Bó, the digital challenger bank from NatWest, is now live on the App Store and Google Play, featuring a bright yellow Visa card and a mobile app.
A retort to new app-based banks like Monzo and Starling, Bó has been built on new technology as a digital, cloud-based bank with its own Faster Payments connection.
In the works for 18 months and operating with £100 million budget, the new bank has copied the playbook of the challenger brands, offering an array of smart money management tools, including instant spend alerts, itemised spending breakdowns & budgeting.
NatWest says it has employed experts in behaviour change and money management to help build the app after analysing data from 2.6 million anonymised customers which showed that half spent everything they earned, while an additional quarter overspent every month.
Bó has its own chief executive and management team piggy-backing off the RBS banking licence.
CEO Mark Bailie, comments: “As we’re part of NatWest, people can rely on Bó to keep their money safe. But as a digital bank, built entirely on a separate cloud-based technology, Bó is also able to harness new technology and develop rapidly in line with our customers’ needs and expectations.
“With Bó we have an opportunity to help address a genuine societal need and to be a positive force in our customers’ lives. Our aim is to transform the nation’s attitudes and behaviour around money and I’m hugely excited to see what we can achieve.”
Ironically, the launch of Bó comes as customers of NatWest's online business banking service BankLine take to Twitter to complain about intermittent outages following routine maintenance undertaken in the early hours of the morning.