Monzo CEO TS Anil on the future of fintech

TS Anil is the CEO of Monzo, the challenger bank known for its innovative approach to personal finance. With the tagline “making money work for you”, the fintech has big competitors in the banking space, but is continuing to grow year on year.

At London Tech Week, Anil discussed Monzo’s success, its future, and how the fintech industry is adapting.

Describing the Monzo model, Anil expressed: “It’s all about being mission focused as a company, and making products that are about making money work for everyone and using that as a moral and strategic compass.

“That’s the vision: in a single place we want people to meet all of their different money needs, and in doing so, have visibility over financial mistakes so they can make smarter choices to make their money last farther and longer.”

Over the years, Monzo has diversified its product line to keep up with market needs. “Our revenues are diversified because we try to solve all of our customers money needs. Our growth rate is on the back of our mission orientation, leading to us building products that work better for customers in a way that they want to talk about us to all of their friends and family. And that's where the growth comes from and is the heart of this journey, that's who we are.

“The exciting thing for me is not sort of pausing to celebrate the year that's gone by or pausing to celebrate where we're at right now, because really the excitement is about what's to come.”

Monzo has come up trumps in the way it puts the customer first, and has become renowned for its customer-centricity. Anil explained this customer first approach: “The relationships that customers have with their money, for every level, has been one of anxiety, and that anxiety is agnostic of affluence level or age demographic, but we're here to transform that relationship. And I love the fact that we're raising the bar for the industry. I love the fact that features that we build, eventually find a way to other banks building them out. I love the fact that even features that we don't think of as differentiated features, but really about what customers should have access to, like the gambling block [are picked up by others]. We lobbied to bring that as an industry wide feature, because every customer, wherever they bank, should have the ability to control their gambling.”

To add to this customer first approach, Monzo introduced the ability to invest through its app, and with this, included education to ensure those wanting to get involved were knowledgeable on the topic. The introduction of this feature happened because Monzo consistently engage in user research, and discovered customers were becoming more interested in investing. Monzo’s research found two main barriers to people beginning their investing journeys, one of which was the education side of it, and the second was that people weren’t sure how much to invest. When introducing this new feature, Monzo allowed users to begin investing as little as £1 per month. Anil commented on this feature’s success: “A third of our customers signing up for Monzo investments are first time investors, and when you look at the stats for women, 45% of the women investing with us are first time investors. That is staggering because it means what we’re doing is working with tearing down those barriers [to first time investing].”

At its core Monzo is a tech company. Anil explained: “We’re a tech company, seeking to solve, using technology, all of the problems that customers have.

“What Monzo is doing is bringing the best of tech and the best of banking together. So, if you look at our business, it's a tech company with a tech soul, building our business at scale. But as it relates to all things banking, we expect to be great at making sure that we operate well in a regulated context, building great results, great resilience, underwriting really effectively for customers. So, the magic here is bringing the best of tech and the best of banking together.

“We built our own tech stack, and that tech stack was built with the purpose of the future, and we continue to invest in that. We have produced something north of three billion events on our tech platform to date. That's the scale at which we built this element of scalability to look ahead, and that tech DNA pervades everything that we do.

“We made an interesting recent feature that we built out of this thing called the ‘call status tool.’ The context of this and the problem we were seeking to solve was that impersonation fraud is becoming a bigger and bigger problem in the market. This came out of a companywide hackathon that we were running last year. So, with the power of technology and because we have our own tech stack, we could build a tool like that.”

With all these exciting developments already happening, what’s next for Monzo?

Anil hinted: “The product vision that we've described, that we want to meet all of our customers financial money needs in a single place, just means that the product roadmap has so many exciting things in the next few weeks, months, and quarters as we build that out.

“We want to continue to scale in the UK with more customers, with personal banking and business banking, with many, many more products.

“The excitement is about the fact that we're just getting started. More products, more customers to delight and, continuing to prove the naysayers wrong.”