Rapid Innovation in a Locked-Down World

Rapid Innovation in a Locked-down World

Overview: In an effort to adapt to the changing needs of their customers, British bank NatWest changed their approach to how work was done and modernized their mainframe operations. This transformation is the topic of Case 4 of the podcast series Compuware CSI: Customer Success Investigators.


In the fourth episode of the Compuware CSI: Customer Success Investigators series, Compuware Global Sales Lead Craig Hartwell, DevOps Specialist Stuart Ashby and Technical Director Dr. Elizabeth Maxwell take a look at British bank NatWest and how they’ve adapted to a changing marketplace, especially with the recent pandemic.

Craig interviews the head of NatWest’s Quality Centre of Excellence, Chris Booth, about the bank’s efforts to better serve customers and deliver services faster through the establishment of their centres of excellence. Chris explains how the bank as a whole had to be re-educated on the role of mainframe and its ability to support fast-paced innovation.

One such innovation was their recent launch of the “Companion Card.” The program allows customers who are at a higher risk or are self-isolating because of the COVID-19 virus to allow trusted caregivers to purchase essential items or withdraw money using a special card connected to their account. The card is kept separate from the customer’s account in the bank’s systems and has cash withdrawal limits as a safeguard against misuse.

Being able to allow a caregiver to use an account without sharing sensitive information, such as a PIN number, is an obvious benefit of the card, but Chris points out that it “also allows that person to have some kind of interaction with another person, because I think one of the big changes, obviously, is potentially the loneliness situation you could find if you were stranded somewhere, or shielded somewhere.”

Chris explains that NatWest was able to launch the card in April in direct response to the pandemic because the necessary pieces were in place; the task was in arranging and repurposing them. He attributes the quick turnaround to how the bank worked on the project—by focusing on the desired outcome rather than technical issues. He says, ” If you think of the outcomes and then bring the people who have some of the technical information together and just say, ‘Well, this is your outcome,’ then actually, you end up with a very rich, rich solution.”

To hear more about how NatWest has arranged their processes to better serve their customers, listen to Case 4: Rapid Innovation in a Locked-Down World. To listen to all of the episodes in the series, visit https://www.compuware.com/mainframe-csi/.