Fintech Feature – Mettle
We spoke to Rachel Booth, one of the co-founders of Mettle to find out more about this exciting fintech.
Where did Mettle come from?
We launched Mettle in 2018. It’s the free business account by NatWest that helps small businesses start, run and grow their business. We support everyone from small startups that have only just formed, right through to limited companies and sole traders.
In terms of the product, it was borne out of the idea of addressing the core jobs that a business must do on a daily basis. The top jobs that we build our product around are:
• Help me get paid
• Help me plan, save for, and prepare my taxes
• Help me control my costs
We often undertake research to validate that those jobs are still the most important things for small businesses.
Tell us a bit more about the features that have been launched so far?
One of the key things that we have already built and put in the hands of customers is our invoice solution. This helps customers get paid by providing timely reminders when their invoices are due, as well as a matching service for inbound payments.
Mettle also lets you categorise transactions so you can prepare for your tax return. Additionally, customers can capture their receipts within the app, so they aren’t left with shoeboxes full at the end of the year! Once they have collated and categorised everything, customers can then easily export the data and send it to their accountant or download it and do it themselves.
We also integrate with accounting software to support businesses with their everyday accounting and cost control. Our primary integration is with FreeAgent, where you can sign up for a free FreeAgent account directly through Mettle. We also integrate with other providers such as Xero and Quickbooks. These integrations allow transactions to flow through in real-time, and we are working on being able to link transaction categories across as well.
We also recently launched Apple Pay and Google Pay on Mettle!
How do you see Mettle leveraging Open Finance to support business customers?
Right now, we only share account information. Where this information is typically being used for aggregation in the consumer space, business customers seem to be using this data very differently. We are seeing SMEs use the Open Banking data to prepare their accounts and tax returns.
There are plenty of opportunities for Open Finance to be utilised to benefit business customers – the aggregation of products and services is just one of them. Small businesses often have pensions, or insurance, or a loan with various providers. As a small business owner or sole trader, the boundaries between what is in their name and what is in the business’s name is getting more blurred. That’s where aggregation can really help business owners to see everything in one place.
Throughout the industry, there has also been huge value delivered by Open Banking in terms of lending, as providers can use data to give much more up to date and personalised offers to customers. This personalisation is true for comparisons more broadly. If I’m a small business and I want to find insurance or a pension, I want to know what’s best for my business, as well as finding the best value. Open Finance can help me find that, and possibly help me switch more easily in the future, so I think personalisation is another area where Open Finance could provide huge customer benefit.
If I’m honest, right now it serves a very simple purpose. You need to build the customer experience on top to make something valuable enough that a user is willing to say, “that’s a great experience”. I think we get too hung up on the APIs, and actually it’s more about what the intent of Open Banking and Open Finance is – the intent is to create great customer services and solutions.