Monzo is a bit of a darling of the fintech scene at the moment, but it’s by no means alone in trying to ‘redefine’ banking for a digital, mobile-first experience.
What that means is that there are many different companies all offering similar and comparable services, that are all suitable for slightly different users, depending on the features you need. However, an outage at the weekend served as a useful reminder that choosing a company or services based on how well it communicates and deals with its problems should come near the top of your list of considerations.
Due to a failure in an upstream provider, a handful of UK fintech upstarts left customers stranded without the ability to make payments in shops. Or, most users would have been stranded if Monzo, Revolut, Loot and other affected services hadn’t been quick to inform users of the problems as they occurred.
Monzo particularly, however, did a great job of keeping its users up to date via in-app notifications, its Twitter feed and a dedicated status page on its site. Multiple updates kept users informed of the problem and an estimated fix time, while of course reminding people to carry another card with them while the problem was ongoing.
Of course, there were always going to be a few unlucky people caught out by the problem – if you were at the till trying to pay as it occurred, there wouldn’t have been an explanation in place, for example – but transparency and reliable communication is highly-valued by users, particularly when it comes to any sort of financial services.
So while I don’t have a Monzo (or any other fintech challenger) account, when the need arises, I know where I’ll be looking first, and it almost certainly won’t be one found on a high-street.