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Nationwide renews BT network contract to support digital transformation

Building society upgrades network infrastructure to support apps and services for customers and staff

BT has won a new six-year contract to upgrade Nationwide Building Society’s existing network to provide a new platform to support its ongoing digital transformation.

The new network will connect Nationwide’s 700-branch retail banking operation in the UK, along with its head office and regional administration and contact centres. It will support apps and services delivered to both its 15 million-strong customer base and 17,000 staff.

BT said the new infrastructure would allow the building society to introduce “the latest customer-facing and back-office technologies”, improving efficiency and the customer experience.

Nationwide has been engaged in an extensive refresh of its wider IT infrastructure as it faces a rapidly changing retail banking sector and the growth of digital-first challenger banks.

Last year, it announced it was outsourcing its IT to Capgemini in a five-year deal, using Capgemini’s Intelligent Service Centre to improve business processes through data analytics, and My Workspace, a single platform for staff to access data and services on their own devices.

It has also deployed an artificial intelligence (AI) system, supplied by Tata Consultancy Services, to reduce the complexity of its back-end systems as it prepares to launch more digital products.

Nationwide CIO Debra Bailey said that as the society invested in new products and services for customers, it also needed to innovate in service delivery.

“Our latest investment with BT provides us with a great network platform to support our digital banking strategy,” she said.

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“It gives us the agility to innovate as well as the reliability and security to confidently deliver our digital services.

“A reliable network infrastructure with ‘always-on’ service levels is a core component of our digital transformation strategy, and will help ensure that we continue to offer market-leading customer satisfaction.”

The new contract builds on a long-standing relationship between Nationwide and BT, which has supplied IT and comms services to the society for several decades.

Ashish Gupta, president of UK corporate and global banking and financial markets at BT Global Services, said digital businesses such as Nationwide increasingly need to look to network providers with “the skills, in-depth financial sector expertise and resources” to build cost-effective platforms to support future growth.

“The renewal and growth of our relationship with Nationwide shows the strength and depth of BT’s expertise and builds on our recent successes in the financial markets,” said Gupta.

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