I was wondering what work Monzo has done in terms of trying to make sure you can support people with abusive partners, and not inadvertently enable abusers. Financial control is a very common element of abuse within relationships, and obviously what can be awesome functionality for most of us, could potentially be used by awful people for much nastier purposes. Particularly thinking about people trying to break free of abusive relationships, having partners stalk them, issues with joint accounts and card freezing etc.
I could be completely making this up, but I think something like this was raised when discussing the joint accounts.
I made a point that I would prefer the “help” chats to be synced across accounts - So if my wife had an issue and spoke to CS, I would also see it and be able to pick it up if necessary.
But someone (I think @Rat_au_van), made the point you are making (which I hadn’t thought of), and I believe it’s one of the reasons the chat logs are account dependant.
Again… My memory is fuzzy, and I can’t offer any other insight I’m afraid!
That’s some good sleuthing @jzw95
I would actually be really interested if the vunrable customer team are prepared to offer support if required for any single person in a joint account if things did seem to show alarms.
That is an excellent question - thank you very much for bringing it up!
We train all of our customer facing staff to spot things like this. I had a really enjoyable session with some of our new starters just this morning and we touched on this very subject. There’s lot of things to look out for, and there’s a range of different actions that might follow if we detected something. Of course, it’s easier to find things when we’re speaking to these customers, and harder if we’re not. In case we miss things, I regularly review customer support interactions and follow up if necessary.
As I’ve mentioned before we are currently thinking about ways in which we could implement third party access and controls to help people, like if someone wants to have oversight of an account where they have power of attorney. Making sure that those tools are impossible to be misused is the top priority here.
There have been numerous requests for spending controls where people need to get the approval of a ‘trusted friend’ to spend over X amount for example. This would be an amazing feature for many people, but it could pose a risk. We’re very conscious of this.
I’ve been deliberately vague here, simply because I don’t want to expose everything we do, in case that knowledge enables abusers. But this is an issue that we take extremely seriously, and I’m confident that while we might not yet be perfect, we’re making great progress, and we have a good deal of experience within the company to draw on in this area.
Super pleased to hear you’ve been thinking/working on it already.
Was wondering if it might be good to have some stuff on the built-in help if you search for keywords like “abuse”, “violence”, “abusive”, “victim”, “domestic” etc., explaining to customers that you’re there to help if they need it, how to secure their accounts further, and that if they contact you, support chats don’t sync across joint accounts/if there’s possibly another way for them to contact you if they’re afraid to do it in app?
Oh and if you haven’t already, I’d figure there’s a few charities that work on this stuff that might be happy to talk to you about it, Women’s Aid and Galop were recommended by a couple of people I know with experience of this stuff (dealing with cases/experiencing it).
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