In it for the long haul: Making higher interest rates matter for all savers, old and new

Last week it was announced that we’d won ‘Best Savings Provider for Existing Customers‘ at the 2023 Savings Champion Awards. We’re always thrilled to win awards (who isn’t), but this one was especially important to us, not least because it was a complete surprise.

It was a surprise not because we don’t deserve it, but in the sense that we didn’t apply for it, nor even really had it on our radar. These awards are not applied for and are not widely publicised ahead of the announcement. That’s because Savings Champion offers completely independent impartial savings advice, taking into account things like customer reviews, interest rates and overall experience across the full year.

So, our feeling of pride is less about making room in our trophy cabinet, and more for the recognition for working on improving our customers’ experience, by listening to their frustrations and feedback throughout the past 12 months. The ultimate goal was to make their money work harder for them, in what is an incredibly tumultuous and difficult economic environment.

And with inflation at an all-time high and the cost of the living crisis taking its toll, we knew existing customers needed to squeeze every drop out of their savings, as they may not always have the funds to open new accounts to take advantage of the new rates. That’s why, when the Bank of England’s base rates increased, so did ours – for new accounts and non-fixed existing ones too.

We listened closely to what our savers were saying, and applied the higher interest rates on their existing Easy Access and Notice accounts. This meant that regardless of when they opened their account, they’d still benefit from the rise, earning more interest without having to open and fund a new account.

Faster funding for streamlined saving

Aside from making our accounts competitive, we’ve doubled down on our application experience, making it even easier to add funds instantly to an account via our mobile app. Our partnership with TrueLayer uses open banking technology and allows our customers to quickly and easily move money from their nominated account into their savings account within minutes. This means for some of our accounts, customers can add funds flexibly whenever it suits them.

What’s next?

We’ve been shaping our product roadmap based on customer priorities, only building things that will truly make OakNorth savers’ lives easier. Here’s what we plan to launch soon:

Change your mind in just a few swipes

Putting money away vs spending it is always a hard decision, and sometimes you’ll need to dip back into your savings to make ends meet, or splurge on something unforeseen. We’ve listened to customer feedback to make it easier for customers to change their minds on whether they want to cancel upcoming transactions, with one smooth swipe on their app, or one clever click on their online banking account.

Easier account unlocks

If you’ve managed to lock yourself out of your account (we’ve all been there) you’ll no longer have to call up our business desk to get a friendly human to unlock it for you, although you can still do that if you want, we don’t mind.

But you’ve told us it would be easier if you could manage more of your account settings independently from the app or online banking portal. And we listened, so our next big release will help you do just that – you’ll be able to unlock your account by using two-step authentication and/or a one-time password.

These are just a few small things we’ve been working on this year, but as always, we know there’s a lot more we can do to help our savings customers feel more money positive in the year ahead. So, if you’re an OakNorth saver, don’t forget you can leave us feedback at any time on Trustpilot, or by answering any of our customer surveys.

You can also download the OakNorth app to open a savings account on iOS or Android to start your savings journey with us today.

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