B-North the Manchester-based firm building an SME lending bank for the UK has partnered with Testhouse, a leading technology quality and reliability consultancy.

The partnership allows B-North to benefit from Testhouse’s 20 years of experience in the IT industry, in which they serve organisations small to large with DevOps focused consultancy services to help technology work more seamlessly within businesses.

B-North selected Testhouse for their extensive experience in financial services and tasked the firm with thoroughly testing the end-to-end loan origination process, including – the user experience, for B-North staff and brokers – and various data integrations between nCino, Mambu, Xero and Companies House. These are all key elements of the B-North offering as they allow the future bank to deliver a smooth service to customers and brokers.

In addition to the testing, Testhouse also worked with B-North to evaluate and select a test automation tool that will provide cost-effective and agile future developments, including large-volume stress testing.

Testhouse’s model embeds the capability to deliver high-quality software engineered in stages, including continuous testing with an increased speed of deployment to operational readiness. Together with B-North’s in-house IT teams, Testhouse also helped to develop an ongoing testing strategy, to undertake high volume OAT/UAT.

The partnership with Testhouse is just the latest step in the important build phase of B-North’s banking platform. The cloud-based platform, which features a unique first-time integration of both nCino and Mambu software, when combined with a network of ‘lending pods’, is designed to deliver lending up to 10x faster than the market standard.

The refinements and testing to the B-North’s systems come as the firm accelerates towards securing its banking licence, and completion of a £20 million ‘Series A’ fundraise. The firm aims to disrupt the UK’s £150 billion SME lending market by establishing the first truly regional lending bank in 150 years. The first of B-North’s pods are expected to open in Manchester later in 2021.

Ewan Hutton, CTO of B-North said: “We are delighted with our work with the team at Testhouse, it is an important step on our journey to be ready for mobilisation upon the planned receipt of our banking license. Technology is a vital part of our model, so it was important to put our state-of-the-art cloud banking model to the test, to ensure that it is secure and reliable, while delivering the best possible service to brokers and ultimately UK SMEs. Our work with Testhouse has enabled us to put in place a robust long-term testing strategy, to ensure our systems always stay up to date and always provide the best service possible.”

Sug Sahadevan, Testhouse Founder and Group CEO said: “Testhouse is proud to be B-North’s testing and quality assurance partner. It is important that all business processes and the supporting technologies underneath are tested thoroughly for a smooth ‘route to live’. This will provide confidence to the business, investors, regulators and improve user experience. Working with challenger banks is a key part of Testhouse’s strategy and in this context our partnership with B-North is extremely significant to us.”