How can mutual organisations collaborate on technology?

Maria Harris, Chair, Open Property Data Association (Chair)

Layla White, CEO and Founder, TechPassport

Grant Parry, Chief Strategy Officer, ieDigital and Connect

Frances McCann, CEO, ScotWest Credit Union

In this session the panellists discussed the merits of working with other mutuals and technology companies to achieve the best outcomes. 

The key takeaway points were around the importance of finding the right partners to work with, whether this is another mutual looking to achieve a similar goal, or fintech partner. All parties need to be committed to a collaborative model with a similar culture and fit to your own organisation. Business models may differ between organisations which may mean some are not suited to work with each other in a collaborative way, in which case they are unlikely to be the right fit for your organisation. 

Frances Mccann, CEO of ScotWest Credit Union, explained how they could not have implemented their tier one banking system as successfully as they did without collaborating with Capital Credit Union. Both organisations share a similar vision and willingness to collaborate which made the project a success.

There is scope for building societies to work together if they are willing to be open and share common goals that could be achieved via collaboration. The group can reach out to tech partners to find the right solution, and if they cannot find one, companies can be found to build the right solution from scratch. 

Layla White from TechPassport gave her insights into collaborating with large banks on the development of her FinTech sourcing platform. By collaborating with 16 banks who were willing to share their requirements, she was able to develop her platform that met the shared needs of the group. A lawyer was often present in discussions to ensure no boundaries were unintentionally crossed. 

Discussing collaboration with third parties, the panel explored the biggest reasons for failure of a project. Grant Parry, ieDigital and Connect, suggested this was usually down to either a lack of executive buy in, where the project doesn’t receive the help and resources needed when things get difficult, or a lack of communication between parties. Any transformation project needs to be embedded in business and people strategy at the organisation or is likely to run into issues.