Pollinate, the business behind Tyl by NatWest, has launched with a growth capital investment round from a consortium of global industry leaders. Mastercard, Motive Partners and EFM Asset Management (EFM) will join RBS as both investors in, and partners to, the Pollinate business, which has raised a total of £60 million in funding to date.
Over the past decade, disruptive payment companies have challenged retail banks for ownership of their merchant relationships. Pollinate is reinventing merchant acquiring for banks, enabling them to compete effectively with these disruptors. The Pollinate technology is an innovative cloud-based platform that wraps around a bank’s legacy payment systems. The platform powers merchant and consumer digital experiences including onboarding, portals and loyalty programs, without costly and distracting platform migrations. This allows merchants to more effectively manage their businesses with digital tools and data integrations, grow their businesses by connecting with their consumers, and give back to their local communities. For banks, the Pollinate platform helps them understand and engage with their customers better and build stronger relationships with their merchants and consumers alike.
Conceived in 2017, the first deployment of the platform took place in Spring 2019 with the launch of the Tyl by NatWest merchant services business in the UK, and Pollinate is now in advanced discussions with other leading retail banks around the world.
Commenting on the announcement Alison Rose, Deputy CEO of NatWest Holdings and CEO of Commercial & Private Banking at RBS said, “I am hugely excited to announce the creation of a global merchant services company with Mastercard, Motive Partners and EFM Asset Management. Partnering with such high-quality companies, each of us bringing unique expertise and skills, allows for a truly international offering, benefitting not only our customers but the wider merchant acquiring space. We are committed to continually improving the products and experiences that we deliver to our customers, and the creation of Pollinate represents an innovative and successful approach of working with partners to do this.”
Jeff Emmanuel, Chief Investment Officer and Founder of EFM added: ‘As technology companies around the world are reimagining the delivery of financial services, a number of fintech ‘enablers’ have recognised the opportunity in bridging technological innovation, and the distribution scale and brand value of the largest financial institutions. Our disruptive fintech fund seeks opportunities through investment in dynamic companies which leverage their capabilities to deliver improved customer outcomes. Through combining machine learning with a unique ecosystem of data assets, Pollinate offers banks an exciting new service proposition for their customers. We are delighted to be backing this great team, and through our Board participation, look forward to leveraging our network and experience in the space to maximise the opportunity.’
Pollinate is run by a team of executives from the Payments, Technology and Loyalty industries including Al Lukies CBE, Jonathan Hughes, Fiona Roach Canning, Tim Joslyn, David Beresford and Anna Moore.
Al Lukies, Pollinate CEO and Co-Founder said: “Retail banks around the world are facing common issues, but they remain the only ones in the payment chain who can connect directly with both merchants and consumers. They are therefore best placed to help SME’s process transactions, support their balance sheets, and grow their businesses, creating a virtuous circle between the bank, merchants, and consumers. As we know consumers increasingly expect a more personalised service from the businesses they interact with, regardless of their size, so at its heart Pollinate is about relationships and growth through connection – our platform enables relationships to be strengthened through fantastic digital experiences, and real-time data processing analytics and integrations.”
“Technology is making our everyday easier and more accessible. For small business owners, it’s critical to separate the potential from the performance. That’s why we’re involved with Pollinate” said Ajay Banga, President and CEO of Mastercard. “Each of the partners brings its know-how, insights and technology to provide banks with real, tangible solutions that enables business owners to deliver the best customer experience.”
Pollinate has secured important alliances with best in class brands across the payments and technology ecosystem. Available globally through the Azure cloud, the Pollinate platform utilises the best of Microsoft’s big data and distributed AI platforms, threat Intelligence and authentication services to give banks and their customers access to compelling, intuitive services wherever they are. Other global partners of Pollinate, which include Mastercard, Endava, Motive Partners and EFM, ensures that Pollinate’s banking clients, wherever they are based, can compete directly with the world’s most innovative and disruptive companies.
“Our partner, Royal Bank of Scotland, has unique experience within the Merchant Services space and is perfectly positioned to roll out the Pollinate platform to small business across the United Kingdom. We are delighted to have a role alongside such an esteemed investor group, and we look forward to working with the Pollinate management team and our international ecosystem to building value for our partners, and ultimately SMEs and consumers.” – Rob Heyvaert, Managing Partner at Motive Partners.