Collaboration

Banding together on Slack to overcome an incident at Monzo

How the London-based digital bank rallied in a dedicated Slack channel when a third-party outage took its cards offline

By the team at SlackFebruary 22nd, 2019

On the first Sunday in March 2017, Monzo, a digital bank that’s forgoing brick-and-mortar branches for the convenience of people’s smartphones, suffered a rare outage. One of their critical software suppliers had gone down, which meant customers couldn’t use their prepaid cards. The fintech’s employees, no matter where or how they were spending their weekends, rushed online to help.

Headquartered in London, Monzo has more than 600 employees striving to simplify the banking experience for its 1.3 million customers. During incidents to Monzo’s systems like this, the bank relies heavily on the power of channel-based communication in Slack to connect key teams and coordinate its response. It was no different on that day March.

Their #outages-discussion channel served as the central hub for all internal communications around the incident. That included updates from the engineers on the source, status, and expected resolution time; managing social media responses; putting together a push notification explaining the situation to all customers and warning them to carry a different card; and updates to Monzo’s status page.

Thanks to Slack, Monzo was able to coordinate real-time work across the entire company and keep the public up to date with its efforts. Because of how the bank handled the incident, it received a flood of appreciative messages from customers and largely positive media coverage. What could easily have ended in a customer backlash had the opposite effect: Not only did the outage have no detrimental impact on Monzo’s growth, but the company actually saw a spike afterward in new-customer sign-ups.

“We were amazed by how well the incident was received by our customers,” says William Stolerman, Business Operations at Monzo. “It was a direct result of how the whole company was able to quickly come together to manage the situation via Slack.”

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