Names on the Current Account

I’ve just started working on refactoring our “profile” service and I’d love to hear what your thoughts are. I’ve written up a Dropbox Paper here.

To keep the discussion in one place I think it would be easier to comment here rather than on the doc.


For anyone who’d like to see some of the background behind this, this topic explains some of the Monzo user’s concerns / ideas about the use of legal vs preferred names & also gender -

@daniel I’m guessing that gender was left out of this document deliberately for now?


I’ll give an update when there is more clarity on this.

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I’m getting a “Forbidden” message when trying to open the doc

I am also getting forbidden :no_entry_sign:

I was able to open the document okay, but I am already logged in to Dropbox…

I would like on the signup flow a sort of summary flow:
“Please enter your full current legal name to be checked against…[___].”
“If you would prefer to be known as a different name on your printed card, etc, please enter it here [ ]…”
"The following names will be used for the following services:

Preferred name: xxx, Printed on card
Legal name: xxx
Printed on statements
Legal name as (xxx)
Included on outbound transfers

Some of these will be your legal name, some will be transliterations of your name due to third party system constraints etc. To accept these and continue with account setup, click [approve names], otherwise please either [change preferred name] or [start a chart]"


Here’s a link to a PDF copy of the document -


Thanks Alex. An interesting read.

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It’d be awesome if you could open source the transliteration library.

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Interesting read and well thought for people’s name on account.

Can I have Batman as the name on my card?


I’ve noticed my middle name is included in bank transfers.

I 100% do not want that. :flushed:

Edit: it’s not terrible - is just never used and no one knows it


Maybe I’ll open source the unit tests so everyone else can have some fun trying to implement something that passes them. :troll:


One minor question: although my full legal name does include my middle name, is it required that you use my middle name on things like bank transfers, statements, etc.?

It would seem that it might be appropriate to recognise that there are variations of the full legal name which are still entirely valid as a legal name.

e.g. you could have three fields - full legal name, preferred legal name, preferred name

Bit messy perhaps, but would resolve the problem.


Also, when it comes to approving preferred names, how would you validate these? For example, the name provided might genuinely be what my friends know me as, but might seem a bit weird or inappropriate from the bank’s perspective.

Hi @daniel

While I can read the document I can’t comment on it using Paper. Here are some thoughts.

This looks like a good start. The sources you refer to are interesting but the article may suffer from being a bit domestic rather than international in approach.

  1. Order of names. In the UK the convention is normally that the last name is your family name and comes last. In the far east the family name often comes first. Entering your name in a single field “full name” (as recommended by can’t determine which your family name is. Some additional information and separation of the full name may be necessary.

  2. I know of a number of people who go by their maiden name in business but their married name elsewhere. While the preferred name might cater for one of these it is possible that two preferred names will be required. Could you cater for this?

We shouldn’t forget that the trend for couples to use a combined name made from each of their last names is a growing one so the term pre partnership name might be more appropriate than maiden name and can be relevant to either partner.

  1. Titles and Honors. While the advice is not to ask about titles those with titles and honors are quite rightly keen to see these recognised. Will you be able to cater for these?

  2. Conversion is a long standing problem in banking so while it should be possible to receive payment in your preferred names some form of proof may be necessary for those using preferred names which are not directly derived from their legal or maiden names. The ability to support this will depend on the level of data available from your validation sources of course.

Hope this is helpful.

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Bank transfers from my legacy building society show my first initial then full surname in transfers - yet they have my middle name on file.


100% do not want this either or just an initial is fine :slightly_smiling_face:

edit: My middle name is only printed on my driving licence and passport, every other document just has a middle initial or misses it altogether.


Woooooooooooow. You’re a monster.

Nice write up, in true internet fashion… it sent me on a tangent down an interesting rabbit hole.

I personally, support having two ‘profiles’ as described, what is required legally and what is preferred by the user. We can’t circumvent the legal requirements the bank need to follow. Although middle names are questionable as James had mentioned - i hope this is addressed:

My vision of how the app will allow us to manage the two profiles is as follows, when you tap your name, on the ‘card’ tab.
Using a Card UI (dim/blur the background with the hot coral colour of the monzo card, this is for the fun vibrant, cool, personal relationship with user and monzo), a card overlaying the rest of monzo app with a ‘x’ button top right hand corner) it will have a title of preferred profile, which will have the fields for mr/mrs/ms etc first name, middle name (optional), surname, profile picture etc. I think the colour of the card or the out line of maybe the dimmed background/blur effect should be the hot coral colour

And a simple swipe to the right will change the dimmed background/blur effect to dark navy blue, same colour of the website house style (to note this is more serious/legal/professional) with similar fields as the preferred profile title legal or bank profile. Without a doubt these fields will be inactive/greyed out, and only for viewing purposes and the only selectable option on the card will be ‘Want to Update?’ if you want to update any of your personal information, please chat with customer support’.

oh, and an ‘x’ to go back to the ‘card’ tab.

all my mentions of card overlay - i mean like a card in the wallet app where you can swipe left and right, but doesn’t take over the entire screen.

I hope i explained that enough.