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How to survive a data breach crisis: the Monzo case study

Monzo, a disruptive neo-bank working to expand into the U.S., recently experienced a hiccup in its data security that resulting in nearly 500,000 U.K. account holders being urged to change their PIN numbers. It is important to note that the vulnerability was discovered by internal engineers and quick and decisive actions were taken. Monzo’s transparency over the hiccup, however, has sparked debate over whether their being so forthcoming with consumers is a smart move or a stupid move in terms of building consumer confidence. 

As with any crisis, the most important factors are how a company handles communications during and after the crisis as well as what processes are put in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again. For Monzo, a company that prides itself on building consumer trust, they fell back on 3 key initiatives:

  1. Transparency – Monzo has been proactive in keeping consumers informed about any issue via its Twitter page as well as through direct communication with customers.
  2. Monzo Labs – Monzo dedicated this part of the company to listen and respond to customers, even allowing them to access and provide feedback on new features.
  3. Product roadmap – Monzo has embraced consumer feedback by publishing its roadmap every quarter and allowing customers to vote on both functionality and features.

The end result of these 3 key initiatives is a company that has built a strong brand and a loyal customer base. These, in turn, have given consumers confidence in the brand, even in the face of a data security issue. All financial institutions should learn from the Monzo model; only then will they change the perception that financial institutions always put profit and their own interests above those of their customers.

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