RBS – Get Cash



Production / Professional


Ben Green RBS Head of Mobile, Andrew Rochester RBS Programme Director, Chad Cribbins SapientNitro Snr Manager, Nick Leonard RBS Head of User Experience, Kin Cheung SapientNitro Snr Art Director, Malcolm Poynton Chief Creative Office SapientNitro, Sarah Ronald Nile MD, Tara Fowler IA SapientNitro, Daniel Harvey Experience Design Director SapientNitro, Kevin White Nile Principle Experience Designer, Sam Nixon RBS Creative/Experience Lead, Soma Nandikonda SapientNitro PM, Terry Cordeiro RBS Journey Lead for Mobile, Brad Dyson SapientNitro Account Director, Jen Heazlewood SapientNitro Manager UX, Monitise


GetCash offers customers an easy fix for lost or forgotten cards. A way to quickly send money to family or friends in need, or a choice of leaving their wallets at home in favour of their mobile phones. GetCash solves this in a totally secure and painless way for the first time anywhere.

With GetCash, you choose the amount of cash you would like to withdraw from within the app. You’re then provided with a one-use only secure, time sensitive code that can be used within 3 hours at any one of over 8000 RBS, NatWest or Tesco ATM’s in the UK. Behind the scenes, creating a unique use-once PIN that’s recognised instantaneously across multiple brand ATMs and connects back to legacy banking technology is actually pretty damn complex – we’ll spare you the complexity.

GetCash brings real meaning to the RBS brand promise – “Here for you” – igniting unexpected and emotional responses from delighted consumers. GetCash has become a rich part of the RBS story, fuelling positive conversation about RBS at a time when British banks are suffering an identity crisis.


The project started with a simple ethnographic observation: everyone forgets their cards at some point or another but we ALWAYS have our mobiles with us. Just think of the number of times you’ve left your home in a hurry without your wallet or that you absent-mindedly left your purse on your desk when you where grabbing lunch between meetings.

Further, we noted that some customers, particularly younger, more mobile savvy ones, would deliberately opt to leave their cards behind on the weekends. Instead they would opt to take their phones and a minimal amount of cash as a way to be more secure, control their budgets by resisting impulse buys, etc.

We knew there was an unmet customer need in the marketplace when people began unexpected and repeat use of RBS’ Emergency Cash telephony service. A service designed to help customers in the event of dire circumstances (like pickpocketing, mugging etc) by giving customers a secret code to use at ATMs while simultaneously canceling their cards and issuing a new one.

Working with RBS we helped create a new mobile service, GetCash, to meet this new and to date unmet need


As of Aug 6, 2013 we’ve seen the following performance out of GetCash:

  • Over £22 million in GetCash requests since launch.
  • Over 500,000 GetCash requests to date.
  • Nearly 17,000 GetCash requests a week and growing fast.

What’s more it’s resonated as a real lifesaver for our customers. Like Gareth Filer who said on the app store:

“I have to say this is the best app I have used for banking. It allows… sending a code to get money when someone has a forgotten wallet. Keep the features coming!”


In our work for RBS we strive to concurrently iterate against the following:

  • Customer insight
  • Business case
  • Experience design

We do this by leveraging design and build approaches that are fit-for-purpose for the challenge at hand and borne out of the best of lean and agile practices at the world’s best known start-ups and technology companies. Examples include:

  • We run multi-disciplinary teams comprised of an experience designer, a visual designer, and a creative technologist.
  • We guerilla test dirty prototypes to test the desirability or “usefulbility” of the product/service in the marketplace. Will people WANT to make it part of their lives?
  • We work as one team: SapientNitro, RBS, specialist partners, and customers collaborate every step of the way.
  • We prioritize pencils over pixels: sketches are enough to get started. Only especially thorny problems get solved with more robust design tools.
  • We work toward the product not presentations: because we’re working directly with the client we don’t need to waste precious time making powerpoint presentations or creating unwieldy and all-to-often ignored functional specification documents.

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