Using merchant services as a foundation upon which to build transformative services for small businesses around the world

Using merchant services as a foundation upon which to build transformative services for small businesses around the world


Product Strategy, Design & Build, Go-To-Market


Pollinate was founded to partner with global banks to defend against disruption and to reclaim their rightful place in the payments value chain by creating a merchant services offer built around the needs of small businesses. Together we designed the platform that NatWest used to re-enter the merchant acquiring space - Tyl by NatWest, before supporting the roll out of the platform to Tier 1 banks in other regions.


Engaged by NatWest to create a new merchant services business, built around merchant needs in partnership with Pollinate

Created a new digital ecosystem, encompassing 5 digital products

Supported Pollinate in scaling platform and business into 2 new markets

_ The challenge

Create the services that merchants really need

After years of private equity investment and a strategy of pan-regional consolidation and cost leadership, not product innovation - merchant services is in a race to the bottom.

Having been cut out of the lucrative merchant services game for a decade following regulator intervention in 2008, NatWest wanted not only to re-enter the market, but redefine it.

Our mission, partnering with Pollinate, was to create a merchant services product that is built around the needs of the small businesses that keep the economy moving.

Collection of images from workshops
Pollinate brand guidelines
Clover terminal
3D renders
_ our approach

Researching work processes for evidence - based improvement

Our first job was to work with NatWest executives to make the sense of the opportunity and pick a route to address it - between partnering, building or buying. Together, we concluded that the biggest opportunity was to build a brand new businesses that intuitively linked to other small business products in the bank.

The next job was building the product. Starting by understanding the needs of small businesses, we went up and down the UK spending time with merchants, adopting a variety of research methods to get a textured understanding of their objectives and challenges. Taking this insight, we designed an ecosystem of 5 digital products that worked together to help merchant businesses manage and grow their business. In parallel, we defined and executed a brand and go-to-market strategy that leveraged the heritage of NatWest but created its own narrative in the market.

In order to make the most of the their IP investment, NatWest opted to create Pollinate International, who then took the platform and sold it into 2 new international markets. To support this journey, we embedded a team of digital product managers and designers, who established ways of working that are still in use today..

Pollinate design team
Pollinate phone and tablet showcases sales dashboard


Tyl by NatWest launched in 2019 with 3x industry NPS scores

Pollinate went on to raise $100m in funding and launch Tyl in 3 international markets

We worked with Tyl and Pollinate for 4 years


“Class35 helped us to get live far sooner than we could, and were central to setting and upholding the product vision as we scaled.”

CEO, Pollinate

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