Nationwide plans further digital investment as profits rise

Nationwide plans to make further investments in digital banking following the completion of a major re-platforming project.


Nationwide plans to make further investments in digital banking following the completion of a major IT transformation project.

Nationwide began a £1 billlion project to overhaul its systems in 2008, including a re-platforming of its core banking system. Having almost completed the migration of 5.2 million customer accounts onto its new SAP platform, the building society expects to spend more on developing digital services to meet shifting customer expectations.

“Over the past five years we have renewed our infrastructure through the delivery of a new banking platform, new data centre, new payments platform, new website and a mobile banking service,” said Nationwide chief executive Graham Beale.

“Whilst these programmes have improved customer service and increased technical resilience, it is likely that over the next few years the pace of change will speed up, with an increasing number of smaller initiatives to enable Nationwide to operate in an evolving digital society.”

He added: “Member behaviours and expectations are changing, with an increasing use of internet and mobile channels, and we will ensure that we respond accordingly.”  

Nationwide currently has 2.6 million active users of its digital services, with almost half of its 620,000 logins each day made through its mobile banking app. The company has invested in improving mobile channels, and has joined a number of digital payments initiatives such as, Zapp and Paym, which will be available next year.

The building society has also committed to maintaining its high street presence, with initiatives such as the roll out of a Cisco telepresence system for mortgage applications aimed at improving utilisation of branches.

Nationwide noted an increase in costs as part of its plans to save up to £50 million a year sourcing IT application and support activities through ‘strategic delivery partners’. Total costs were £30 million for the year, including provision of technical infrastructure and reduced headcount.

In its full-year results to March 2014, the company reported a 113 percent rise in underlying profit to £924 million.

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