Has Monzo lost its USP?

Indeed - an audience who don’t generally help turn a profit. Bit of a long game being played keeping them until they make any profit of note per user.

I don’t know about anybody else but I feel like more people would probably use monzo as their bills/main account if you earned cash back on paying bills via Direct Debit like other providers :eyes:


Incoming cashback !!!
Yes plz :person_raising_hand:

Joint Accounts too? Oh. :disappointed:


That’s definitely one way to draw them in.

Someone mentioned about the cards - at the time Monzo had nice cards when everyone else didn’t, but then a few years ago a few banks came out with nicely designed cards (HSBC for example) and then everyone was at it. No more boring cards with a logo slapped on.

Most cards now are just a plain background with a logo slapped on, HSBC included.


Hey :wave: I was on the infrastructure team managing our Kubernetes, and now I’m a customer of our Kubernetes in a different team (I write a lot of services)

but I’ve also seen quite a lot of these systems in the wild and it turns out that shoving the network in the middle of your app is complex.

Genuinely we have amazing tooling. People who build microservices will never need to think about any of the networking or Kubernetes side. It’s kind of like Heroku, you don’t think about hosting your app. You just git push and it’s all done for you :slight_smile: (When I say kind of, I am using this very fuzzily. There are CI checks + reviews + automated rollbacks etc. See Will’s blog post below)

Basically I hope that they have completely abstracted away the distributed nature of things from the app developers, because if they haven’t then it’s going to be an ocean of pain.

Not “completely”. Some developers need access to Kubernete specific things. As an example they may build a service which cannot fail, so they want 10 replicas. They can do this quite easily with a neat lil YAML file.

But yes, the average developer will not need to think about Kubernetes.

In fact, I’d really love to see a blog post on “How Monzo does Microservices and how we avoid it being an ocean of pain“.

Will works on the team which creates the tooling for “avoiding it being an ocean of pain”. His blog post is good :slight_smile:


To focus on the app-based bank USP: This might sound absurd to some, but I stopped using monzo as a spending card simply because I cannot turn notifications off for card payments, while keeping them on for app payments.

Because of this they then lost me paying in my salary and all my DDs because they force me to clear 5 or 6 unnecessary notifications per day so I can receive a notification when my partner/housemate requests money/bill split.

(What’s possibly worse, is that I think the android app can customise their notifications in this way.)

Out of interest which bank did you switch to that lets you do this?

I use Chase with all notifications switched off. Still use monzo for app payments to other monzo users.

It seems completely crazy to me anyone would want to be notified when they use their card - and even worse when they use Apple/Google Pay! Might as well receive a system notification every time you unlock the screen. I really don’t get why it’s on by default, never mind not having the option to switch it off.

The only benefit I can think of is to alert me to fraud, but I’ve been paying for things by card for 20 years without ever having an unauthorised payment, while the notification is a daily nuisance.

I love the instant notifications. I think in the early days that was a big part of Monzo’s appeal, back when every other bank didn’t show your card payments for days (or at best hid them in an ‘upcoming payments’ section only on their browser).

You can turn all notifications for Monzo off too though, do it in your Android or iOS settings.


I like being able to see an accurate balance in the app. I don’t like having to clear the notifications telling me I just got on the bus, I just bought coffee everyday before I even get to the office.

And you can’t turn it off on iOS. You have to choose all transaction and payment notifications or none at all. If you use the system settings or the app settings you can only have all or nothing.

If I could customise I would have “you entered your overdraft” and “scheduled payment failed” on and all card payments off. And have monzo-to-monzo payment/bill split requests on.

Why do you want your phone to notify you that you just paid for the bus, when you literally paid for the bus by holding your phone to the card reader? I can’t be the only one who finds this incredibly irritating?

On the other hand, I don’t want my housemate asking me to pay the money they requested in monzo last week because I didn’t get a notification that they’d requested it.


For me, Monzo and Starling are the only apps I allow notifications for, so clearly I find them useful! Mainly for seeing when direct debits go out and stuff. I don’t use my card most days, so I guess the card notifications don’t bother me so much.

One thing Starling does have which I love is the option to turn off notifications for mobile wallet transactions which avoids the duplicate notifications

Thanks for the reply! I didn’t read that blog post when it came out, but I will now; looks interesting. I do have one question for you off the top of my head though - if you have thousands of services then do you have some kind of developer tooling to do jump-to-definition across the RPC boundaries?

Needless to say, I have all Wallet app notifications turned off anyway :wink:

The point is really just that you should have the option to have them on and me to turn them off. I would have thought this wasn’t so difficult for a digital-only bank. shrug

It probably isn’t so difficult, but also probably neither are the several thousand other QoL improvements people suggest on a daily basis and it just hasn’t come up as a priority in their user research I guess. Always feedback you can give of course.

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The form to pay it from my HSBC account kept crashing in my browser, so I actually ended up using the separate form to pay it from :monzo:, which did at least work

Modern banking at its finest

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If this forum has taught me anything, it continues to be that everybody’s opinions and foibles about banking are spread across the widest set of possibilities, some I had not even envisaged

Viva la difference


As if to demonstrate that very point, I would like all my Monzo :monzo: notifications on multiple devices :joy:


then do you have some kind of developer tooling to do jump-to-definition across the RPC boundaries?

Not sure what you mean by “jump to definition”, I assume “how do we know which services do what?”

There’s somethings that help:

  1. All of our services use the same grammatical structure for RPCs
    Once you learn this, you can pretty much guess roughly what an RPC will look like :slight_smile: Services also follow obvious naming patterns (service.emoji deals with emoji, service.plushie deals with the Monzo Plushie etc etc – these are just fake example services)
  2. We have shell completion for all RPC calls so if you can approximately guess what an RPC looks like, you can autocomplete it :smiley:
  3. We have extensive documentation around most services and RPCs. For more on this, see Jen’s forum posts Monzonaut AMA - Jen - Knowledge Management Lead 📚

We also use a monorepo ( https://twitter.com/obeattie/status/1080497735680307200 for source) which means “jump to definition” in a code editor is very easy, as it’s all under the same repo :tada:


As in “jump to the definition of this piece of code” these days probably powered by something speaking LSP). In a lot of languages jumping over an RPC boundary isn’t supported. That would be annoying with 2000 services.

So the editor sort of thinks that everything runs in the same process space, and so can infer the jump target? Or is that just an inbuilt feature of Go? (It’s mostly Go, isn’t it?)

Yeah, I, er, asked her several questuons :laughing:.