Why something seemingly so easy is so difficult?


#1

Why is something like pots and rules for pots or even implementing overdrafts or joint accounts seemingly so difficult for Monzo? You can land and take off a plane with a computer but why can’t you (yet) program a pot, which is surely just a file with a number associated with it, to request a number from another file on a given date? Surely this is very easy for a computer to do? Genuinely interested as to the technical difficulties that must be associated with this.


(Andy Little) #3

You can land a plane with a computer, but it took someone time to properly develop and test that software before it was rolled out.

Aside from the getting it to work bit developing the software also involves getting the UI right, writing test procedures, performing a huge amount of negative testing, documentation, probably generation of audit trails and legal checks to do with financial law…

Every job tends to have much more involved with it than those on the outside have ever considered. I bet airline pilots have loads of things to do that I’ve never even considered.


#4

Do let us know where we can sign up to your (or any other) full stack bank with fully developed pots (as it is so easy for you to create)! :eyes:

I think we all know it not as simple as suggested. It will take many months to become a killer feature.


(Richard Bairwell) #5

Yes, it may be simple to add basic rules for pots but Monzo probably have bigger thoughts for pots which may impact them. For example: Shared pots across accounts, withdrawal/deposit only permissions for sub accounts etc. Write the rules code without taking these into account may mean the entire rules system needing to be scrapped and customers having to rebuild their rules (or having to maintain multiple, potentially conflicting, rule set code for years which needs testing per deployment).

And some “simple rules” may not be that simple. “Take mortgage from pot X”. Simple. But what happens if the money isn’t in that pot? Should the mortgage payment bounce even though you have more than enough in your account? Etc etc.


(Anthony) #6

It’s worth remembering that no other banks seem to offer pots, what they’re making is a first for the industry :slight_smile:


(Gareth) #7

Why is something like pots and rules for pots or even implementing overdrafts or joint accounts seemingly so difficult for Monzo?

Just 20 minutes thought lead to 11 questions about joint accounts. Now add in Legal, Design, Usability, Ethics, Support, Data Structure, Platform…
You can rush something and improve it, or wait and present it better. But you only get a first impression once.

You can land and take off a plane with a computer but why can’t you (yet) program a pot,

Flying a plane is not easy and flight computers can be similarly complex

which is surely just a file with a number associated with it, to request a number from another file on a given date?

Except you need to guarantee it works every time, without fault or mis-step, and not run when it shouldn’t. Money mustn’t get lost if it’s a leap year or there’s an issue with the environment, it shouldn’t pay out twice on daylight saving etc.

Surely this is very easy for a computer to do?

Computers usually do what they are told, the trick is to tell them the right thing to do. And check afterwards that they have.

Genuinely interested as to the technical difficulties that must be associated with this.

People tend to not think the same as you. You could make pots and rules that work for you, but that won’t necessarily sell or scale to thousands of people.


(Michael) #8

Not relying solely on computers / the ATC tower is one of them. Nearly crashed into a Hercules once as they failed to mention it would have been in my take off path of I left when cleared for take off (this was over 10 years ago)


(benjaminlbowles) #9

HBR has a good article on the background around product development: