally native service could work for them.
Mettle was developed from initial design and technical architecture, through to creating a value proposition for the SMB market, underpinned by a viable and commercially astute path to build and launch the service.
11:FS led the project building a working transaction flow in under eight weeks. From the minimal loveable product (MLP), the 11:FS-led engineering team moved the service from pre-alpha, to alpha and then into the initial release cycle.
The entire project was set up and developed to be fully sustainable for the team at NatWest, with ongoing education and knowledge sharing across the product and engineering teams.
The SMB service that works for businesses
The service was built around the ethos that there’s something different about people who start their own business. Mettle is supporting owners to focus on ‘forward-looking’ finances through the provision of real-time insights and automation tools to help them make more informed decisions.
For example, smarter invoicing helps SMBs manage their entire payment cycle, from creating an invoice to reconciliation. It also offers smart prompts to chase overdue invoices and ensure more consistent cash flows.
The service helps to simplify expenses, with the ability to add receipts to transactions and export expense data to improve book-keeping and ease the day-to-day accounting burden.
With Mettle, SMBs gain the resources and tools they need to effectively manage the financial side of their business in a more efficient and transparent way, freeing owners to focus on running their business.