Our first weekly update: what have we been up to this week on the US?

It’s all kicking off, we’ve got our first real customers, the team is growing, and monzo US is now a thing! I’m aiming to post a weekly update of the things we’ve been up to. Let me know if you find this stuff interesting and if there’s any topics you’d like me to cover next or questions you have. Or if you couldn’t care less, just ‘like’ the post and move along…

:rocket:We hosted our first launch event.

We hosted our first launch event in Los Angeles this week. This is the first of many launch events where we invite people to meet the team, hear a bit about monzo and walk out with a hot coral debit card and a spring in their step. We had around 80 people attend (more than we expected!) and got plenty of love on twitter.

Our next event will be in San Francisco on Wednesday. Sign up here if you’d like to come. It should be much bigger and potentially even better :wink:

:house_with_garden:We rented a flat (apartment) in Los Angeles.

With a growing team in LA and lots of monzo staff flying out on a regular basis we needed a convenient place to store them at night. We’ve rented a furnished 2 bed apartment which is a ten minute drive away from our current WeWork office.

:dancing_men:We have two new team members.

Two new team members have joined us. They will fill the position of US People Lead and US Payment Ops Analyst. We’ll likely be doing a bit of a ‘meet the team’ style post in the near future so I’ll let them introduce themselves and their roles when the time comes.

:chart_with_upwards_trend:We ran our strategy by the board.

Our priority this year is to build a core group of highly engaged users, a real monzo community like we have in the UK, who we can work together with to get an understanding of customer expectations and the best ways we can make people’s financial lives easier in this new market. As opposed to purely trying to scale as quickly as possible. We ran this strategy by the board at a recent board meeting and they agreed.

:credit_card:We submitted our contactless cards for testing.

The cards we’re currently giving out at launch events are not contactless (tap to pay?). We’re working furiously in the background with our card suppliers to get contactless cards out as quick as we can. Card suppliers in the US are a little less experienced with contactless cards so this hasn’t been as quick as we would have liked but we’re hoping these will be ready in the coming weeks.

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Great idea for a post!

I’ll be watching the US growth with interest

Thank you for the update, looking forward to hear more! :slight_smile:

I’m sorry, I was just focussing on the swag. Is that a branded card holder and a branded bag in that Twitter link?

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Think it’s a little envelope for the card

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Yeah they’re made of paper, so kind of a ‘single use card holder’

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Very swish!

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Matching nail polish too! :wink:

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It was awesome seeing you all in Santa Monica. However, you all were a bit shy trying to hide English accents. Over here, the perception is that accents from abroad sound great – even if “beta” is pronounced differently, you shouldn’t shy away from it!

This is a pleasant surprise. I think that a really interesting selling point Monzo could have is just offering a contactless card and marketing on that. Apple Pay + Google Pay are great, but contactless is also really nice, and most banks don’t offer it here (and none of the online banks do). Just another random feature that helps differentiate you.

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Apple Pay has brought about a resurgence of contactless cards in the US. The card companies issued MSD versions under Visa PayWave, MasterCard PayPass, Discover Zip, Case Blink etc.

It never took off. The media fear mongered about wireless RFID skimming and everyone asked for plain cards or RFID blocking wallets.

There was also no selling point as it was often slower than swiping.

Often signature was still required. Debit cards do use PIN, but no one really pays daily with debit due to less benefits / points per transaction.

Now people know about contactless as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay. People don’t really know about contactless cards and see it as Apple Pay built into the card

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Yep!

Thankfully almost everything is faster than chip & pin in the US, so “what’s old is new again” is a big application here. Because of Apple/Google Pay, a lot of the contactless tech gets a second lease on life, which means that it can turn into a huge selling point when everyone else has given up on it.

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The things the media does fear monger about against the things they do not

Boggles the mind at times

I have noticed myself referring to the cards as “Tap to Pay” maybe because Los Angeles’s Oyster is called TAP.

Seems this is definitely the terminology going forward.

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Makes sense. It’s quite rare people wave the card without contact (i.e. contactless). More often pressing or even furiously rubbing it on the terminal…

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This is looking great. I imagine Portland and Seattle aren’t high on the list next, but am very excited about Monzo in the US. I’ve tried communicating to my US friends what it’s like but there’s really nothing as good to compare it to. Hopefully those of us with existing UK accounts will be able to switch easily to include US?

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I absolutely cannot wait for my US Monzo account…hopefully I’ll be here long enough to be able to open one before heading back to the UK!

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Hey Ealasaid - glad to hear you’re excited! Where are you based and when do you head back to the UK? (you can also open on in the UK don’t worry :grin:)

Just attended the San Francisco event last night and it was great. Pleasant meeting everyone and getting my new account set up and walking out with a Card was fantastic. Can’t wait for the updated contactless cards and to see what new features are going to roll out for the US users.

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Cheers for coming Jarrod :raised_hands:

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I always make a point of trying to avoid the card touching the reader so I can get a full-on ‘contactless’ experience. :rofl:

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