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    first direct

    artha is a collaboration proposition between first direct bank and fintech company, Bud and is for young high earners who lack confidence with savings & investments. We want to make it the simplest, smartest way to feel good about finances.

    What customer problems did you set out to solve?

    In the modern world, customers have varied banking products and often these are held with many different providers. Understanding these products and tracking where money is being spent or saved is very difficult when there is not one single platform to help. Our project team understood that certain consumers also wanted other options to expand their finances, or check if there were more relevant offers available. We therefore set out to make an app which solved all three of these problems for customers and made their finances just that bit simpler.

    What differentiates your proposition from other offerings in the market?

    artha is different from other offerings because whilst we offer aggregation of other banking products and money management options, we also have our “marketplace”; an integrated offering of financial and non-financial products and services from across the market, including those from other providers where appropriate. We are also bringing in Open Banking API’s to the app – which will allow for easier (and in the longer term, faster) connection of current accounts and therefore giving customers a better overall experience. The team have also included a feature titled “lists” which allows the consumer the ability to share transactions with other people – something which has not been seen in any other app of this kind.

    How have you proven that your concept has potential for impact?

    artha entered the Third Cohort of the FCA Sandbox in February 2018. first direct and Bud wanted to ascertain customer demand for aggregation services, the product viability and revenue potential of a marketplace within a financial app, customer interest in non-financial services, and potential to drive new customer acquisition for first direct. Using quantitative and qualitative testing methodology, we proved that artha met all of the test objectives and has a very strong potential for impact in the wider market and going into re-launch in 2019.

    Where do you see this proposition in 12 months’ time?

    We are looking to re-launch artha in Q1 of 2019 and the aspiration is to grow the user base to 250,000 inclusive of first direct and non-first direct customers along with starting to prove the app as first direct’s number one acquisition tool.

    Find out more about artha and first direct here.