UK building society, Nationwide has launched a £50m ($66m) fintech fund to accelerate the development of next generation products and services

Joining the fintech ventures, the fund will be used to develop and strengthen new partnerships to create more tailored products and services for its 15 million customers.

Nationwide have stated that the fund is not about pushing money into startups, but developing innovative products with the right partners that will have long-term benefits.

Tony Prestedge, Nationwide Building Society’s deputy CEO, said: “The financial services industry has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and continues to evolve at pace as customer experiences are being transformed by innovative organisations and the rise of disruptive technology.

“While Nationwide doesn’t always shout about its latest innovations, we have a strong track record of delivering real technological advances that actually make an impact to the everyday lives of our 15 million members. These include being the first financial services provider to launch internet banking in the UK, introducing a new core banking platform and unlocking help and advice in branches with the power of Nationwide NOW – our in-branch high definition video link.

“By investing in early stage start-ups, we can be at the forefront of helping develop innovative products and services that will benefit our members both now and in the future, allowing us to deliver our ambitious future technology strategy.”

Nationwide views collaboration as a two-way street, therefore part of the money from the fund will be put towards having a senior member of staff from Nationwide to support and provide guidance to the new partner.

The fintech fund will focus around seven main themes, including:

  • House and home – Some of the fund will go towards looking at all aspects of Nationwide’s customers’ daily lives at home and outside
  • Personal data and identity – Exploring secure verification, validation and storage of data
  • Financial wellness: Driving financial inclusion and wellbeing for Nationwide customers now and for the future
  • Communities and society: People coming together to achieve more than they could as individuals
  • Banking as a platform: With Open Banking set to disrupt the ecosystem, the Nationwide fintech fund will explore the changing role of financial services as consumers evolve
  • Operational efficiency: Promoting efficiency and sustainability by investing members money wisely
  • New segments: Exploring other areas where we can bring the benefit of mutuality

Emma Huntington, innovation and venturing at Nationwide Building Society, added: “We are delighted to announce that acasa has become the first investment from our new fund. We know more people are living in shared houses for longer and we look forward to working in partnership with acasa to help sharers get more from their money.”