What are we working on? The Monzo Weekly Diary

Now the Mondo community is growing much faster than it has before, I wanted to share some more behind the scenes looks at what we’re up to and working on everyday. I haven’t told the rest of the team yet :wink: but the plan will be for someone from the Mondo team each day to post in this thread what they’re working on at the moment so the wider community can see how we’re doing and where our current focus is :mortar_board:

For the first update, I’m nominating @jgarnham, one of the triumvirate of iOS developers that are building the wonderful Mondo app :tada:


Hey all, Josh here! Today I’ve been working on improving our automated testing for the app; basically we are working to automate the process of a user using the app so that we’re able to quickly identify any bugs/issues :bug: either as we write the tests or if any accidentally sneak their way into the app in the future :speak_no_evil:

By doing this we’re making sure that the user experience and functionality of the app as a whole is never compromised as we add new and amazing features! :star2:

Implementing this automated testing also ties in with improving accessibility and VoiceOver support to make it easier for those with visual impairments to use the Mondo app :rocket:

I hope that gives you all a good overview of what I’m working on today/this week :smile: For tomorrow’s update I’m going to go ahead and nominate @natasha! :tada:


What technology are you using to automate and imitate ‘fingers on screen’ as it were? I’ve explored a few options in the past, and tried eggPlant, but it didn’t quite suit my needs at the time and we ended up back at manual testing.

@samph At the moment we’re using KIF for all of our automated testing. It’s not perfect but does the job very well!

Thanks for the nomination @jgarnham!

Hi everyone. I’m Natasha, and I am part of the Operations team here at Mondo.

For the past month or so I have been working on our card distribution process. We launched our Beta on 17th March, so for the few weeks before that I was running tests to see how the user flow would work, and sending out cards to some helpful testers. Since the launch, I have been managing everything from making sure we have enough cards, envelopes, letters and stamps in the office, to packaging and posting those cards, and investigating franking machines. :love_letter:

We are currently sending out Beta cards, Investor cards and replacement cards. Each type of card has a different letter and envelope, so I need to make sure that the right people get the right cards. As we send out more cards we are also learning from you guys - what do you like about the letters? What do you find confusing about the user flow in the app? We are constantly improving things to always try and give you the best experience possible. :boom:

As well as the card distribution stuff, I am also in charge of enriching your merchant data. Yes, I am the one who finds you those logos! :see_no_evil:

There are some difficult things to manage here, because different people want different things in their feeds. Sometimes the logos that are available are a poor quality, so we have made the decision not to show you them. Sometimes the data we get from MasterCard doesn’t enable us to tell you which Boots store you are at, so we have zoomed your map out to a London or UK wide level. It can be tricky but hopefully in the end your feed will be like a work of art! :art:

We are about to release a really exciting new update to how we enrich merchant data (hint: crowd-sourced :wink:), so keep an eye on the blog for more information.

And that’s it! Today I will specifically be working on a way to manage our stock levels better, I will enrich all of your data, and I will send out hundreds of Beta and Investor cards.

Have a lovely weekend, and for Monday I nominate @simon!


Well, I received my investor card the day after I added the funds to my account so you must be doing something right :thumbsup:


I received my letter yesterday and it took seconds to get set up. Before my card arrived I was wondering how you would be handling PIN’s and I thought the text message service was great!

Great job on the letter + packaging, it was minimal and had a nice weight to it, which seems like an odd point to bring up, but I am so sick of receiving piles of information that is all available online. I’d much rather feel like I receive quality information in the post, and the quality paper/card made it feel warranted!


I’ll second the quality - I thought someone had sent me a birthday card. Nice blue envelope with a real stamp.


Hi Everyone, I’m Simon, i’m responsible for our Infrastructure at Mondo. At the moment i’m focused on two things: Getting us connected to the UKs banking system, and Building a resilient platform that our core banking system can run on.

Mondo is a company born firstly from technology. We’re “cloud native”, and comfortable with the idea of configuration-as-code. A lot of the existing legacy banking systems are born of an older time, when change was something you did very very carefully and as infrequently as possible.
A lot of my job is carefully planning on how we can connect our world to theirs.

On our side of the fence i’ve been working on using a technology called Terraform.

Terraform let’s us create whole working environments with just a single command. This is key to enable us to build features as quickly as we want. Being able to get quickly get a full working environment means you can test things much more frequently and robustly, and this gives you the confidence to move faster.

I nominate @oliver


Hi everyone,

So I’m not @oliver… unfortunately he forgot :roll_eyes: but hopefully we will hear from him tomorrow!

I’m Thomas and at Mondo I’m supporting the process of getting our Banking Licence and ensuring that everything we do in the future meets the requirements of the PRA and FCA (thats the Prudential Regulation Authority and Financial Conduct Authority - the two main regulatory bodies for new Banks in the UK). :bank:

I joined Mondo about a month ago having worked for a Management Consulting firm in London. This is certainly a massive change from that! Plus its nice not to have to wear a suit to work anymore! :necktie:

We submitted the first part of our banking licence back in December last year (see blog post from the time: https://getmondo.co.uk/blog/2015/07/03/challenge-session/) and have been working through the “Assessment” phase of the process for the last few months. There’s a lot more work we need to do in order to be granted a banking licence, but we are working as hard as we can to bring Mondo to you as a full bank as soon as possible!

