HSBC and RBS race to launch new digital banking platforms

via FinTech Futures

UK banks HSBC and RBS are both set to launch new separate digital banking platforms.

HSBC has announced its app-based service for small business customers – HSBC Kinetic – is in beta testing, just as RBS, through NatWest, is gearing up to launch its new digital bank Bó to the public later this month.

Formerly known as Project Iceberg, HSBC’s new mobile-first banking platform is designed to analyse spend and offer cashflow features to serve the small business economy.

HSBC’s UK small business banking head, Peter McIntyre, hopes the Kinetic platform will see hundreds of thousands of customer sign-ups.

Based on insights from 2,400 UK businesses, the service lets businesses manage direct debits, standing orders, future payments and debit cards, as well as allowing them to get acquire funds through an in-app overdraft application.

RBS’ neobank Bó, which is designed to help people with less than £100 in their savings, is in preparation for its public launch later this month.

The challenger aims to help those 16.8 million struggling to save, showing them how to spend and budget with alerts which warn them when they are overspending.

“So far, we don’t think anyone is managing to deliver truly customer-centric financial services, and no-one’s yet proven that you can disintermediate the existing banks,” Bó’s CEO, Mark Bailie, tells Oliver Wyman.

“It’s still a very young sector,” Wyman continues, saying although what challengers “are doing today isn’t yet the full answer, these business models will evolve and develop over the next five years”.