World's first smart bank? Monzo release IFTTT integration.

 Laura Watkins photo
Laura Watkins Executive Producer
5min read

Monzo have become the world’s first smart bank as they have integrated If This, Then That (IFTTT) into their banking technology, which launches today.

IFTTT has nearly all internet based services linked into it, from social media to slack bots and smart home devices to Google calendars, but up until now, no financial services.

“Life changing” capabilities

We spoke to Simon Vans-Colina, Engineer at Monzo who chatted to David and gave us a quick demo of the brand new feature they launched this afternoon. Interestingly when writing this post, we had a small internal debate as to whether to call it a product or a feature. David called it a “capability, not a feature, because it enables the capability for thousands of features.” Head of 11:Media at 11:FS, Ollie Judge says this feature “may actually change my life”. Simon told us this new development is more like open banking than any open banking APIs we’ve seen to date. He says that offering Open Banking APIs and adhering to PSD2 were the “minimum standard” of what banks can do, and is very limited, but there was “no reason why we can’t go beyond it and become a truly digital bank”. He says he personally has wanted to develop this capability for over three years but “we [Monzo] had to build a bank first”. However it was clear that he is super proud of this new launch and can’t wait for everyone to see it and start using it. What’s more impressive is that from build to live took around 3 weeks.

Limitless possible use cases

With the integration of IFTTT Monzo have “integrated the whole of the internet into their bank” which allows for limitless possibilities of what customers can do with their money, like a product launch where all the features are released at once. The Monzo team have had internal use for a few weeks already, Simon took us through a few examples of what this integration can allow you to do. Serious examples include expenses - the picture you take of your receipt can be emailed to your accountant and IF this has happened THEN the amount and receipt details can be added to a Google Sheet for you to track the line items against whether or not you’ve been reimbursed. Likewise, student loan budgeting can be made much easier by moving the loan into pots and then paying out set amounts into the student’s main account on a daily or weekly basis. You can even set additional bonuses such as adding more money to your account if your football team win, or if it snows, or for any other random life event of your choosing. Other more fun examples from the Monzo team include: IF someone spends too much on KFC in a week, THEN money is put in a “health” pot, and drip fed back into their account for every kilometre you run after that. Simon also demoed his Swear Jar use case for us, where, using a button widget on his phone, IF he presses it because he swore, THEN money is moved into a savings pot.

Spoilt for choice?

However, if you’re spoilt for choice for the incredibly range of possibilities so much so that you can decide what to use first, Monzo are also launching “applets” alongside the integration that are pre-built use cases, like recipes, recommending use cases you might like to try. Such examples include the 1p challenge where you can programme your account to move 1p per day, increasing by a penny a day, allowing for year-end savings of over £600. It is important to note that no money can be moved out of your actual account via IFTTT, only into and out of pots.

Dev for non-devs

This new integration allows anyone to access banking APIs whether or not they’re a developer, giving even the most non-tech-savvy of customers the freedom to change up the way they move their money how they want, and tie it into almost any application they want, from Google Home to Amazon Alexa, to Twitter, Facebook and Calendars. “It’s the most Rick and Morty product ever” says Vans-Colina. The 11:FS team can’t wait to try this out. Listen to the full interview with Simon Vans-Colina on a very special bonus episode of Fintech Insider here or watch the interview here on YouTube.
 Laura Watkins
About the author

Laura Watkins

Heading up the 11:FS media team, Laura leads 11:FS' content creation from the Fintech Insider podcast to video documentary series and live events to make financial services more accessible to everyone.