Monzo Staff Weekly Q&A - Simon B (COps Community Specialist) - Million User Special!

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



Forum family. We hit a million Monzo users!

It’s an awesome stat. A serious milestone. One more step towards taking over the world! So I racked my brain long and hard to try and find an appropriate person to do this Q&A. But, I couldn’t think of anyone, so you get me instead :wink: (just a little self-deprecating humour there folks)

The metaphorical tables, as they say, are being well and truly turned. Metaphorically.

The question-master becomes the…um…questioned? Yeah, let’s go with that! :muscle:t4:

Better get my spinach in. As a vegan, I eat a lot of it anyway :wink:


But there’s an important thing you have to do first. CATCH UP TIME!

****Click here to see all previous Q&As****

Week 1 : Chris MacLean, Customer Operations & Vulnerable Customers :santa:t2:

Week 2 : James Nicholson, iOS Engineer :green_apple:

Week 3 : Tara Mansfield, People Operations Manager :woman_technologist:t5::man_technologist:t3:

Week 4 : James Routley, Backend Engineer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 5 : Hugh Wells, Customer Operations :policeman:t3:‍♂

Week 6 : Naz Malik, Technical Specialist :computer:

Week 7 : Fred Morgan, COps Squad Captain (Calls & Social Media) :telephone_receiver:

Week 8 : Emma Northcott, COps Scaling Team :balance_scale:

Week 9 : Jarno Wolf, COps Financial Crime Specialist & Squad Captain :wolf:

Week 10 : Maria Campbell, Head of People :woman_office_worker:t2::man_office_worker:t4:

Week 11 : Jim Amey, Night COps Captain :bat: :crescent_moon:

Week 12 : Richard Cook, Online Community Manager :man_cook:

Week 13 : Beatrice Borbon, Content & Press Manager :newspaper:

Week 14 : Tom Blomfield, CEO :crown:

Week 15 : Ella Johanny, COps/Hiring :handshake:

Week 16 : Harry Ashbridge, Writer :writing_hand:t3:

Week 17 : Beth Scott, Overnight COps :cat2:

Week 18 : Georgie Parmenter, Executive Assistant to the Founders :blonde_woman:

Week 19 : Vulnerable Customers Team :sunflower:

Week 20 : Leah Templeman, Interim VP People :sun_with_face:

Week 21 : Daniel Chatfield, Backend Engineer, Fincrime & Security :closed_lock_with_key:

Week 22 : Valerio Magliulo, Product Manager - Revenue Team :money_with_wings:

Week 23 : Sam Watkin, Operations Analyst :thinking:

Week 24 : Kieran McHugh, Backend Engineer :desktop_computer:

Week 25 : Jonas Huckestein, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer :computer_mouse:

Week 26 : Annual Report Edition with Tristan Thomas and Julie Oey :calendar:

Week 27 : Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer :pencil2:

Week 28 : Richard Dingwall, Payments Engineer :moneybag: :wrench:

Week 29 : Oliver Beattie, Head of Engineering (Reliability Report Special) :watch:

Week 30 : Bruno Vaz Moço, Product Manager (Scalers) :balance_scale:

Week 31 : Dillon Van Auken, Remote COps Team Lead and Vegas Project Team Lead :first_quarter_moon_with_face: 🂡

Week 32 : Rhys Davies, COps Cardiff Office :dragon:

Week 33 : Emily Parrett, COps Call & The Gang :phone:

Week 34 : Liam Houghton, Ops Fixer :hammer_and_wrench:

Week 35 : Frances Coyle, Legal Team :scroll:

Week 36 : Shak Welch, COps Fincrime Specialist :police_car:

Week 37 : Sarah Allen, People Operations :woman: :man:

This week in the Hot Coral Hot Seat™️ we have…me! Simon B - COps Community Specialist :tada:


I’ve been here at Monzo since October 2016. Back then we had around 40 employees and 50,000 users. Now we have 416 employees and a million users! That means I’ve been here longer than 90% of the company. Which is just crazy to me!

