My name is Kieran and I lead Open Banking at Monzo. While my main role is Backend Engineer, I’ve also been doing quite a lot of product and project management, public policy, and outreach work as part of Open Banking. While it’s the hardest project I think I’ve ever worked on, it’s also been very rewarding and a great opportunity for personal development. I have learned a tonne of stuff!
I wanted to kick off this thread to share some info on the hard work we’ve been doing over the past few months, and how our customers will experience it. In the future, I would like to do some other content aimed at other fintech companies hoping to use our APIs, a dive into the technology that powers Open Banking at Monzo, and how we managed to implement quickly and inexpensively by using our platform.
For those of you who have never heard of Open Banking, it allows regulated companies to access your
account information and initiate payments from your account (with your permission). The core principle of Open Banking is really that your financial data should be yours, and if you choose to, you should be able to allow a third party to access it.
Here’s the sort of thing you might see when granting a third party access to some of your account information on Monzo.
And, likewise, you might see something like this to set up a payment on your account. This is an example of a scheduled payment, but you can also set up immediate payments and recurring payments!
If you’re visiting from a desktop computer, you’ll see something like this. This will send you a push notification and pop you straight into the screens shown above.
There are a couple of “core principles” I think our team think about with Open Banking…
We’ve put a lot of effort into making the connection process as smooth as possible. We’ve designed whole new desktop and app-based flows. We’ll use Face ID and Touch ID if you have it set up. We’re taking advantage of the same awesome cryptography technology put into our app by the Strong Customer Authentication team.
We’re not using the phrase “Open Banking” anywhere in the app. We are serious about not putting jargon in our product. Our customers shouldn’t have to worry about the regulatory framework that enables the connection - or the technical implementation of it. It should just work, and since it’s from Monzo, you know you can trust it.
We’re serious about uptime. Unlike many other banks, Monzo engineers have written our banking platform in-house from scratch. This means we have an incredible amount of control over our Open Banking implementation. We won’t need to take it offline all the time (for hours at a time) for “routine maintenance”.
We’ve implemented the Open Banking Standard, so our implementation has the same external interface as every other bank. This makes it much easier for new companies to connect to Monzo without having to write bespoke additional code specific to us, and hopefully it means Monzo customers can connect their account to all of the same services available to them as customers from legacy banks.
Please Ask me Anything (AMA) about Open Banking, what it’s like to work on, or how we think about Open Banking at Monzo!