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Is Monzo’s new IFTTT service the Initial Operational Test for IOT in banks?

Monzo, the British neobank, this week announced an integration with one of the world’s largest automation platforms, IFTTT. Their objective is to give customers the freedom to build their own integrated services, bringing together their devices, apps and financial data.  For example, customers will be able to reward themselves every time they visit the gym or track their calories with every soy skinny vanilla latte purchase. So, does this herald a new age of personalised banking? Has the Internet of Things (IOT) finally come of age for retail banking?

This is a really clever idea for Monzo. So far the use of IOT has largely been limited to bank defined applications. For example, enabling banking apps on wearable devices (think of Bank of America FitPay), or beacon technology to identify customers and unlock 24-hour ATM lobbies (think Citi and Gimbal beacons in the US) or even banking via virtual assistants, like Alexa. The Monzo brand appeals to financially savvy, digitally aware customers. The kind of customisation capability offered by IFTTT is new in banking. It is likely to appeal to these customers. This is great brand marketing and it reinforces Monzo’s deserved reputation for vision and innovation.

At the same time, it probably won’t have been an expensive change for the bank to make. They probably already expose much of the necessary data. They join IFTTT ecosystem as one of only 11 financial services and payments services. This combination gives Monzo customers the chance to compose their own services, that will in turn let the bank learn what new features customers want. This will be invaluable feedback for the future development roadmap. It’s likely Monzo will also learn more about their customers needs and preferences, enabling them to target ads and products more effectively.

This is also directionally a clever thing to do. As more and more devices become able to connect via IOT, there will be more and more compelling cases for doing so. As greater numbers of customer use these services, the interfaces will become more mainstream and it will get easier and easier to create these applets. That will encourage more customers to use similar services. 

For today, whilst it looks good, it’s not transformational yet. The value propositions are ‘nice to have’ for the time being. But then, transformational is an unfair yardstick at this stage. This is a cool thing to have done. I think it will set the tone for other banks and I’m sure we’ll see much more of this in the future. IOT’s time is coming.

What do you think?



Comments: (5)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 13 June, 2018, 15:561 like 1 like

Re. "(Monzo) ...join IFTTT ecosystem as one of only 11 financial services and payments services." Monzo claimed that it's the first bank in the world to join the IFTTT ecosystem. I'm seeing a lot of rebuttals and rebuttals to rebuttals of that claim on my Twitter Timeline.

Can you post the list of the 11 financial and payment services who have joined the IFTTT ecosystem?

Alex Bray
Alex Bray - Genpact - London 13 June, 2018, 23:25Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes The full list is on the IFTTT website. - I think Monzo is the first retail bank on the list.
Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 14 June, 2018, 11:53Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Thanks but I was hoping for a more definitive list. The thing about search is the results depend a lot on the search keywords. I had a look at the list of all services on IFTTT. While Finance & Payments is the most obvious category in which one could find a bank, it's by no means the only one: I can imagine banks in other categories like Communication, Connected car, Calendars & scheduling, etc. The list of services is too long for anyone to spend time clicking each service to check the presence of banks in it. Let the banks who have already joined the IFTTT ecosystem do some marketing to spread awareness!

James Piggot
James Piggot - Finastra - London 19 June, 2018, 08:461 like 1 like

Hey Alex interesting article and interesting idea. I am travelling next week and use Monzo when abroad due to the more favourable exchange rate. I could try to log my expenses for the trip by adding all Monzo transactions to a Google Docs spreadsheet. There are lots of possibilities although it may be while before the IOT goes mainstream?

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 25 June, 2018, 15:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The latest IFTTT newsletter I received recently lists ING Australia as one more bank apart from Monzo that has used IFTTT integration.

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