NatWest and venture development firm prehype have developed the UK’s first digital contract solution that explains T&Cs in plain simple English. The startup, called Nift, has built a bespoke contract guide designed to help customers engage with their contracts making them easier to review and understanding.
Research indicates that a significant proportion of consumers do not read the small print because it’s littered with complex technical language but whenever T&Cs are signed both parties are stating that they understood their respective rights and obligations.
Nift was created to address this issue. It provides a contract guide which helps customers navigate their contracts, translates clauses into plain English, defines complex words and helps explain the contract’s clauses by giving real life examples. It has been built to make complex contracts accessible and understandable and to encourage increased engagement with customers.
Alison Rose CEO of Commercial and Private Banking at NatWest RBS said: “We know some customers find the language in their T&Cs complicated and intimidating, but it’s important customers understand what they are signing, so we wanted to find a way to break through the legal language and encourage more people to spend time understanding their terms before they sign. Working with prehype to develop Nift has enabled us to bring an innovative product to market quickly whilst also helping us to improve customer experience and trust”.
Meeta Gournay of Nift said: “We are really excited to be working with NatWest. Our goal is to provide businesses with a set of tools to increase trust through transparency. We are passionate about helping consumers cut-through legal jargon. We want to be everyone’s personal guide to contracts.”
Stacey Seltzer, CFO at prehype, said: “The prehype team is thrilled to get Nift off the ground. There’s an incredible future in bringing together the industry expertise of large companies with the structures and methodologies of the early stage community to build successful new businesses.”
Initial tests of a prototype indicate that 92% of consumers found it useful and said it made them pay more attention to the contract than they normally would. NatWest is piloting the service in its asset finance arm, Lombard this year with an aim to roll out further in 2017. It is expected to provide Lombard customers with a beneficial service and helps respond directly to the FCA’s focus on improving customer engagement with contractual terms and conditions.