Stagnation

I guess until you need to use it then you don’t know it’s there!

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Absolutely agree. But that’s probably where unfortunately some of the viewpoint is coming from :frowning:

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People expect different things too.

I’m sure that Monzo can churn things out by copying others but I don’t want them to do that. Like dark mode for example, that can wait for me or never be done at all.

I want them to take their time, research and develop innovative things that I didn’t know I needed. So going down this route when you’re breaking the mould, updates and things are going to be few and far between. They’re certainly not going to announce it anywhere public from fear of a competitor stealing the idea and beating them to it.

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Is that really copying though? More of an expected feature for a lot of people and fulfilling an OS feature. Copying for me is like when Starling added the ability to reorganise and hide spaces a month after Monzo last year.

Agreed though, not keen for Monzo to start copying stuff if they ever do

Hmm yeah I see your point, perhaps a bad example on my part but you get what I was saying.

I’ve been pigeonholed with legacy banks all my life and what is considered to be “normal” for far too long. So I understand some people like the comfort of having those things that they’re used to but for me the reason I moved to Monzo was because they were different and are shaking things up.

I’m feeling a bit contrarian today. I spoke above about innovative rather than than ‘me too’ features - but I think there is a case for keeping pace. While I’d like Monzo to be out ahead if, for example, there was a new device / form factor that replaced mobiles, they’d need to respond to that and keep pace. I’m not sure that that’s copying per se - just that what we consider the basics (or hygiene factors) vary over time. Innovation isn’t just about the big stuff - it’s continuous improvement of what are sometimes the basics.

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Totally agree, the day they start continually copying other people like some of the other fintechs people seem to love so much would probably be the day i look elsewhere

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Agreed

I wouldn’t complain if Monzo were to copy Starling’s ‘connected shopping card’ feature. That would actually be really useful for me.

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To be honest, that now sounds a bit like the Open Banking powered app Snoop!

But nobody was talking about it when Tom first was. Monzo do seem to have changed direction to focus more on “bread and butter banking”, but if that’s more commercially viable that’s no bad thing.

It’s easy to get frustrated that the startup-style excitement that was there in the beginning isn’t the same now - but Monzo do still engage with customers and they have tried to keep as much of that ethos as possible, even though it gets difficult as they grow.

However, criticisms over copywriting are warranted in my view and I do recognise that Monzo is facing an uphill battle now as traditional banks start to catch up by copying their features. Also, when previously Monzo could grow relatively easily by getting in early adopters, it now faces the challenge of attracting the more general market to grow further. It will difficult to get more apathetic customers to commit to opening an account.

All of that said, though, the future is still positive and Monzo + Starling are still the two banks which most stand out to me as digital-first, so the competition hasn’t caught up just yet!

I’m agreed on this 100% and don’t think Monzo are stagnating either.

Dark mode also came up, and I think that’s an example of where different people are always going to have different priorities. I use my phone in Dark Mode most of the time, and as such I would love Monzo to adopt it as a feature. Whereas Easy Bank Transfer, while very innovative and technically impressive, doesn’t really add anything new to me as somebody who is fine with online banking and is used to making manual transfers with account details.

So if it were me, I would rather have dark mode than easy bank transfer, but for others (who never would use dark mode and may struggle with making manual transfers for some usability/accessibility reason or due to concerns around security/getting account numbers wrong) the feature is valued. Basically, you can’t please everybody!

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As much as I’d like Monzo to turn into a feature factory - I have a feeling they’d be more than capable of doing so, but feature testing takes a long time, Why do you think we don’t have a web interface for personal accounts yet? they made it for business accounts and it’s probably quite easy to adopt for personal banking (heck, even if it’s only for Plus/Prem customers). Testing takes a lot of time

Dark mode: Some items may not show up correctly in feeds, menus, etc

As far as I know Snoop just refers you to 3rd party services which are then administered elsewhere. So it’s a referrals hub I suppose.

I think the interesting ambition with Monzo was that 3rd party services would plug into the Monzo app and be controlled/used within the Monzo app (e.g. 3rd party savings account and TransferWise integration are existing examples).

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You’re right, of course, Snoop isn’t that sophisticated (yet).

I meant that it was similar in the sense that Snoop analyses your data to provide relevant/targeted insights or offers. I believe the original Monzo plan was that Monzo would know so much about you they could offer a market-beating insurance quote (for example) managed within the app. As you say, it was then supposed to be seamlessly monitored through the app.

Nobody is quite doing that sort of thing yet, but Snoop might get there. Emma too.

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For the sake of a Labs “alpha test”, I wouldn’t mind this.

After all, you could always turn it off again - and I really don’t like the all-white look we have at the moment!

I think @AVancans post about “stagnation” and @Peter_G post about less “innovation” are essentially in agreement and conveying the same sentiment. Perhaps those words can be construed as positive/negative, so people react differently to them. Essentially they mean the same thing in the context of this topic.

I’ve never liked the MVP approach. To me - and I know some people will disagree - it is an excuse to do half a job. Rarely are development teams given the time to go back and work on features that have already shipped. There’s always something else to be worked on. I’ve seen the same in the past with some features that Starling released.

While I do agree with the OP, I would prefer to see Monzo release fewer but more polished features.

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I think that level of rough and ready test is too rough for monzo now. With all the caveats in the world it would still create noise for Cops. Loads of people who had turned it on would forget they had and that turning off would be an easy fix and also just expect it to work even with the caveats.

I agree although customer facing improvements have definitely slowed from the heyday, but this is expected. I think it’s important to note that there seem to have been some major improvements in behind-the-scenes stuff related to customer support and general app improvements (stuff like app load time, little animations that let you know if stuff has updated etc…).

For example:

Also, the number of complaints on the forum about customer support wait times, account freezes, and dispute resolutions seem to have hugely decreased over the last year**. Improving these customer support related areas through automation and improving processes seems like a huge job that is both extremely important to the Monzo experience and to improving customer unit economics, which edges Monzo towards profitability.


** I suppose this could partially be due to people making fewer offline transactions during the pandemic.

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Don’t forget all the payment and payee management improvements they’ve been making a lot of recently. In fact, I believe some more were released today :trophy:

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I wish I could agree but that wouldn’t explain the multiple attempts at launching Monzo Plus.

I think it is true on most aspects apart from customer numbers, brand awareness and perhaps the design of the app (depending on your preferences).

Starling have concentrated on features that banking customers such as using Post Offices and Cheque Imaging - and have a slow and steady approach - definitely not an MVP one

Monzo, by contrast, seems to prefer doing MVPs, not going back to change them (with a few exceptions), while nickel and diming on some of the more traditional banking features (cash, cheques, joint accounts etc).

In my view, Monzo did the least of all the banks I am a customer of, to help their customers through the pandemic.

It didn’t offer Bounce Back Loans, the payment holidays were mandated by the regulator and while Monzo did this, other banks were much more helpful/generous by default and Monzo made in-app support much harder to contact for the majority of customers - by deliberate design.

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We’ve changed our approach significantly since the first plus products in the first half of 2019 :relaxed: