Agreed. I’ve learnt a lot (in the grand schemes a tiny amount) about how payments work from posts on here.
Probably from you and I maybe Peter
I’ve watched and the YouTube videos and learnt a bit of Golang and all, but not sure that’s particularly representative even of the few people I know in the flesh that have Monzo accounts (and they’re in the same field as me)
I’d love loads of down in the weeds stuff, but probably in the small minority now
I always love to hear from @arthur-ceccotti and I hope he’s not put off
Oh I’m hugely interested in how the plumbing is fixed and improved, and oddly less bothered about some fancy new UI.
The best is when the plumbing makes the UI better.
Btw, Users are Monzo staff, and making sure their jobs are made easier by better backend/tooling that you don’t see in the app, is as important as to whether you have more icons in your spend categories.
I always make that argument about the maintainability and development experience for our codebase, but I’m not sure every function buys the argument to the same extent!
If you’re interested on backend changes, I’ll let you know what my team has on the roadmap. For reference we are the Cards Squad, who own Mastercard payments (ie physical cards and online payments), card orders, Bacs (ie. direct debit & credits) and CHAPS (big payments for houses and helicopters).
Strong Customer Authentication - this is a big piece of work I’ve discussed elsewhere in the forum and I’m definitely going to write a blog post on this. In short this is a EU regulation which allows us to have more control over the security of ecommerce card payments. My team of 20 somethings have been constantly advising the Mastercard Vice Presidents, our contributions made it to the EMV Specification and we’ve found bugs in the payment systems of Google, Netflix, ASDA, and Microsoft to name a few. In fact, Google gave us £2,000 in bounty reward, which we forwarded to a charity - unfortunately Netflix refused to give me a free subscription and Microsoft a PS5
Improving disputes - this plays along well with SCA. In short we are setting up a new team in charge of disputes. A focus is on reducing fraud - which we’re seeing a massive drop. Without exact figures, we expect to reduce ecommerce fraud by about 5x. We’ve also built a Machine Learning model to predict fraud - lots of other banks have never done this - so here is some innovation that customers don’t see.
Becoming direct Bacs participants - in short right now if you receive a direct debit, we talk to Natwest and they talk to some other bank. We can no longer rely on Natwest (because we want to be independent and because we have a legal obligation not to let too much money through a third party). This means we’ll be on the list of UK banks who can make payments directly with the Bacs scheme.
Reconciliation - this might be a bit hard to explain. In short when you have millions of daily payments, it’s fairly hard to sum up the totals each day to make sure all the money went to the right place. If you’ve ever worked at a bar you’ll understand that problem when you count up totals at the end of the shift. We’ve done a lot of work on this, but we’re improving our automation, to make our system more reliable so every penny is moved to the right account.
A quick question, if I may, as I imagine this falls under your team’s disciplines.
I recall from a few years back now, the ticketmaster breach, which Monzo actually detected, in no small part I imagine due to your agility and newer infrastructure. It really put the legacy banks to shame.
Is Monzo still that same company? Able to quickly detect those situations and protect their customers as they did with Ticketmaster?
Really interesting - thank you for sharing
That was an interesting one indeed. The leaked cards were actually flagged so we kept performing additional checks on them for the months to come.
Are we that same company? Yes and no. I think we can detect trends quicker than other banks. We can innovate and write prototypes quickly - which may or may not pay off. I think that still stands - albeit you can’t write prototypes without passing it through a bit of bureaucracy right now.
That being said, we’re not as mature as other banks. They have years worth of fraud - so they can analyse every possible way fraud can happen, with lots of precision.
So… Positive and negative for each
Thanks for this, it’s really nice to see employees engaging on the community in some way, and I think there are quite a few people on here who are interested in what monzo gets up to in improving the banking system. Quite a few people who take payments via Stripe will be familiar with SCA for example.
You wouldn’t believe the regulations banks now have to comply with, even switching to Microsoft Teams in my bank required us to follow umpteen different regulations. You almost need permission to breath nowadays.
You own a bank? Wow!
Wow, thanks so much for sharing this! I’m really looking forward to the blog post on SCA. Some impressive numbers in there on fraud reduction, as well.
I’m always intrigued about what this means in reality. Are we talking Minority Report, or overall trends and high level predictive analysis?
This is also excellent to hear! I can’t speak for anyone else, but the main reason I ended up hanging out here was to watch a bank being built - and I find this stuff fascinating. Good luck - and do consider a post here when things are done (or a blog post on it if you have time - I think the faster payments migration stuff was very well received).
Thanks again, Arthur
I’m no expert, but I’d understood that in practically every bank this this more of an art than a science - and there’s a bunch of manual reconciliations and other stuff that all banks do.
So it certainly seems worth Monzo’s while to come back to this periodically to make sure it’s working optimally - and, where possible, to automate the hell out of it.
Start thinking about fraudy things, see if an elite team from Monzo show up at your door
Could someone be prompted to fix the RSS feed for the Monzo blog (or alternatively enable subscription to blog post notifications by email)?
I miss so many potentially interesting blog posts these days because the RSS feed no longer works.
Haha. Bank I work for.
Super stuff @arthur-ceccotti and it makes sense to be able to build the next innovations off a solid base your team is putting in place.
@arthur-ceccotti everything youve posted on this thread is super interesting to read and whilst it may not be the big tickets headline grabbing things its exactly the reason people come on here so thank you!!
In fact id implore @AlanDoe once again like i have done many times already that if the roadmap isnt coming back then bring back the Q&As. Im sure there are more staff like arthur who would love to do little elevator pitches on what theyre up to or projects they have enjoyed or hated in the past at monzo.
Theres definitely the appetite for it from both casual customers, super users and shareholders
I doubt this is going to happen, given they didn’t fix it when they were more engaged with the community. However, you can use Discourse to get around this – the following has been working well for me for many months now: