- NatWest starts Roommate, an app that helps roommates manage municipal bills across the UK.
- The app could help the bank boost the adoption and loyalty of a younger population.
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NatWest is launch Housemate, an app that helps roommates manage joint bills, for UK customers.
Eligible users will be able to track shared living expenses within the app and benefit from an efficient way to pay unpaid bills. The app will also use Open Banking technology to allow customers to link their current accounts to the app and share transaction information with NatWest’s data partner, Experian, potentially helping users build their credit history. .
NatWest’s new survey of more than 1,500 people across the UK suggests the new app would be welcomed by those living in shared rental accommodation. Its findings include:
- 45% of tenants living in a shared space find it uncomfortable to remind roommates to pay their share of a bill.
- 48% feel uncomfortable when a roommate starts to miss payments.
- 46% of those who share a space with others describe themselves as the only roommate who checks and organizes bills, collects money and sends reminders.
- 20% of tenants with roommates fear that renting will hamper their ability to increase their credit score.
The app could help the bank boost the adoption and loyalty of a younger population. NatWest isn’t the first financial institution to offer a bill splitting feature—Starling and Revolution have deployed theirs in recent years. But its specific purpose of helping roommates manage shared finances is unique.
British Gen Z adolescents and adults (12-23 years old) still overwhelmingly prefer traditional banks to their digital-only challengers, according to a Marqeta report from May 2021.
Providing a targeted solution to those living in shared rental housing at university, or the starting point of their careers – something NatWest’s chief information officer describes as “often necessary” among this cohort – could capitalize on this trend and build strong brand relationships among a large customer base.
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