Enriched online shopping / merchant integration

(daniel_graf) #1

Hola !

A couple of years ago, at a Mondo (as it was then) Hackathon, I created a browser plugin which would enrich the online shopping experience for Monzo account holders. In short - it would detect prices on web pages, and annotate them with an icon informing you which items you could or could not afford to buy.

I wrote a little thing about it here at the time.

I was out running last night, and thinking about this a bit more. If I could authorise Amazon, Zalando or Google or whoever - to access my Monzo account and see my available balance and my transaction history, then a number of things could be implemented. I guess this is something that’s been thought about already, but I’m curious to see how it could be done and what could be achieved, and how account holders would feel about sharing their banking data.

  • The retailer could prioritise items I can afford - if I’m searching Amazon for something, it could headline the results with items I can easily purchase - making it more likely for me to actually buy. With more intelligence it could look back into my history and figure out that although I can afford an item purely on balance, there is usually a certain regular spend left to go in this month and tailor the affordability based on that. That benefits me as an account holder by helping to keep me out of debt / credit, and benefits the retailer by increasing the chances of me purchasing.

  • For an item I can’t afford, the retailer could annotate the item with how much I’d be charged to take an overdraft to get that item - or better (for Monzo to earn revenue if they go into consumer credit) - an instant loan offer right there - an annotation showing me a suggested term and monthly repayments. That benefits all parties - the retailer gets a sale, Monzo sells a loan / credit, I get quick and easy access to credit to cover the purchase.

  • Knowing my transaction history, a retailer could try to target me with items I may be interested in (and crucially justify it with “and you can afford this”) and lure me to their store - timing their offers with when I’m most likely to have liquidity and be tempted to spend money. Here the retailer benefits by increasing the chances of getting my attention at a time I’m most receptive to spending some cash.

Ideally, the retailer would pay Monzo to get access to my data (but of course, I would have to consent, actively want to do it and be the one who authorises and eventually de-authorises the access). That payment could be a kickback to Monzo for facilitating the sale maybe, perhaps some of which could be shared with the account holder to incentivise it a bit more. Or in the case they help Monzo sell an overdraft or personal loan - maybe the retailer gets a kickback.

Ja - anyway !


This is definitely a great idea, my only concern would be with trusting retailers/advertisers not to mis-use my account’s data. I’m happy for them to get my account balance/spending history to better adapt the search results page, but not silently save that data for long-term use, or even worse, pass it on to their “partners”.

Sadly the advertising industry has demonstrated multiple times that it can’t be trusted (the recent Cambridge Analytica debacle is a perfect example) so I wouldn’t support this.

(Graham - Mental health professional) #3

Hi Dan
Ironically, the very reasons you’ve cited as a positive experience, would most likely be a turn-off for others. But I get it (but wouldn’t run with it, simply because I’d struggle to trust those merchants).

Having said that, if it were as easy to switch off as on and left no trace afterwards, it might be worth a dabble…:grinning:


In these C@mbr¡dge An@lyt¡ca times, surely this will be abused to entice customers to habitually rinse their accounts at a level they can just about afford?


For the affordability of items, surely this could all be managed on the client side, without giving access permissions to the retailer?

A chrome extension could auto inject your total/category/target balance as the max price for amazon/ebay etc?

(Ziad) #6

I don’t know if I would want a retailer to see my whole account but how about a pot they could see? E.g. Amazon pot which would allow a payment to be made to Amazon from it.

(daniel_graf) #7

Morning !

Thanks to all for your comments and ideas, I totally understand the wariness of sharing this data with retailers. I love the suggestion of being able to limit this to a pot - it’s awesome - then you could fence off some hobby money (like for me to spend on running kit - oops) and not overshare with the third party.

I think psd2 as a basis for sharing the data (aisp bit) would provide a compliance framework for something like this, and in that spirit the connection to the retailer should be made with clear indication to the accountholder what information will be shared with the retailer, and a statement that the retailer may not share it with other parties.

I would also want the ability to unlink and in doing so require the retailer to securely destroy any data they obtained through the link.

I was also looking here for a way Monzo could earn more revenue - lots of features being added to the product certainly will attract more account holders, but I haven’t heard much about revenue sources beyond (the very cool) overdrafts we have today. Integrating more closely with merchants may unlock new revenue streams - some of which could trickle down to discounts for account holders who participate.