Over the next few weeks I’m going to be working with the Mondo team to finalise our plan to build some of the key parts of the future bank, so that we can ensure that the regulators agree with our approach. I’ve also been pulling together lots of other regulatory documents that cover everything from our Board of Directors, to the processes and procedures for agreeing overdrafts for customers.

I’m nominating @oliver again, and hopefully we get to hear from him tomorrow!


Question: how do you keep track of the name that the FCA calls itself this week, seen as it changes so often? #accountantsarcasm


Id love to know more about your tech infrastructure and architecture. Any chance of you writing about it somewhere?

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Hey guys, sorry about missing yesterday. Better late than never, riiight? :innocent:

I’m @oliver :wave:, and I’m on the backend engineering team. We work on building our core platform, shared libraries, and all our microservices.

Most recently, I’ve been kicking off some integrations and security projects that we need to become a bank. In the next few months, I’ll also be working a lot on our core platform. We started building Mondo over a year ago, and now we’re scaling up, having a solid platform is really important.

For tomorrow, I nominate :man: @ole.

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about our software architecture, @matt gave a brilliant talk which you can watch on YouTube. I’d also love to write some in-depth blog posts about certain parts of our stack in the next few months. :robot:


Thanks @oliver!

Hi, I am Ole. I run Product Management at Mondo. We have just started executing on our Q2 roadmap (update on Q2 plans :soon:). We met all our Q1 goals so we were either great at execution :tada:or not ambitious enough when setting the goals :poop:. I argue the former!

This week, we are getting v1.3.1 ready to be submitted to Apple. The main features in 1.3.1 are:

  • Let you give feedback to merchant logos
  • Show when FX transactions have not settled yet (the exchange rate might have changed when they do) :euro: :dollar: :yen:
  • TfL explanation - help explain the murky world of TfL transactions :metro:
  • And as always, a bunch of bug fixes :ant:

Next up, I nominate @james :point_left:



I’m @james and I work on the iOS team :iphone:. We’re all about building a beautiful, fast, feature-rich, reliable, accessible app for everyone to use. And trolling the Android users in the office, obviously.

This week I’ve mostly been working on the upcoming iOS 1.3.1 release — lots of bug fixes :bug: — and prepping for our hackathon this weekend. I’ve also been hanging out with our friends at Apple (I gave a talk there this week) :apple:.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be helping build out the various features that are the subject of @hugo’s Sneak Peeks, as well as continuing to improve my Swift (we started the project in Objective-C, but now that Swift 2 is out and stable, all new development is in Swift).

Since I’ve mentioned him once already, I nominate @hugo for tomorrow’s diary entry! :art:


@james What are your thoughts re: the extra few MB added to an app from using Swift? I have always been very put off by this, but I suspect that Apple will announce that the Swift runtime is moving to the OS at WWDC this year.

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@billinghamj Completely agree, the focus on thinning etc. means it’d be remarkable if they didn’t!

not ambitious enough :smiley: :open_mouth: well done guys!

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Hey, thanks @james for the nomination :slight_smile:

I’m designer Hugo Cornejo. You might remember me from such infamous links as “Crazy man steals a London bus” and “Please follow me on Twitter, that’s all I have”.

At the moment I’m working on tons of cool things (AS ALWAYS). In fact I’ve just shared a preview of something that we kicked off today, 3D Touch actions. My good buddy @andys is working on that, so it’s going to be awesome.

Something else that I’m working on is the first Android app. We’re still taking just baby steps (nothing to show yet) but it’s really exciting to set the foundations of Mondo in a completely different platform. A project full of opportunities (all the bells and whistles that only Android offers) and trade-offs (multiple sizes and capabilities, lack of strong platform conventions around certain aspects, etc.). Amazing times :sunglasses:

Next up, @Patrick


Hello there! Thanks for the nomination @Hugo! :sunglasses:

I’m Patrick Masserano, the Chief Operations Officer for :mondo: and I have been lucky enough to work with this group since last summer. :sunny: Originally from :flag_us: I have been in :flag_gb: since 2006 working mostly in :bank: 's for most of my career. This is my first post on here :flushed: but it has been great to see what the community are sharing as it truly helps the cause! :slight_smile: (Ok, hopefully that is a sufficient amount of emojis)

When I started last summer all the focus for me was on working with the team to get our banking license application in by the end of last year which all of you now know we were able to do! Now the focus for me is to help get us through the process to first get authorisation with restriction and then eventually our full license. I’m also working on the procedures and operational requirements that we will have to meet the demand of the bank of the future and the current pre-paid programme that we are running now. I’m happy to report that we are making great progress on both and I’m really look forward reaching these goals with this team. One of the greatest things about :mondo: for me is the inspiration I get from working on such a great team! Excited, motivated, humble and truly lucky to be a part of Mondo!

Next up, one of the greats! @Matt