UK high street bank NatWest has forged a partnership with software vendor Vodeno Group to create a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) business in the UK.
This strategic partnership will enable businesses to embed financial services products, such as payments, deposits, point-of-sale credit and merchant cash advances, directly in their ecosystem by leveraging the Vodeno Group’s BaaS technology, and NatWest Group’s banking technology and UK banking licences.
Under the terms of the agreement, a new UK based entity will combine the Vodeno Group’s technological and operational capabilities and its cloud platform with NatWest Group’s banking technology and expertise, building on NatWest Group’s position as a leading supporter of UK business.
Through its business banking app Mettle, NatWest Group has built a standalone core banking and payments capability, Vodeno Group’s platform will also provide a channel for delivering these capabilities to BaaS clients in the UK.
NatWest Group chief executive Alison Rose said: “As a leading supporter of UK business, we are committed to investing in digital transformation to provide a simpler and better banking experience for our customers. By entering into this strategic partnership with Vodeno Group we will be able to meet the evolving needs of our business customers as they look to embed financial products in their own propositions and journeys.
“This strategic partnership presents a strong potential source of fee income in a growing market, and an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth by building deeper relationships with our corporate customers. It also complements our existing investment in the development of business banking technology within our Mettle business.”
Vodeno Group is a European BaaS provider which combines the Poland-based Vodeno Sp. z.o.o, a software company providing its API-based technology platform and the Belgium-based Aion Bank, which has a banking licence covering a range of banking products, including loans, deposits and access to EEA payment systems. Vodeno Group is majority owned by Warburg Pincus.
The new entity
The new UK entity will be 82 per cent majority owned and consolidated by NatWest Bank Plc, with Vodeno TechCo holding the remaining minority interest. NatWest Group will additionally take a minority interest (initially a 9.9 per cent holding, increasing to 18 per cent subject to certain conditions and approvals being met) in Vodeno Limited, which owns 100 per cent of Vodeno TechCo and Aion Bank.
Wojciech Sobieraj, CEO of Vodeno Sp. z.o.o, added: “Consumers require high quality and accessible banking products that are end-to-end digital, and banking-as-a-service is making this possible. Our fully API-based platform offers a comprehensive suite of BaaS products that enable brands to ‘embed’ financial services directly into their ecosystems to create seamless customer journeys. We are excited to combine our technology with NatWest Group to offer the next generation of financial services.”