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NatWest launches pilot Housemate app for shared living

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NatWest is announcing the launch of a new pilot app ‘Housemate’ to help renters manage shared bills and improve your credit score. The bank is the first in the UK to introduce this digital service, which will be rolled out wider in 2021.

Research has found that 20% of the total UK households are currently rented from a private landlord and this is projected to overtake the number of households that are mortgaged by 2025*. Housemate is part of NatWest’s commitment to helping young people build financial capability and supporting the increasing number of people who will be renting for longer.

The app is designed to simplify the shared living experience, connecting tenants to help manage their finances more easily. It will offer the following key features:

  • Bill tracking: Housemate can track who owes each other money and provide an easy way to repay instantly using Open Banking. The technology lets each housemate securely link their current account to the app and make payments to those they owe money to.
  • Building credit files: private renters do not ordinarily have their rent payments communicated to credit bureaus. This means renters miss out on the opportunity to build their credit files, which can reduce access to financial products and the best rates. By using Housemate, the bank can verify transactions for rent payments then send that information to Experian who add it to an individual’s credit file.

Wendy Redshaw, Chief Digital Information Officer, Retail Banking DigiTech at NatWest said: “From our own research we found that 84% of renters find organising shared flat finances frustrating. With Housemate, we have created a ‘one stop shop’ for renters to simplify this experience, enabling those in shared accommodation manage their joint finances smoothly and at any time.  At NatWest, our purpose is to champion the potential of customers and our wider society, part of which is to help develop good money management skills so that people are empowered to make better financial decisions.  Building a credit score is an important part of that, whether it’s for renting their next home or applying for a mortgage – Housemate helps brilliantly with this.”

 To register your interest in the app sign up at:https://personal.natwest.com/personal/life-moments/housemate.html

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