Earlier this month Tom laid out our plans for 2019. He said ‘We want to finish 2019 with a whole host of new features that make people say “I can’t believe banks haven’t always done it this way.” And over the next year, teams across the company are going to work on actually building those features.
We’ll be pursuing ideas that help us make Monzo better, and bring it to even more people. And crucially, ideas that will help us build Monzo into a sustainable business. We’ve made good progress so far, making savings and starting to earn money through lending. But, like we shared in our Annual Report, we’re not profitable yet. So we’ll spend the next 12 months testing a host of new ideas. But how do we decide where to start?
We’re picking and prioritising what we’ll build in 2019
First, we need to choose which ideas to back, and in which order. And to do that, we need more than just a clever hunch or a smart suggestion from our community.
So, to help us choose and prioritise which features to work on, we’ve put together a few small teams (of just one or two people) who we’ve tasked with scouting out each idea. That means we'll work quickly to gather the information we need to decide if it’s viable.
By doing user research, analysing data, or actually building an early version of our idea, they’ll find out about the market, the problem it solves, how it'll make money and how hard it is to do.
Once we understand these things, we can weigh up the options and decide which features to prioritise. We know some of our ideas will work, and some won’t. Some we’ll choose to do now, and some will wait till later. Some we’ll pursue, some we’ll abandon entirely. But the best way to find out is by testing fast and learning quickly.
We’re scouting out a few ideas
Here are some of the ideas our teams are exploring at the moment:
A simple way to switch your bills. It can be a real hassle to be sure that you’re always on a fair deal, so what if we could do that for you? Most people could save money on their energy and mobile phone bills, and it’d be much easier to manage this in one place.
A faster, better way to get a mortgage or remortgage. There’s lots of stress and paperwork in taking out or renewing a mortgage. Many people avoid it, even when the interest rates on their account rise. We think it could be simpler and much quicker.
Clearer, fairer insurance when you need it. Traditional insurance usually comes with reams of terms and conditions, waiting to catch you out. What if instead it was easy to understand, quick to do, and offered when you need it?
Loyalty schemes, rewards and cash back on the money you spend. We love a flight bought with air miles, and the tenth coffee on your loyalty card always tastes a little better. But keeping track of all the offers, cards and points isn’t fun. Can it all happen automatically, for you to track in the app instead?
Visibility of more of your accounts in Monzo. We’d like to give you a way to see all of your financial life in one place, even if those accounts aren’t with Monzo. This could cover things like credit cards, other savings accounts, or even your mortgage.
More ways to save and invest your money. Investing need not be something only for the very wealthy. Imagine investing by rounding up all your spending, or setting a rule to send any money spare at the end of the month into your ISA.
Help building and tracking your credit score. Credit scores and how they’re calculated aren’t transparent. But they make a real difference in the interest rates you’re offered and whether or not you get access to the credit you need. Could Monzo help you know what you need to do to improve your score, and let you know when it changes?
An option to buy add-on services for your current account. Want to make sure that you’re always covered and your insurance will actually work if you need it? Not a big fan of hot coral cards? We’re exploring what kind of options and extras you’d like to have as part of your bank account.
Over the next few weeks you might see some of these tests and early explorations popping up in your app. We might contact you with questions, or ask you if you want to try something out.
If a test is successful we’ll build on the feature or take what we’ve learnt to launch a new version. If it isn’t, we’ll work on something else instead. Your feedback in these early stages is crucial, and will help us understand and prioritise the most impactful, incredible ideas.