Pollinate is using the cloud to bring banks, businesses and consumers closer together

Businesses are getting a boost from a new payments platform, which has been launched as Tyl by Natwest.

The solution, which uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, lets companies take payments and offer customers a more personalised service, loyalty rewards and offers, as well as tools to understand their business.

It has been developed by London-based Pollinate, which is working with other banks around the world to roll out the payments platform.

The solution can be integrated with a bank’s current system and can be rolled out to any bank globally.

Tim Joslyn, Chief Technology Officer at Pollinate, said: “We want to help banks use technology to work closer with small and medium-sized businesses, helping them grow and thrive. Banks have a lot of data from their customers and by marrying that with payment, point of sale data and other data sources normally held separately, we can create some very innovative products that can benefit consumers too, such as with loyalty offers and rewards.”

Pollinate’s platform uses Microsoft services such as Data Factory, Data Lake and Databricks to provide advanced analytics and data tooling. It is also in the early stages of using Microsoft’s artificial intelligence technology. Joslyn and his staff have worked closely with Microsoft’s product team in the US and support and account teams in the UK, to set up the solutions, and receive training and support.

Using Azure has helped Pollinate’s developers test and release new features in “minutes and hours rather than days and weeks”, Joslyn added. Microsoft’s cloud platform also allows the fintech company to quickly and easily increase storage and compute power when needed – “You don’t have to order a server and wait for it to arrive, you just spin it up”.

Because Pollinate works with banks, security was also very important. “Azure gave us the toolkit to segregate and control data. We have built a solution that we’ve had reviewed by external data privacy lawyers and banks’ data privacy lawyers, and everybody’s very, very comfortable that we’ve got a 100% GDPR compliant platform,” Joslyn said.

Pollinate’s platform is using that secure data to help high-street banks compete with a new generation of digital financial companies.

“Most payment businesses today aren’t banks. They have lots of data that they gather around their merchants, but they don’t know much about those merchant’s customers. Banks have a massive advantage because they already know a huge amount about their merchant’s customers. What we decided to do with NatWest was put a solution in place that allows them to compete with those young and upcoming fintechs but with the benefit, the scale and weight of a bank behind it,” Joslyn added.

Michael Wignall, Azure Business Lead at Microsoft UK, said: “Azure’s security, flexibility and range of tools makes it a perfect fit for the financial sector. Pollinate’s service is unlocking the power of data to benefit banks, businesses and their customers, which in turn is boosting local communities. It’s a great example of Microsoft technology being used to empower people in their everyday lives.”