RBS Mettle

The business banking service that helps you get ahead today
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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.
The challenge
"

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.

Alison Rose
CEO of RBS
"

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.

Alison Rose
CEO of RBS
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.

Alison Rose
CEO of RBS
"

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.

Alison Rose
CEO of RBS
"
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.
Alison Rose
"

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.

Alison Rose
CEO of RBS
"
Alison Rose
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.

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.

RBS Mettle mobile banking app and card
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US Retail Bank mobile app onboarding screen, dashboard, bills
CaixaBank logo

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.

Mox payment card
GrabPay card

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.

Citizens Access logo
Citizens Access logo
Mettle banking app transaction screen examples
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.

Strategy phase: a customer-centric proposition

Following the Design phase, 11:FS worked with Citizens Access to define their strategy for the new proposition. This involved working through some rapid concept and user testing sessions to ensure the service design helped the customer overcome the problem identified in the JTBD analysis.

11:FS moderated workshops with the Citizens Access team to define the purpose of the new proposition, its core values and the tone of voice the brand should adopt. The outputs of these workshops were combined with the cultural insights to enrich the Stories to be Told and thus their product marketing and brand strategy.

We tested different ways the brand could pitch the new proposition and arrived at a compelling direction for the Citizens Access team.

Finally, leveraging 11:FS’ vast experience of getting digital banking products to market quickly, the team defined a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) prototype, roadmap and set of execution principles. This left the Citizens Access team with a clear direction on how to design a new breakthrough proposition and get that into the hands of their customers quickly.

GrabPay mobile app card screen
GrabPay: Southeast Asia’s leading digital wallet

Taking the 11:FS findings and ideas to the core of the offering, Grab set about building the app. In December 2019, it announced the launch of its Grab Pay Mastercard that sits at the core of its super app.

The GrabPay Mastercard is a significant step in Grab Financial’s strategic vision. It is the region’s first numberless card with access to an expanded rewards network and seamless Grab payments integration. It allows users, regardless of whether they have a bank account, to transact securely and easily online or offline, at nearly 53m merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard cards.

As an extension of the GrabPay wallet, it is highly secure with card details stored securely within the Grab app. It also has an in-app lock card function that is PIN-protected, allowing users to instantly suspend payments for lost cards.

Where super app’s go from here is only going to get more interesting. With Singapore and Malaysia both announcing their own Virtual Banking licences, the big tech companies from Asia are well placed to help the most underserved and over charged in ways that traditional banks can’t.

We’re proud to have played a major part in those developments through our collaboration with GrabPay on the launch it’s Mastercard.

Looking to build a bank?

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