Interview: Wayne Young, Digital Technology Leaders Awards finalist

‘Banking - but fairer, more rewarding, and for the good of society’

clock • 3 min read
Interview: Wayne Young, Digital Technology Leaders Awards finalist

Nationwide, the world's largest building society, is a finalist at this year's Digital Technology Leaders Awards.

The Digital Technology Leaders Awards are a special event for Computing. Rather than platforms and tools, these awards are dedicated to the companies and workers driving IT forwards. 

This year we will announce the winners on 3rd July in central London, chosen from an impressive shortlist of finalists. 

One of those finalists is engineer Wayne Young from Nationwide, the world's largest building society. We talked to Wayne about his background and work with Nationwide. 

Wayne's own engineering journey began "many moons ago," when he taught himself Borland Delphi and VB while working at McDonald's. He progressed through various engineering roles in diverse industries, including defence, automotive and marketing. 

That experience led to a decade at Nationwide, where he has the privilege of working with an amazing team on the Mobile Bank. He's also kept busy by five children, and in his spare time enjoys photography, DIY and playing the piano... badly. 

Please provide some background on Nationwide for our readers. 

Nationwide is the world's largest building society, with over 17 million customers, 16 million of whom have a current account, mortgage or savings product, and are therefore members of the Society. Nationwide is owned by its members and focuses on providing banking products and services to its customers. Nationwide has over 18,000 employees, including those based in its headquarters in Swindon, and those working in its network of over 600 branches across the UK. 

Nationwide is the UK's third largest mortgage provider and holds almost £1 in every £10 saved in the UK, as well as one in ten of the UK's current accounts. It also supports landlords and those who rely on the private rented sector for their long-term housing needs through its buy-to-let business, The Mortgage Works. 

In addition, Nationwide offers a comprehensive range of wider retail financial services and products, including credit cards, personal loans and insurance. These offerings diversify its income, and help it give value back to its customers, through better product pricing than the market average and better service than its peers. 

Nationwide's purpose is "Banking - but fairer, more rewarding, and for the good of society". The Nationwide Board believes that its mutual ownership model enables it to balance its need to retain sufficient profit to remain financially strong, with its commitment to share its success with its customers and members. 

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of? 

As a Building Society, membership is at the heart of what makes us a fairer and more rewarding way to bank.  In May, we confirmed eligible members would be rewarded with a Nationwide Fairer Share Payment of £100. It's our way of giving back to those who trust us with their everyday banking.    

Why are events like the Digital Technology Leaders Awards important to the IT industry? 

To recognise exceptional talent and work across the industry; to gain insights about good practices industry is adopting to; and, of course, to provide a networking opportunity! 

What have been the biggest challenges of 2024 so far and how have you overcome them? 

They're two-fold: first, we removed a legacy-and-cumbersome security mechanism called "card reader," which is rolled out to millions of people; and second, we've modernised our app to compete with those of newer banks, while managing the expectations of a very loyal customer base who have used our older app for more than decade.

What do you see as the main opportunities for the IT industry in the coming year? How do you plan to capitalise on those opportunities? 

  • Use of GenAI to deliver better features to millions of customers in a much faster/efficient way; 
  • Making banking and investments simpler for the younger generation - creating better financial awareness at an early age by the use of technology to provide even friendlier apps; 
  • Having scalable and agile infrastructure to provide much better resilient apps to customers;
  • Supporting business to create new business lines.

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