Why check your credit score?
Checking your credit score regularly is a good way to keep track of your financial health. The score is based on things like your history of paying money back, and having a good score means that you could get better deals when borrowing money — like credit cards, loans or mortgages. A low score could mean you’re not offered those things, or they’re more expensive.
A big opportunity
Although there are many companies offering free tools to check credit scores, most people seem to struggle to understand theirs. Information tends to be very generic and convoluted, and there are many myths and misleading information out there as well.
For Monzo, allowing our customers to see their credit scores in the app is a great opportunity to create more engagement, as it might deepen their relationship with us and help establish our position as their ‘financial control centre’. It also gives us the ability to present available borrowing products in a contextual manner.
For customers, no more long and painful forms. They can see everything in one place: ingoings, outgoings, savings, their credit score and borrowing options in just a few taps. We use plain English and jargon-free language and explain things in a way they can understand.
Through research, we uncovered four archetypes that helped us better understand customer behaviours and identify opportunities to build a great feature:
🤔 The ‘unknowner’
“I don’t know my credit score, but I’d like to be able to find out what it is in a hassle-free way”
🧘 The peace-of-minder
“I’ve got a good credit score. I want to know that it’s being monitored and that I’ll find out if and why it changes”
🛍️ The occasional borrower
“My credit score is fine. I want to make sure I’ll be approved for credit before I apply, so I don’t damage it”
📈 The improver
“My score isn’t great. I want to improve it to give me better access to financial opportunities, like a mortgage”
User testing early and often helped us uncover further opportunities and pain points. For example: nearly 15% of our customer base couldn’t access their credit score. That could be because they’re new to the country, they haven’t used credit before, they’ve just turned 18 or all the above. Most companies will simply shut these people out, leaving them without a clue on what to do. We realised that’s a good opportunity to help our customers in that journey, provide education, and hopefully, actionable steps to start building their credit history. So we created an experience for this group of people as well.
We partnered up with Transunion, a credit reference agency, to provide our customer’s credit scores. Most of the data comes from them, but we were allowed to “translate” it to a language our customers can understand.
We built the first version of a feature with loads of potential. We enabled our customers to check their credit score in only a few taps, understand what it means, what they can do to improve, learn more about credit and see what’s available to them at Monzo.
We conducted research interviews with customers who had checked their scores after our soft launch. This helped us validate that we were on the right path and it gave us a better understanding of what should be our next steps in order to keep them engaged with the feature. For example: people wanted to see even more personal information and much more detail with accounts and credit usage to give them better insights about their financial situation.
People valued the ease and convenience at which they can now check their score. One person spoke about a previous experience where they entered five years of address history only to get a ‘date wrong’ which meant his score could not be shown. Not having to enter any information at all he said was “amazing”.
We’re now planning the next roll out and exploring how this feature could add more value to our customers. Watch this space!