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Virgin Money launches digital bank

Virgin Money is setting up a digital bank to expand into the current account and SME business account markets

Virgin Money has developed a digital bank to target a broader segment of the financial services market in the UK.

The Virgin bank, which acquired Northern Rock in 2011, was among the first wave of challenger banks after the financial crash in 2008. It is now itself on the receiving end of major challenges from smaller players.

Through its digital bank, Virgin Money aims to emulate the customer-centric offerings of the digital challengers, which also boast lower operating costs.

To this end, the bank has spent over £38m on developing a digital banking platform, which it said will harness data to offer customers personalised accounts. The platform will help Virgin Money expand its retail banking customer base, as well as the number of small business customers it serves.

“As part of this strategy, we are developing a data-driven, customer-centric digital bank, which will allow us to take advantage of the significant technological and regulatory changes shaping UK retail banking, broaden our customer appeal and provide access to a wider pool of UK retail banking revenues,” said Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

Read more about Virgin Money’s IT

  • Virgin Money partners with mobile money provider Monitise to provide customers with mobile banking solutions.
  • The financial services arm of Virgin has reduced calls to its IT helpdesk by 40% and freed up time for the service desk to focus on strategic work.
  • Virgin Money has extended a contract with Fujitsu – originally signed by Northern Rock – to prolong the life of its mainframe system until 2018.

The bank will use the latest technology to offer personalised services to customers and help it take on the traditional high street banks.

“The Virgin Money digital bank will be underpinned by next-generation technology and architecture, offering customers a Universal Account that can be personalised to create a unique proposition tailored to individual needs,” said Gadhia.

“In addition to our current presence in the mortgage, credit card and retail deposit markets, the digital bank will allow us to expand into the current account and linked primary savings markets. As such, we will provide an attractive proposition for customers that will enable us to compete against the incumbent banks for lower-cost current account balances.

“The operating cost per customer of the digital bank will also be lower than in our core bank,” added Gadhia.

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