Recently we’ve seen a bit of chatter around Monzo and their public ‘Extraordinary Ideas’ Trello board. The board allowed end users to vote on the new features they’d like to see developed on their product roadmap.
We love it.
It truly puts power in the customer’s hands, something many brands are moving towards.
Making your community work
The democratisation of product development is no new thing. Lego has long established itself at the forefront of community marketing through its innovative Lego Cuusoo platform. This allows fans to suggest new Lego sets they’d love to see made.
Nokia were also doing it years ago with their Nokia Push platform. They asked their community to help shape a final product (which didn’t quite make it to market due to the Microsoft acquisition). And of course Salesforce are renowned for the active role its community plays in suggesting, voting and even helping develop their products.
Harnessing the startup mentality
However, this kind of startup mentality has yet to really become apparent in the banking sector, as @GregorLMatthews mentions on Twitter, we “have to remember this is a bank.”
A startup mentality isn’t just about letting your customers help shape your offering, having bean bags in your office or adopting a minimum beard quota for your staff.
"It’s about the willingness to test things, being open to learning things and without doubt being ready to fail (and then try it all over again)."
This is undoubtedly something which Monzo are championing, partly due to their size and agility. But it’s also about not being bound by arguably archaic internal processes that were created before there were even dreams of banking in a digital age.
Pushing the idea of Open Banking
In a world where banking is undergoing somewhat of a transformation due to advancements in technology from biometric security to AI integration and personal analytics based on your spending, it would appear that Monzo are taking the notion of Open Banking one step further.
They are empowering what American futurist Alvin Toffler described as the ‘prosumer’ to help define not only the product, but also the company itself.
The question is how will things develop once the big players align their ducks?
Will they really embrace the opportunity utilising their power and budgets to make fundamental changes to the business, their offering and ultimately how their customers bank in the future?
We certainly hope so given that as recently as last week, Fortune predicted that Amazon Alexa is set to rule the FinTech game.
We’d say that this is just the beginning. Get ready to embrace technology, change your processes and be ready to welcome ‘prosumers’ in whatever industry you work in.