White-labelling, platform plays, and mortgage and building society integration

A couple of years ago, I posted something on the Monzo forum about Monzo becoming a digital/app provider for building societies.

My idea was, in a nut-shell, that as many building societies no longer provide current accounts - and have a flakey online or digital presence at best - that Monzo could step in and work with building societies to offer a Monzo app that would provide access not only to a Monzo current account, but which would allow those institutions customers to provide a digital channel to service their mortgages and savings products. Having all of that integrated into the one app would further Monzo’s (previous?) aspirations to be a financial hub or control centre, and could potentially allow some sophisticated things down the tracks like offset current accounts and savings.

Two years have gone by, and I’m not sure that this is on Monzo’s radar. But I still think it’s a niche worth exploring and it struck me that the concept plays to Project Imagine’s business model, especially given Pi1 and that a lot of the potential problems would be more fin (and legal) than tech.

So I thought I’d mention it over here. I think there could be a bright future for either current accounts serviced by Project Imagine but branded as (and potentially part of the balance sheet of) building societies (or other financial institutions).

Even if you don’t go that far, offering a co-branded (or even just a Dozens) current account as the price of access to an app to provide a digital channel for third-parties’ mortgage and savings customers for institutions that don’t have the nous or inclination to go digital themselves could be an interesting proposition. There might even be revenue in it.

@AC, what do you think?

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I would say there is definitely a market for white label platform providers. The development of multi-channel customer access platforms amongst the smaller financial institutions has stalled in recent years. In some cases, this is because they have outsourced to legacy providers with inflexible and outdated core systems. Some well-known names have awful Internet or mobile banking apps. This makes it difficult to bring innovative products to market, something the fintech industry, challenger banks, etc have been able to exploit to their own advantage.

Give your local building society a current account function would make customers move away from the banks who are closing branches and the likes of Newcastle building society and the Nottingham building society taking over former bank branches when last bank in town shuts means we need alternative this option will give these companies real power to grow