The future of Bankline - a conversation with our lead product owner

Bankline has come a long way since it first went live back in 1995, and it’s evolving all the time. We’re constantly working to improve Bankline, so it’s simple to use and meets the needs of a multitude of businesses.

Thanks for chatting to us Mark. As Bankline Product Owner, what are your biggest priorities?

There are all kinds of new features we could talk about, but the most important thing is making sure that Bankline remains a completely secure and reliable platform.

This is especially important in the current climate, where we’ve seen how crucial online services are for businesses. For me, this is always the top priority – having a platform that’s reliable, resilient and one our customers know they can trust to be there when they need it.

It’s tricker than it might sound, as we’re dealing with a network of systems, users and external circumstances that are always in flux. Our job is to be on top of this, so that we maintain a high-quality, reliable service in a world of change. We’re always looking to make improvements, but any changes we make are always based on that foundation.

What do you enjoy most about working on Bankline?

I like working to deliver something that customers will find easy to use and be able to pick up intuitively.

That’s the journey we’re on. Perhaps that’s also the biggest challenge, because every customer’s needs are different, and Bankline’s got to meet all those different needs in a simple way. We’re also dealing with complex bank systems behind the scenes and we’ve got to manage that complexity.

We go through a whole cycle of research and user-testing, gathering feedback, listening to customers to understand their pain-points, then re-iterating so we can make things as simple as possible.

“Our purpose is to keep improving Bankline so the people who use it every day can do their jobs easily and securely, and save time.” - Mark, Bankline Product Owner

What new things are the team working on?

We’re building new Bankline integration for common activities, so users can get all the essentials done quickly, in one place.

We’re also continuing to build out new Bankline functionality to update those parts of the service where the original Bankline screens are still used. Last year we updated international payments and now administration is our big focus. We know there’s lot we can do to simplify it, so people can easily set up users and give them the access they need, without unnecessary risk.

This ties in with another exciting development. Bankline’s always been a customizable service that can be configured to meet individual business needs, but we’re aiming to make the whole process easier, by creating versions of Bankline dedicated to different business types.

We’ve already launched Bankline for Communities, a version of Bankline tailored for clubs, societies, and charities. We’re now working on a Bankline proposition for SMEs. The vision is to follow that with a proposition for larger businesses with more complex requirements. The overall aim is to reduce complexity, so you can easily configure Bankline in a way that fits with your business and its present needs. As your business grows, you can tailor Bankline to accommodate that, and unlock more advanced functionality when you need it.

Sounds interesting! Could you tell us more about plans for the future?

We’re also working to expand what users can do in Bankline, to save them time on every-day tasks. Through account servicing you can already stop cheques, change address and complete a range of tasks online. You can also now deposit cheques through the Bankline Mobile app.

Our ambition is to take this further and bring Bankline users access to the full range of digital services the bank offers – services like ClearSpend for credit cards, RapidCash for invoice finance, and Tyl our merchant payment solution. We’ll make it easy for customers to access these through one set of log-in credentials. Bankline will then be a central hub for all your services with the bank. It would work intelligently to present what’s most useful and evolve with your needs.

How do you make sure you’re developing what customers want?

It goes back to making sure we’re getting the basics right. Making the core Bankline experience as simple as possible and maintaining that secure, reliable platform. It’s also about listening to what customers tell us and involving them at every stage of the process – from deciding what to prioritize, to design and testing.

One of the things I enjoy most is working with customers when we’re developing something new – showing them demos, seeing how they find things and refining accordingly. And it doesn’t stop when something goes live – we continue tracking feedback with a view to making further improvements. The worst thing we can do is assume we know the answers.

We don’t develop anything for its own sake. We want to improve this platform so the people who use Bankline everyday can do their jobs more easily and securely and save time. That’s why we’re really keen to hear from you and get your input.

Final thoughts

Thanks to Mark for taking us through the plans for Bankline, we look forward to seeing them come to life!

If you have any feedback or suggestions, or would like to get involved with user testing, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at: banklinefeedback@natwest.com

Find all the latest here on our Bankline blog, and check out the latest Bankline tips.

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