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

Dealing with outside merchants and systems that give you very little feedback into what’s wrong.

We’ve spent far too many whole days comparing responses that work to those that don’t and trying to work out what exactly it is that something wants. Often we find out it’s something like the order that the elements of the request are in matters. :sob:


Sure, they’re pretty nice. One of the better wedges you can get at a major brand. I don’t often order them though on the basis that I’m probably going to have enough pizza to eat. :pizza:


Account aggregation and managed bills. I’d love to be able to outsource insurance/savings/bill management to Monzo to a point where it’s possible to manage everything through one great app. My biggest hate is having to call up any service provider for literally any reason and will do anything in my power to be able to do everything through an app/website.


Card signature strips - are they needed anymore? What’s your opinion on them?

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All the time. This is why the desk next to me has so many ducks as Tom discovered. :joy:


I think we’ll see a much better way of paying for things by bank apps directly over the next 2–3 years with the new payment initiation requirements. I don’t know if they’ll gain much traction here but they seem to do extremely well in some European countries.


I would love it if we could remove some of the more insecure interfaces on cards. I’d also like to make push payment scams much more difficult, if not impossible to pull off on Faster Payments. Currently, you have to send money to some anonymous numbers and you have near-zero protection if you mess up. It is often the cause of a lot of complaints against banks. :grimacing:


Engineering requires people skills too and they’re often more important than your ability to write code.

A Tour of Go is the only resource I used. :sweat_smile:


I’m currently working on wrapping up the onboarding of a new physical card manufacturer and am starting planning on what I’m going to do for the next few months.

It’s likely to be either 3D Secure 2.0 (EMV 3DS) or MDES for Merchants. Both of these should greatly improve the experience and security of shopping online (where the merchant supports them). MDES for Merchants in particular should reduce the need for virtual PANs by turning everything into tokens.


I don’t really have one. :sweat_smile:

I’ve never seen the word bremain before but I’d very much like us to remain in the EU. From a financial services, travel, and customs perspective personally but also because most of my friends here are citizens of other EU members and are potentially very screwed over by brexit. :disappointed:


I’ve worn an Apple Watch every day almost since launch.

It’s got to be CHAPS. Most people will only interact with CHAPS once in their life when buying a house and it normally involves banks literally phoning each other up before making a manual transfer. The fact that the website says lower-value payments like buying or paying a deposit on a property. should tell you everything you need to know.

Again, banks literally phoning each other up for CHAPS payments was a weird one to discover but discovering how Fractional-reserve banking works was a real trip. I’d like to stick to making money move. :grimacing:

I feel like we’ve reached the base coverage of almost everything that a regular person would need from a bank. From here, we can explore things you never thought your bank could do and really start building on the base we’ve created. Just over a year ago, we still had the majority of our customers on a prepaid card so we’ve come a long way in one year.


How much did you know of the banking sector before joining Monzo?

Was learning about it relatively easy or was is challenging?

Before learning about Go, did you know any other coding languages?

We’re responsible for making sure that you can pay for things and get paid. This includes Mastercard, Bacs, Faster Payments, cash deposits, and so on. This includes both day to day operations, scheme management, and engineering.

Currently, we’re split in two squads, reliability and new schemes. One squad being a reactive while the other focusing on project work.

As of next week, we’ll be split differently. One squad covering transfers and cash deposits, the other handling everything to do with Mastercard or physical cards. I’ll be in the Mastercard team, of course. :wink:

We’re primarily a backend team. By the nature of needing to create internal tools, we do have some web front end experience but this is mainly within the existing frameworks of our Business Operations and Customer Support tools. We provide the platform for a product team to then build the user-facing functionality in the app.


I applied three times to various roles at Monzo a few years ago. Eventually hired as overnight customer support and worked my way up from there. No real drama, just didn’t make the cut the first few times. I think I eventually got hired because I’d spent nearly a whole year or two on this community answering questions back in the prepaid days. :upside_down_face:


Can’t go into this one unfortunately. Sorry! We’d love to have done it sooner.


Didn’t think so, but always worth trying :joy:

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I’ve asked myself this a bit as the company has rapidly grown. I’d love to work somewhere that isn’t a bank in the future and I get a lot of recruiters for very high places so who knows!

Given the energy burn required to securely sustain a cryptocurrency, I don’t see much future in their current form.

I’m not sure. I’d love it if we were one of the first to optionally support it though! It’s all technically ready other than apps/API constraints.

Sure, this mainly consists of responding to new scheme and legal requirements that come up but also involves resolving and following up on any outages or incidents that occur (even if they’re not our own). Right now, my work is bringing on a new card manufacturer so that we always have at least two running so that problems don’t stop cards going out. :slightly_smiling_face:

I’ve answered this mainly already but overnight general customer operations :arrow_right: customer operations technical specialist :arrow_right: financial crime engineering (where we built 3D Secure) :arrow_right: payments engineering. :slightly_smiling_face:


Nope! Mastercard made signatures entirely pointless (by removing them from the chargeback/dispute rules) for almost all uses last year and are removing the requirement to have the strip on the card this year.

I’m honestly surprised they held on for this long.


Not very much! I learned everything I know about banking from Monzo in one way or another. Either here on the community in the very early days or by working on it now. :smile:

There is a lot of information to consume but for me, it was fairly easy. I feel like you have to be the kind of person who finds enjoyment in reading manuals to not go crazy. :sweat_smile:

Weirdly, x86 and PPC ASM, some C++, some JavaScript, some C#, some Objective-C, Swift, Bash scripting, and an embarrassing amount of Visual Basic.

I never really became too dependent on one single programming language. I used what I needed to get the job done. Because of this, Go was incredibly easy for me to pick up.