David M. Brear photo
David M. Brear Co-Founder & CEO
5min read

Banking for SMEs has been ineffective for a long time, with products that kept owners working on admin rather than growth. It’s time for something new.

We’ve spoken a lot about how the SME market is underserved by banking. They’ve been chronically under-served by financial institutions across all sectors. Until today, SMEs were offered a retail current account they had to pay for in order to run their business. But we’re not just pointing out flaws in the market, we’ve created a solution.

It’s not good enough to offer SMEs retail current accounts. Businesses need business current accounts. It’s that simple.

We didn’t do this alone but in partnership with Natwest and Capco we’ve been working tirelessly to bring customers the next stage of SME financial services. Together, we’ve created banking that is designed to work as fast as business moves. Now, instead of having to wait 6 months for a rejection letter, entrepreneurs, freelancers and business-owners can have a business account in minutes.

Alison Rose on Mettle

Alison Rose, Chief Executive of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest shares her thoughts on Mettle, giving customers a choice and working with 11:FS

But it’s not just about opening an account faster than ever. Mettle’s services are tailored for business needs. Customers can use their data to forecast business performance, create invoices from mobile, add receipts to transactions and provide reminders for chasing payments. All self-contained in a mobile app, with a debit card.

Mettle is predicated on the basis of forward-looking business banking. For us, this means allowing customers to take advantage of their banking data and accounting data to enable them to make smarter business decisions. Prior to today, that simply wasn’t available in an accessible way for SMEs, who have had to constantly carry their to-do list in their heads.

The premise for Mettle lets our customers focus on ‘forward-looking’ finances, combining technology and proactive insights so that SMEs can make better decisions and run their businesses more successfully

Alison Rose, Chief Executive of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest

SME owners have less time to hand than any other business demographic and given there are 5.7 million of them, they are the powerhouse of the British economy. Taking ownership of so many moving parts means their attention is constantly split. Mettle smooths that issue over with a tasks system collating the things that matter each day, from invoices and tracking transactions to chasing payments. Using Mettle, customers will have oversight on all the finances of their business with a few taps.

Mettle is in the pilot stage. Every customer joining now is going to help shape the future of SME banking. Talking to customers and getting their feedback is invaluable information to help us design new features and improve current ones. And we’ll never stop improving.

The realisation of being an entrepreneur is the one-thousand things that keep you up at night, forcing you to work on your business, not in your business. What we’re trying to achieve with Mettle is to create peace-of-mind and the ability to understand what’s next. What we’ve created isn’t a project, it’s a business.

And to that end, this is just the beginning of the journey.

Go check out the future of SME banking at Mettle

 David M. Brear
About the author

David M. Brear

David is the CEO of 11:FS and since his dream of being a sportsperson was crushed (along with the ligaments in his knee!) and he had to get a proper job. He has worked in pretty much every angle of the financial services industry but never lost that competitive desire to win.