28/10/2011

IBM Deutschland GmbH

IBM and the world’s largest building society, Nationwide, join forces to launch new online banking service

Enhanced interactive service for more than 4 million online bank users
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IBM (IBM:NYSE) and Nationwide Building Society have announced the launch of a new interactive online banking service, which aims to make internet banking simpler than ever.

Banking online is fast becoming the preferred method for customers to manage their finances and this new service will be more intuitive, flexible and secure for customers of the world’s largest building society.

According to research* conducted on behalf of Nationwide, 77% of consumers are banking online, compared to 69% who use branches and just 16% preferring to use telephone banking.

Customers will benefit from an improved banking experience which uses simplified language and navigation tools, making using the online bank quicker and easier.

Customers will also be able to use new interactive features to help manage their finances, such as calendar and graph tools to compare their income against spending and track account balances over time, and improved sorting and filtering of statements.

"Today's consumers have high expectations for functionality and content," says Richard Searle, Head of Channel Integration at Nationwide. “We wanted to deepen our relationship with our customers and knew that investing in the internet channel would be a highly efficient way to achieve those aims. Employees and members alike are delighted with the results, so the project has been a major success in every way."

Key features of the new online banking system include:

· Simplified navigation: a modern, fresh design with clear and simple statement views, step-by-step guides for setting up to payments and quick links to popular activities.
· Improved help and support for when members need it.
· Simplified registration: reducing the time and complexity of first-time registration and making it easier for customers to sign up for online banking.
· More tailored offers: Provides greater flexibility to provide offers to customers that are directly relevant to their banking needs.

IBM worked with Nationwide to place the needs of the customer at the heart of the development of the new internet bank. This engagement started from the earliest vision, testing ideas with customers to understand what was most important for them in the new online bank.

The conversation with customers continued throughout the life of the programme, including analysis of the type of language used, navigation of the new system and streamlining the most common activities. The solution has been designed based on input from 1,250 customers and tested with over 2,600 Nationwide employees.

“Digital channels are the battle grounds for retail banks and IBM is committed to working with our clients to find new ways to improve the customer experience whilst ensuring efficiency and competitiveness,” said David Terry, IBM Nationwide Programme Director, IBM Global Business Services, UK & Ireland. “Nationwide’s new online banking system combines innovative technology and simplicity to create a solution that meets the needs of customers in today's competitive market place.

“Major investments in new technology can often be derailed by a change in vision or the benefits diluted. By structuring our approach to give customers a voice from the start, we were able to build and maintain confidence in our vision and avoid costly late change,” added David Terry.

Performance and flexibility are at the core of the new solution, which will provide a platform for growth for the building society, growth in internet usage, the rapid launch of new products and extension to further channels and applications, such as new account opening.

IBM has worked with Nationwide from the outset of this programme in 2008. Provided in the contract was programme governance, business and technical analysis, technical design and development services in conjunction with our business partners IPL and GamCom, testing services and support for business process change and training strategy.