Monzo just failed — way better than your bank ever could

Over 120,000 Brits this weekend faced the ultimate embarrassment, getting to the checkout only to have their cards declined.

Or they would have, if challenger bank Monzo hadn’t proactively sent messages to everyone giving them a heads up that it was having problems.

And Monzo wasn’t the only one with issues.

Broken banking

Yes Monzo, Revolut, Curve, Starling Bank, Pockit and Uaccount were all taken down on Sunday by the technical hiccup of a third-party processor — which The Memo understands to be Dubai-based finance group Global Processing Services.

Read more: Monzo wants its customers to invest

But rather than failing quietly and hoping no one noticed, the challenger groups rose to the challenge and showed exactly what differentiates them.

In Monzo’s instance it sent an update to every user’s Monzo app at 10.17am on Sunday morning, followed by a push notification to every customer’s smartphone, and hourly status updates for those following the problem.

Technical problems, especially for such young businesses, are maybe not a surprise. Indeed it was only two weeks ago that banking giant Barclays suffered a similar outage.

But unlike Monzo, which showed a shining example of how to deal with catastrophe with its prominent status updates, Barclays merely tweeted to its 20,000 twitter followers that it was having problems… probably hoping that no one noticed.


Yesterday’s challenger bank ordeal is really bad news for their partner, Global Processing Services.

After the outage Monzo said from later this year it “will not use a third-party card processor” anymore.

Curve also said it will “increase resources” in building “a ‘stand-in process’, which would allow for your transactions to be approved under similar extreme circumstances.”

The Memo has reached out to Global Processing Services for comment on the outage.

Ultimately this has been a great learning experience for Britain’s young finance groups, and a great demonstration of how their attitude towards customer service is streets ahead of the traditional banking sector.

The post Monzo just failed — way better than your bank ever could appeared first on The Memo.

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