Monzo USA Team Update - 23rd August 2019 :monzo_usa:

Hello everyone :wave:

It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at Monzo - you might have noticed I missed our update last week even :see_no_evil:

Let’s get to it. Here’s what your 20 or so Monzonauts bringing Monzo to the US have been up to this week.

:credit_card:We’ve been reissuing some cards which weren’t working as we’d like

As some of you will know (anyone who attended our first event in LA) we’ve had some issues with the cards we gave out. They weren’t critical but they did result in a couple of friction points:

  • Due to having a blank field where your name should be this caused some payment terminals to behave strangely and reject payments - these were few and few between but it wasn’t a great experience. We’ve put ‘Monzo’ in the name field now.
  • Due to the setup we had with our processor the default option for provisioning your card in digital wallets was to call us rather than receive a code via text message. We’ve changed the setup in the processor now and issued new cards.

We’ve now sent out replacement card which won’t have these issues. Customers will have received them in the mail this week and have a notification in the app on how to activate them. This affected around 40 customers.

:rotating_light:We’ve been writing a US-specific incident management playbook

When incidents happen at monzo we have a very specific way of dealing with them. This involves prescribed communication and escalation channels, appointment of leads to certain areas e.g. Incident Lead, Customer Communications Lead and retrospectives to discuss what went well and what can be improved. As we’re operating as a separate business compared to the UK bank we needed to define guidelines for how we manage incidents and who the points of contact are. For example, you may want to handle an incident which affects ‘all customers’ differently if one business defines ‘all customers’ as 3 million people and the other defines it as 300 people!

:electric_plug:We’ve been planning how to best use our engineering efforts before increasing our customer numbers

We currently have a team of 3 backend engineers (plus one more next week!) and 2 front end engineers working on the US, plus some input from people in the UK business. That’s not a lot of engineers. We held meetings this week to discuss the trade-offs we’d need to make between increasing the features of the product, and making sure our scaling operational processes are up to scratch. We now agreed a list of things we’re going to finish ahead of increasing our customer numbers.

:us:We’ve had two members of the team in London from the US to form a new squad

We had two members of the US team over in London this week working with me to set up the Payment Operations squad. We’re three people who look after the operational processes which come out of you all making payments. These include managing our partners (processor, card manufacturers, mastercard), ensuring our customer service team have adequate knowledge and tooling to resolve customer payments queries, and ongoing tasks such as forecasting and reporting card stock and volumes.

:warning:We’ve been assessing our risks and reporting them to the UK bank

Being a regulated full UK bank comes with the need to track and manage your risks. As part of the regular risk review within the UK bank we’ve been doing our own risk review for the US business. This is a process whereby each function lead assess their risks based on impact and likelihood and anything which doesn’t look like we’d be happy to leave as is we put controls in place to either reduce the chance of it happening, or reduce the impact of it happening. To give a concrete example: the incident management playbook I described above means that we will be able to resolve incidents more quickly and reduce their impact. The retrospectives we do on these incidents will reduce the likelihood of them happening again.

Cheers and have a great weekend!



Thanks for the update. always interested to follow along with what happens :slightly_smiling_face: