Forum family, we’re joined by Daniel James from Tandem this week for a Fintech Q&A!
I’m head of social media at Tandem and work across brand, marketing and customer service. We’re a very fluid and flexible company that work in lean/agile sprints. I’ve been here since September 2018, so I just about understand the acronyms now. I have no previous experience at a bank, having worked in a variety of roles writing speeches for presidents, educational history books for teenagers and leading workshops for inmates and detainees. I am probably one of the only people on the planet to have had a top 30 hit with a song about bank charges. Just don’t ask if I still bank with Lloyds.
And here’s some info about Tandem:
Tandem is a digital challenger bank designed to refresh the relationship between banks and their customers.
The ideal of creating win/win banking is at the heart of every idea we have and every new product we deliver. It’s like a doctor who is paid to keep you healthy, rather than on meds.
Our fast-evolving app looks for opportunities to save money and reduce bills. It flags any suspicious activity on the account and gives you regular highlights, that allow you to see your spending from different perspectives and plan accordingly. It also allows you to view all your accounts in the same place, making it much easier to get an overall picture of your money situation.
We currently have over 100 different highlights that we send people, spotting these opportunities for them to save and take sensible money actions without the hassle of having to be a typical money-saver.
Our upcoming release of instant access savings accounts and the linked Autosavings feature will massively increase our value to our customers. By allowing customers to set their own saving rules, the feature will take the psychological pain out of saving and sweep money into an instant access account that will build up gradually over the course of the year.
We also offer fixed term savings accounts with market leading rates and two specialist credit cards that offer excellent value to people spending money abroad.
The team has grown to 105, operates in a fast-moving agile environment and is based at 123 Pentonville Road in King’s Cross, London.
Daniel will be answering questions all week!
I’ll go straight in for the obvious…
What was the song??
Tandem user here! Do you guys have a roadmap for features coming soon to the app? It’s very basic at the moment and outside of the credit card I cannot see what I’m supposed to use it for?
Hi Nick. Ah good times.
It was called “I fought the Lloyds”. It was a song I wrote on my guitar to thank Martin Lewis for giving us the template letters to win our unfair charges back from the banks back in 2007/8. I was just out of uni and had been pretty bad with money at that time, so I followed his free instructions and everything happened exactly as he said it would and I got hundreds of pounds back from Lloyds. It was the first time I’d taken on a big institution in that way and felt great. Anyway, I wrote a song and sent it to him. He put it on the forums and then a bunch of people got together and said, why don’t we release this? It sold enough to get to number 2 in the UK charts, but the chart company didn’t like ‘political’ songs, so they changed the rules that they’d had in place and disqualified about 80% of our downloads, so we ended up getting to number 23, between Kate Nash and Britney Spears…
We coordinated the release to be in January, when the ruling of the court case came out and it got a lot of publicity for a week or two, playing on Newsnight and Radio 1.
A very surreal episode! But good fun. We didn’t have any budget and I basically got together with a group of mates to make a band and release it as a single. We made the video together, getting chased round Canary Wharf as the security guards don’t like people filming dodgy dances in front of their buildings apparently. Stars Martin Lewis doing a cameo as a kind of Rocky trainer guy.
Any chance of an integration so that Tandem transactions show on the Monzo feed?
Any chance of letting me back into the app? (Still waiting for the call from your technical team after they messed up changing my phone number… 6 weeks ago)
As you read the Tandem feedback thread, how do you feel?
Will IFTTT integrating be a thing?
I tried signing up for Tandem the other week, but I don’t have three years of address history in the UK, so I can’t complete the signup form - which feels a bit ironic as I was recommended Tandem Journey as a way to build up my credit score.
Are there any plans to support signing up people in my position?
What do you feel you do differently over more traditional providers of credit cards?
Being a fintech do you feel you’ve managed to make things similar for the consumer and in what way?
I’m a tandem customer as well, I use your credit card only because of instant notifications. everything else is quite… lame tbh.
right now the app doesn’t even login.
What is the point in having the in app chat when you can never do anything account related and therefore have to call up and speak to someone?
I wanted to check something re a DD but was told to call, I also wanted to change the DD date but nope I had to call. Both times I had to give my full card details (which could have been overheard) and then answer loads of questions.
Is there anyway to stop this and actually use the chat facility like Monzo does?
Also why paper statements, can this be stopped?
The idea behind Fintech Q&A is to talk to people from other companies to learn about their product. If you have feedback, and this can include criticisms, please be constructive about it so they can use it to improve.
is there a plan to integrate tandem CC into the monzo app? I would love to give constructive feedback, but it’s everything… starting with a chat support unable to solve any problem, they just give you a phone number as the solution to everything.
Any thoughts about new fintech credit cards like JaJa? Or Starling looking to get into the credit card market?
What’s the ultimate aim / destination for Tandem? Are you looking to provide a one stop hub for financial info? Or to own the the credit card market? Or…
(I think that last one might be a long way of asking you to share your mission statement )
Thanks in advance!
I see you’re a bank but you don’t have a current account offering, is this something you’re looking to launch in the future?
Would I be correct in saying you currently have an account aggregation app, credit card & fixed savings?
What’s coming over the next few months? If we’re aloud to know of course
Do you have plans to open a community forum?
Can you be more open in the plans for Tandem?
I’d like to see how your integrating a legacy bank how thats affected your “modern” platform?
What does the Tandem platform run on? We know Monzo is containers on K8s.
How long until we get get rid of paper statements?
Can we introduce a roundup feature?
Are there plans to improve support hours? Support response times?
Any plans to remove having to call into Tandem for simple things?
Any changes to 3DSecure coming?
Hi Will. Thanks for your question. We’re really keen to do it. But right now we’re still proving out our riskiest assumptions, which we can do with the existing legacy banks. However, we plan to move away from screen-scraping in the middle of next year, at which point, Monzo will be top of our list.
Hi Lewis. I’m afraid that’s not currently on our priority list. However, we are leveraging aggregation data to create a variety of autosavings rules that users will be able to opt in and out of. There’s obviously slightly less flexibility, but hopefully keeping it simple will work for our users.