"What would Monzo do?" 🤔

Here’s an interesting article.


“The head of innovation at one of Britain’s big high street banks told me earlier this year that he has a mantra when approaching a new problem: “What would Monzo do?””

This interests me, because I heard recently from a Product Manager at a huge international company whose primary products are credit cards, that he hears a variation on “Why can’t we be more like Monzo?” on a daily basis. And now this article pops up, indicating that this business exists to help companies work through that question.

What is it about our culture that you all think they are specifically trying to shift towards - radical transparency, community focus, rapid development, or just the sheer goodwill between us and our users? Is it even possible that such behemoth companies could significantly change their culture and public perception at this point?


They’re not interested in transparency, community focus or even customer satisfaction.

They just see Monzo = SUCCE$$

Take any of the High Street offenders. Apps now crammed full of card freezing, merchant logos and maps, but also still throwing ads at me to take out a loan, or making me ‘apply’ for a savings account. And the bank itself goes offline for 15 hours every Saturday night for ‘maintenance’.

Still, as a great man once said, “There’s only one thing worse than being talked about. Not being talked about.”

Keep scaring ‘em, Monzo.


Maybe, but you were among the first so I’m sticking with :monzo: :+1:

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I’ve always thought that the high street banks will end up with an offering that isn’t too far away from the likes of Monzo and Starling - Doing just about enough to keep most customer happy.

“Trust” is a strange one - Do people trust bankers? I think generally (after recent events), the answer would be “no”.

Yet, it’s proven time and time again that they are reluctant to switch/change bank accounts, and there are still millions of people who only trust their old banks with their salary for example.

I’ve spoken to a lot of people about Monzo/Starling, and very few of them would “trust” them to take their salary, and be their day to day bank - This will only change with time, and when Monzo is talked about in the same sentence as HSBC/LLoyds/Barclays etc.

I think it’s great for the customers that the old timers are trying to channel some “inner Monzo” - Although I fear it’s great for everyone BUT Monzo.

I know Monzo/other challenger banks can mobilise quickly, and aren’t bogged down by “legacy rust” to coin a phrase that @anon23935806 loves, but you’d think there would be a time where this rust has been phased out, and everything is cloud based.

Then again… TSB’s IT change wasn’t exactly seamless…

To answer this, I think it’s more about bringing new features to the party quicker, not sitting on your laurels, and generally being more responsive to users needs.

I don’t think they’ll want the transparency piece, nor do I think they’d want the type of community Monzo has (which might work well for Monzo, but not for other banks/customer bases).

Either way, as long as Monzo can do an Apple… Giving customers things they didn’t even know they needed, I think they’ll do brilliantly :smiley:


I think some competitors were already looking at community focus (Nationwide looks almost like a coffee shop when I walk past it), so I’d say mostly rapid development. You still read the occasional horror story of someone being treated badly in the finance industry.

You’re exaggerating by about 9 hours… :thinking:

It has to be a massive compliment to have businesses dedicated to reproducing your model.

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I think @simonb that it’s good that you are leading the way, and Monzo is my bank and I’m an investor, it’s also a danger that those banks which have deep pockets will try and overtake your innovation. The one thing they will struggle with, which hopefully Monzo can keep, is the nimble and open development. Something big banks will struggle with.

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It shows that they are predicting Monzo is coming to eat them alive like Netflix did to the video stores.

Interestingly with that comparison, the incumbents had the same issue of having a high fixed cost, analogue cash cow suddenly thrown into the ring against a low cost, agile and digital startup, but in that case the incumbents tried to make a half baked compromise of sending DVDs in the post and the market shifted very quickly to streaming. Before they really got a chance to copy the winning formula they were already buried in debt.

With the banking industry it’s all been slowed down by regulation and inertia. Everyone knows what is happening and it’s been talked about to death.

They have this extra time to copy what Monzo is doing but whether their copied features will serve up a true digital experience or whether it will just feel like DVDs in the post is yet to be seen.

Features like a gambling block you can toggle back on whenever you want or a card freeze that doesn’t stop contactless payments or a category blocker for food and petrol seem like DVDs in the post to me.


And the community!

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