IT Life: Martyn Atkinson, Metro Bank


TechWeekEurope speaks to Metro Bank’s digital director about his work challenges and how digital wallets are spicing up the banking industry

Earlier in August, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published a report that advised banks need to implement ‘open banking’ by 2018, which would allow customers to access their banking through a single smartphone app, no matter the provider.

The CMA believes this will lead to better competition, but Metro Bank managing director Ian Walters argued that the policy is ultimately not conducive to competition.

“SMEs are the most underserved community in UK banking and we are disappointed that the CMA’s findings do not attempt to level the playing field for new entrants and challenger banks, by recommending that the PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority) looks into disproportionate capital requirements,” he told This Is Money.

“Disproportionate capital requirements are anti-competitive and unduly support the large incumbent banks by allowing them to hold up to 10 times less capital for the same loans than challenger banks.”

In this week’s IT Life, TechWeekEurope speaks to Metro Bank’s Director of Change and Digital Martyn Atkinson, to find out what he thinks about Metro’s upcoming challenges, and the most exciting new technology for the banking industry.

What is your role and who do you work for?

I’m Director of Change and Digital at Metro Bank. I may be slightly biased but I think I’ve got the best job in the bank!

How long have you been in technology?

I’ve worked across both consulting and industry throughout my 16 year career.

What is your most interesting project to date?

When I was at HBOS, I was involved in the industry-leading faster payments project, it was a game changer for banking and an eye opener for my career.

© A P Monblat
© A P Monblat

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?

Building out Metro Bank’s digital capabilities, while we are still building the bank!

What technology were you working with ten years ago?

I was working with a company called Retek – a bleeding edge retail merchandising and supply chain inventory application stack.

What is your favourite technology of all time?

SKY TV’s remote record. It has literally changed my world.

How will the Internet of Things affect your organisation?

We’re really excited by it, as it will offer up new connections and opportunities to serve our customers even better.

What smartphone do you use?

An iPhone 5S. Though I’m due an upgrade shortly and am debating the new iphone 7.

What three apps could you not live without?

Trainline, SKY TV and the Metro Bank banking app

What new technology are you most excited for a) your business and b) yourself?

digital wallet online shoppingIt’s got to be the new API layer that we will be implementing as part of PSD2 , because it offers so many opportunities to connect to other businesses to co-create. The opportunities are endless.

For me personally, digital wallets that integrate with social media are really excited. I spend all my time on these forums and always seem to owe people money!

If you weren’t doing the job you do now, what would you be doing?

I would say a professional footballer – though it’s more hope than reality. In the real word, probably a doctor.

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