RLN Innovator Workshop Recap: Driving collaboration in financial services

On 16th May, UK Finance, in partnership with EY, hosted the RLN Innovator Workshop.

This event, hosted at EY office, brought more than 90 innovator and fintech firms together with UK RLN participants including Barclays, Citi, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, Nationwide, NatWest, Santander, Standard Chartered, Virgin Money, Visa, and partners from EY, Linklaters, R3, Quant, Coadjute and DXC Technology.

The workshop’s primary goal was to foster collaboration, share information, learn from innovators and spark discussions about the transformative potential of innovation that RLN might enable. It attracted more than 120 attendees – 60 in person and 60 virtually – from a range of FinTechs, BigTechs, and other innovative companies. The day was filled with enriching discussions and promising ideas for innovation.


The UK RLN is envisioned as a common ‘platform for innovation’ across multiple forms of money, including existing commercial bank deposits and a shared ledger for tokenised commercial bank deposits and in due course, potentially all forms of regulated money.

Through a collaboration of several stakeholders within the financial services industry, the UK RLN explores the options for users to make payments, transact and settle liabilities in the increasingly digital marketplaces of the future.

Key discussions and insights from the workshop:

The workshop included a series of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and interactive focus groups where innovators could share their views. Some of the key insights from the day included:


1. Risk mitigation: Innovators highlighted RLN’s potential to reduce fraud in online marketplaces and other areas where account-to-account payments are used, as well as reduce risks in international cross-border payments. Some Innovators said RLN could be an effective solution for enhancing the security of financial transactions more broadly.

2. Improve customer journeys: Innovators emphasised how RLN could improve a range of customer experiences across financial services. Additional functionality and simplified processes are expected to make interactions smoother and more efficient, contributing to better customer satisfaction.

3. Operational efficiency and growth opportunities: A significant number of innovators identified operational efficiency improvements as a major opportunity of RLN. Features like faster settlement, interoperability between different forms of money, and programmable payments are seen as game-changers that could transform financial operations. Innovators also highlighted enhanced income generation and improved commercial models as a result of RLN. 


1. Funding: Innovators said that budgetary and time restrictions along with challenges in securing internal sponsorship, were described as obstacles to RLN integration.

2. Technical barriers: Access to RLN infrastructure could be a challenge due to technical barriers and access to API documentation. Innovators mentioned difficulties in understanding and utilising available interfaces, which could hinder integration. Integrating RLN with existing legacy systems may involve substantial modifications. Additionally, a potential challenge with integrating within the broader UK payments industry could arise. How RLN would work alongside or compete with FPS/OB needs to be considered, as it needs to fit into the wider UK payments ecosystem to meet the desired outcomes.

3. Regulatory hurdles: The lack of regulatory clarity may prove to be a barrier to progress, as it may create uncertainty about compliance and legal risks associated with RLN. In particular, the cross-border legal standings and need for overall regulatory guidelines.

Looking Ahead:

The findings from the Innovator Workshop not only underline the commitment to innovation but also pave the way for further exploration and development of the RLN concept. When asked about future engagement, 98 per cent expressed their intention to engage further with RLN. This strong endorsement highlights the significant interest and potential that innovators see in the RLN initiative. Innovators were particularly enthusiastic about developing both business applications and novel foundational capabilities, showing confidence in RLN’s potential to drive impactful solutions across various use cases.

To maintain this momentum, we are actively seeking contributions from innovators. Additionally, we are considering hosting a hackathon or tech sprint that will delve deeper into these topics, offering a platform for hands-on problem-solving solutions. The results of the experimentation phase will also be published after the summer.

We value further engagement with innovators and appreciate any feedback you may have. To learn more about the Innovator Workshop and its insights, you can watch the recording here or reach out to Rhiannon.butterfield@ukfinance.org.uk

Keep an eye out for more updates and opportunities to engage as we venture into new territory in financial services, making sure that the UK RLN stays at the forefront of industry advancements and meets the needs of our digital economy.

More information about RLN can be found here.