Client stories

NatWest helps Northern put customers first

Payit has helped deliver on Northern’s mission to put customers at the heart of their business, by offering them fast refunds and a seamless digital journey.

Northern innovates to deliver a seamless customer payment journey

Northern Trains (‘Northern’) plays a vital part in the North of England, operating one of the largest train companies in the UK, visiting more than 500 stations and serving cities such as Newcastle, Leeds, York, Sheffield, Manchester, and Liverpool.

When the COVID19-pandemic led to country-wide lockdowns, Northern faced an unprecedented number of refunds. While previously customers would have gone back to their point of purchase to receive a refund, this option wasn’t possible for many during the lockdowns.

Northern sought innovative long-term solutions that would make it easier for customers to receive refunds without having to leave their house. Northern’s banking partner, NatWest, introduced them to Payit™ - a fast, simple and safe payment solution that enables Northern to send customers pay-outs and refunds. Alongside traditional methods, Payit provides an alternative for customers to be able to securely receive funds, and has helped Northern reduce the number of cheques issued.


Payit helps Northern revolutionise customer service while saving costs

Payit is a payment ecosystem that enables businesses to send and collect payments easily and efficiently, whilst providing an exceptional customer experience. By harnessing Open Banking technology, users can accept and send payments seamlessly via their bank without having to share any card details.

Having integrated Payit, Northern can now simply send a link in an email to customers, allowing customers to collect their pay-out or refund more easily – shortening the waiting time for customers from around six days (the average for a cheque refund) to just a few hours. Not only does it improve the customer experience, but it is easier and more cost effective for Northern, compared with issuing cheques.

Payit also presents Northern with a solution that has additional security: while previously Northern would have had to either send out cheques or take their customers’ card details over the phone - and ensure Payment card industry (PCI) compliance - adopting Payit means that payment transfers occur within NatWest’s secure platform, with no requirement for Northern to hold any payment relevant customer details. In addition, Payit’s fraud check has also added to Northern existing anti-fraud controls.


Northern customers welcome new, straight forward refund system

Asking for customer feedback after every successful claim, Northern soon found that its customers equally appreciated Payit’s speed and ease of use when requesting a refund. With a high Net Promoter Score of 73%, Payit has delivered on Northern’s mission: to put customers at the heart of their business.


Going one step further with Payit

Now under public ownership, Northern is currently looking at every detail of their passenger payment journey to further improve the end-to-end customer experience. As such, Northern and the NatWest team are discussing how Payit could also help customers pay for their tickets in a faster and more convenient way. They currently accept Visa, MasterCard, AmEx and cash but are considering ways to implement Payit as a new, fast, fair, simple and safe way to pay.


Tomorrow begins today

James Hodgson, Head of Commercial Payments, NatWest, commented: “NatWest is thrilled to be working with Northern to provide a fast and innovative experience to customers throughout 2021 and beyond. The need for businesses to send their customers money often occurs at the most crucial moments, and yet the typical methods can be slow, inefficient and expensive. We’re aiming to transform that experience with Payit. At NatWest we’re always looking for ways to innovate to help our customers achieve what they want today while ensuring sustainable growth for tomorrow. For us, tomorrow begins today.”

Alfie Lamb, Financial Controls & Management Information Accountant Northern, said: “Payit has not only been a game changer for our refund process by offering our customers a fast and reliable solution but also demonstrates the work we are doing to put our customers at the heart of everything we do. We thank the NatWest team for their excellent guidance throughout the whole process, their knowledge and hard work, and their determination in helping us with the implementation of Payit and we look forward to continuing to work together to deliver new innovative solutions and make it easy for our customers.”

Eligibility criteria and fees apply. You must hold a business current account with the NatWest Group and you will need to sign up to full Payit™ terms and conditions.

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