NatWest is to launch a banking-as-a-service business into the UK market as part of a strategic partnership with Poland-based Vodeno Group.

The partnership will enable businesses to embed financial services products such as payments, deposits, point-of-sale credit and merchant cash advances directly in their ecosystem by leveraging the Vodeno Group’s BaaS technology, and NatWest Group’s banking technology and UK banking licences.

NatWest Group has committed £115 million to establish the new UK entity. The high street bank will own 82% of that business, with Vodeno TechCo holding the remaining minority interest. 

NatWest will additionally invest £50m to take a minority interest – initially a 9.9% holding, increasing to 18% subject to certain conditions and approvals being met – in Vodeno Limited, which owns 100% of Vodeno TechCo and Aion Bank. 

Vodeno Group is majority owned by private equity giant Warburg Pincus. 

“As a leading supporter of UK business, we are committed to investing in digital transformation to provide a simpler and better banking experience for our customers,” said NatWest Group chief executive Alison Rose. 

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“By entering into this strategic partnership with Vodeno Group we will be able to meet the evolving needs of our business customers as they look to embed financial products in their own propositions and journeys.

“This strategic partnership presents a strong potential source of fee income in a growing market, and an opportunity to deliver sustainable growth by building deeper relationships with our corporate customers. 

“It also complements our existing investment in the development of business banking technology within our [business banking app] Mettle business.”

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