I’ve recently been working on:

Some initiatives to help more COps get involved with the community on a regular basis, working with @Naji on some upcoming Monzo Social events, helping @cookywook look after this place, particularly outside of daytime hours, video content production and editing, training new COps on the Monzo culture and how we handle social media support, keeping an eye on any support that comes to us via different channels like Instagram and Reddit, catching up with and helping support the Vegas team (I feel really close to them since I was out there for so long!) - That’s not an exhaustive list, and I still do frontline support in between all of it too. I’m the kind of person that’s happy to help with pretty much anything that I can be of use in, so in the past I’ve worked on some intellectual property stuff with our legal team, and every so often I’ll help with COps hiring - from application screenings to assessing group tasks and conducting 1 on 1 interviews. I might not always have all the answers, but I’ll always bring a smile and hopefully some insight :grinning:

Fun Facts About Me:

I’ve co-produced a handful of music documentaries for radio stations like BBC 1Xtra and XFM, including an award-winning series exploring albums by Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Metallica, and my favourite - Prince! I was lucky enough to see Prince 14 times in concert, meet him, and I was the only fan to be included in his memorial service in LA, where my quote appeared in the memorial booklet next to President Barack Obama, Nile Rodgers, and Samuel L Jackson.

My favourite thing about working for Monzo?

The culture. I was blown away by it from Day 1 when I joined, and I’m proud to have worked hard to do my part in maintaining it now that we’re 10x bigger than we were when I joined. It comes from the top, and so I have a huge amount of respect for our original founding team for laying the groundwork for it. Being radically transparent, being completely customer focused, aiming to always delight within the product, being committed to proper diversity and inclusivity. Whilst our culture may not work for every company, I genuinely believe that if more companies were a little bit more like us, the world would be a much better place. Banks are often sort of seen as the the epitome of corporate greed, and I think it’s amazing that we have something here where we’ve built something that actually helps people, where we make decisions based on what helps our customers stay on top of their finances rather than what makes us money, and where everyone within this company is committed to changing an entire industry for the better!

So…Questions? Let’s do this! :muscle:t4:


Cats. Pineapple pizza. Android Vs iPhone?

More to come, we should think of a million questions lol

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If you could have been present at the recording of ANY Prince album, what would it have been?

I mean, the full recording. Every track that went on, didn’t make the cut etc.
Any era of Prince too.

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Monzo and Starling are at the forefront of modern banking. Monzo do a lot of things really well. Are there any aspects of the Starling offering that you think are particularly good?


Depeche mode in electro era or late 80s onwards industrial/rock?

Metallica before or after they went mainstream?


What other FinTech job offer could tempt you? :grinning:


Excluding mine ( :wink: ), who’s Staff Q&A have you found the most interesting or surprising?

  • It sounds like you do a vast array of things, how do you organise your time efficiently to stay productive?

  • If you couldn’t work in fintech where would you work?

  • How do you find working remotely? Do you ever feel out of the loop?


Hi Simon, Danny here from the Windsor & Eton Express.

This is a two part question:

If you were stranded on a desert island with a pineapple, a pizza and a cat would you put the pizza on the pineapple or the pineapple on the pizza and also what one would you call Dave?


Which one change to the Monzo apps or service would you add or change if you could magic it into existance? And Why?


Why were you attracted to banking after all the other stuff you’ve done?

Also more of a Monzo question: Would you ever think of putting techies in Vegas so that they could follow the sun, potentially speeding up development times?


What is one feature you’re most looking forward to having in Monzo? (Upcoming, awhile away, or aaaages away)

Can you name one popular conspiracy in the music industry that you believe in OR have insider info to debunk? :eyes:

What do you think is the most challenging aspect of looking after a community forum?

P.s. We love you and this Q&A is long overdue


Outside of what you did get to work with, which artist and/or album(s) would you most liked to have covered any why?

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What are your long term career aspirations? Are you looking one day to to move up to a Corporate role within Monzo?


Thanks for the questions all… I’ll be answering them all tomorrow so get the questions in while you still can :eyes:


What feature in the Monzo pipeline are you most looking forward to?

And what feature/service that isn’t in the pipeline would you personally most like to see?

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Do you get much downtime outside of Monzo? Or do you end up living, breathing and sleeping :mondo: and spending a lot of that free time on here :stuck_out_tongue:

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As one of the most long-term Monzonauts, what was the most exciting time for you in the world of Monzo history? Why? What could top it? :earth_americas:

(One rule: You’re not allowed to choose the point where we hit 1 million. So if that was the most exciting time, you’ll need to pick your second :smiley:)


How much would a legacy bank need to pay you per year for you to leave Monzo and join them?

If a permanent Monzo role opened up for you to run things in the USA would you say ta-ta to the U.K. for good?

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What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?