What’s so unique about design and research at Monzo?

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Recently, one of our Senior Product Designers, Jay, spoke to a group of junior designers who wanted to learn more about Fintech. Cleverly crowd-sourcing the perspectives of the broader Monzo research and design team. Hearing each other’s perspectives was so insightful, we decided to summarise them here. Here’s how our design and research team has found working in Fintech.

Money runs everything around us

In the immortal words of Wu-Tang Clan “Cash rules everything around me—CREAM. Get the money, dollar dollar bill ya’ll”. Replace the cash bit with money, the dollars with pounds and we approve this message. Whether we like it or not, money is a fundamental part of modern existence, enabling people to both get through the day-to-day and reach their life aspirations. Your money just can’t take a day off. And with Monzo at the heart of our customer’s financial lives – we feel a great sense of responsibility.

Monzo Design Quote

People’s financial needs take very different shapes

Money is a core part of everyone’s lives, but as individuals our relationship with money varies greatly. As a bank aiming to make money work for everyone, it’s super important that we always consider that each of our customers are likely to be coming from very different places when they arrive in the Monzo app. With some customers needing our help to make it to the next payday, others improving their budgeting skills, credit scores, a few refining their ability to save and some looking to grow their money—investing in theirs and their family’s future.

Monzo Design Quote - Vuokko

We need to be upfront about all the important details

There’s a fine balance to strike between simplifying information for our customers to be helpful, while remaining completely transparent. When we promote our products, it’s essential that we are as transparent as possible, because this allows our customer to make informed decisions and ultimately better financial choices. Making sure we’re saying and doing the right things means we’re always collaborating with people across the company with expertise in a specific area, like copywriters, compliance officers and more.

Monzo Design - LoanDesign Quote - Borrowing

Money-related goals can take a while to… pay off

Forming new habits is difficult for us all. Through our work, not only are we trying to help our customers break away from spending habits that aren’t optimal for them, we’re also encouraging and rewarding new habits that will help them reach their goals. Yet, the dopamine hit isn’t as instant as it might be when you post on social media and instantly get a number of likes. Making money work for people takes time, habit-change happens slowly and requires deliberate practice. This makes for a very exciting design challenge.

Monzo Design Quote - Kate

A regulated bank is a crucial part of a broader economy

Product design often aims to remove all friction, cutting down the taps and swipes needed to get a task done. But when you are a significant part of a broader economy – like a bank – being more intentional about friction is good for both our customers and for wider society. With over 6 million customers, we help to manage the money of roughly 10% of the whole UK population. A big responsibility that we take very seriously. Whilst we want to make it easy for anyone to join Monzo and pay people, we equally need to ensure people and their money are safe. Sometimes this means adding a bit more friction at key moments to ensure our customers always make a well-informed decision about their money.

Quote - YuliaMonzo Loan Screen Design

Question: 🐂 Why did the bull go work at the bank?

Answer: Because it was very bullish on making money work for people.

To be ‘bullish’ in finance, specifically investing, means that you’re very confident and assertive on an investment. Working at Monzo, means we get exposed to a lot of the language of the financial world—sometimes that seeps into everyday conversation, even when it’s not money related!

Image - Bullish

❤️ Our goal is to make money work for everyone

Juggling all of the above in your research and design process is a lot of work, but it’s always worthwhile because it allows us to make products that help people make progress with their money. Ultimately the result of that might be someone being able to afford buying a home, paying for their wedding, travelling to their home country to visit their family, paying for their children’s university degree, or starting a new business. We all feel very lucky to play a small but important role in our mission to make money work for everyone, whatever their goals might be. If this this resonates with you, come and join us!

Quote - Laura