Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Rika Raybould (Payments Witch / Backend Engineer) 💰

Note : All Monzo Q&As to date can be found here :grinning:


Forum Family! Monzo Masses! Messageboard Members! Finance Fanatics! :wave:
Welcome to 2019. :tada:
The year of Monzo. Why is it the year of Monzo? Cuz you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. :eyes:

Seriously. If you thought 2018 was a wild ride, 2019 is where we go to the next level. Hope you’re ready for the adventure :shield:


And so it is that we begin this year by looking back, with #YearInMonzo, which is already generating headlines.

As Sir Mick of the House of Jagger once sang… sometimes you get what you need :wink:


If you didn’t participate in the hashtag year in monzo challenge yet, what are you waiting for?

So, recap:

  • 1.35 million users.
  • £20 million in crowdfunding
  • Over 600 staff now!
  • bases in London, Cardiff and Vegas (plus loads of remote workers!)
  • topping the Which? charts
  • the bank of the future
  • aren’t lists great?
  • i’ll keep going
  • can’t stop now
  • plus so much more!

Make sure you check out Tom’s blog to see where the rocketship is headed :

It is with all of this in mind that I am happy to introduce our guest for the first Staff Q&A of 2019! Please be sure to view all previous Q&As if you haven’t already :grinning:

You know her… you love her… but she’s never done Q&A before? Let’s fix that.

In the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ It’s Rika Raybould (@rika), our wonderful Payments Witch and Backend Engineer :raised_hands:t4:


Rika started here in June 2017 and she’s currently working on Card Payments reliability :credit_card: I have it on good authority that she knows all the Mastercard secrets. Or at least everything that’s hidden in ridiculously obscure documentation :wink:

Fun Fact about Rika! She can identify almost any anime aired in about the last 10 years.

Her favorite thing about working here is…

“The ability to see a problem and quickly roll a fix out to so many people.”

Get your questions in… @Rika will be answering them later this week!


How much do you like Post It notes?


Hiya Rika! :tada:

My questions are:

  • What ‘not very widely known but interesting to an insider’ info/factoid can you share about something to do with Payments?

  • Do you have a favourite feature / code / engineer thing that you’ve worked on that hasn’t seen much airtime or public use, or generally that Us Users haven’t seen?

  • What was your career path to Monzo / Have you always been in Finance?

  • I also feel like Rika Raybould would be the name of some form of superhero (got that Peter Parker alliteration factor to it…) … So… If you had to be bitten by something and get superpowers, what would you choose?


I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t use post-its


Are we ever going to see drastic improvements to the merchant feedback system? If so, where do you see this heading & what’s the intended solution to help with scalability of it as a feature?


Hey Rika :wave:,

What were you surprised by the most when you started working on the payments team and interacting with the MasterCard network etc? :credit_card:

How long do you think it’ll be before every store accepts contactless payments? I’m totally terrible at remembering my PIN but some stores still don’t accept ApplePay :open_mouth:.

Besides Monzo :monzo: , what’s one app you couldn’t live without? :iphone:


Favourite anime 2006 to 2013?
There is only one right answer so be aware.

I live with you so I could walk over to you but that’s boring!


What are you looking forward to this year - work related or otherwise?


How much have you spent at CoCo Ichibanya since it opened in London?

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What is your favourite thing about working at Monzo (other than the people!)?

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What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve had to tackle in your time as a backend engineer? :wave::grinning::+1:


Do you like Domino’s potato wedges?


Hi Rika :wave:

If you could add any feature to Monzo (ignoring any restrictions/limitations) what would you add?

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How many times a week do you find yourself with a problem and go to talk it through with someone… Only to then find the answer pops into your head as you’re talking?

Used to happen to me all the time, in the end I used to explain my problem to an item on my desk to stop me wasting anyone elses time.


Do you think alternate payment networks will gain traction (eg Pay By Bank, Curl)? If so, when, what sort of time frame?


What would you most like to fix about the current system of payments?


If it’s not the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya then I’ve no idea what it could be.

It’s questions like that that make me realise I’m old, because for me one of the big anime questions I always have is: Trigun or Cowboy Bebop (both ~1998 :grimacing:)?

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Can you give us any insight into current projects you are working on? :blush:

Favorite saying?

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brexit or bremain?