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Thought Machine’s creative arm, Cauldron, partners with design studio ustwo

Source: Thought Machine

Thought Machine’s internal design studio, Cauldron, has announced a partnership with ustwo to combine their individual strengths and experience and bring them to bear in financial services and banking innovation.

The partnership will drive forward a common goal for both organisations to transform the experience of banking for all consumers.

The financial services industry is facing its most significant challenge yet, which will likely prompt a new wave of necessary innovation. This partnership will bring together the best of Thought Machine’s pioneering core banking experience (including its prized core banking technology, Vault), Cauldron’s subject matter expertise and innovative approach, and ustwo’s renowned capabilities in user-centric research and their ability to develop and launch meaningful digital products at scale. Together, the team can continue delivering products and services that push the boundaries of creativity in consumer financial services, deliver exciting new experiences, and help address people’s emerging needs.

Thought Machine names Lloyds Banking Group, Atom, SEB and Standard Chartered as clients and users of its cloud native core banking platform, Vault. Cauldron works alongside Thought Machine’s main engineering function to drive creativity in Vault, and in financial services technology more broadly. Cauldron’s accomplishments include Nestlings, (featured inCreative Review for its fresh, thoughtful approach to encouraging savings), Silo, (available on the app store, blends expertly managed global investments with elegant design), and upcoming product Saviour, (a sleek, non-intrusive physical device, which quietly communicates the status of savings pots indicating progress towards a financial target).

Cauldron will partner specifically with ustwo’s London studio, which has worked extensively with financial institutions including Barclays, American Express and JP Morgan, and boasts a coveted portfolio at the intersection of gaming and commercial product development. Nominated by the Fast Company as one of the most important design companies in 2019, ustwo is known for hit games including BAFTA-winning hit Monument Valley as well as its groundbreaking work in digital products and services. As a B Corporation-certified organisation, ustwo is an investor in creative startups and philanthropic causes.

“We have tapped into our core banking product, Vault, to push the boundaries of creative financial experiences for over five years now, which is why we believe this is the perfect time for a partnership with ustwo, and we are excited beyond belief to be able to share with them what we have been doing and see how we can help each other. Our team has reached a level of maturity which sees us requiring a new brand identity and a more public-facing image as we take our self-set challenge to create a new norm for banking to the next stage,” says Mark Warrick, MD at Cauldron.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to join forces with our friends at Thought Machine and Cauldron. The challenges and opportunities facing financial services institutions are immense, I can’t wait for us to start working together to create pioneering products and services that will help meet the needs of the market and banking consumers,” says Nicki Sprinz, MD at ustwo.

Both organisations are now planning a series of co-learning workshops as a first step. Bringing in Cauldron’s inventions and ustwo’s methodologies and design principles for the teams to start co-creating.

“To deliver truly groundbreaking innovation for financial services, we must take a multidisciplinary approach. Cauldron are a crucial part of ensuring that creative design thinking complements Thought Machine’s world-class engineering practice. With this partnership, Cauldron will continue to build on the Vault-inspired experiences of Nestlings, Saviour, Money Monsters and Vault Rare,” says Paul Taylor, CEO at Thought Machine.

“Over the years, I have turned to the Cauldron (previously Labs) team at Thought Machine to get a view on the future of banking experiences, powered by modern core banking. This new partnership will undoubtedly drive the banking industry even further with even more exciting visions and prototypes, enabled by Vault,” says Sigridur Sigurdardottir, Chief Customer Officer and FTSE 100 NED.

“We have loved working with Thought Machine Labs in the past, and we love what they are doing as a business - revolutionising core banking - so we felt the time was right to get involved in a much bigger way and see what we could do to help. We are very excited to be partnering with them and pushing together to make things super fresh for banking consumers,” says John Sinclair, Founding Partner at ustwo.

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