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Tom Blomfield of Monzo
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The future of banking?

Monzo’s Tom Blomfield speaks at Cass

by Amy Ripley (Senior Communications Officer)

The co-founder and CEO of Monzo, Tom Blomfield, spoke exclusively to students and aspiring entrepreneurs at Cass Business School on Thursday, sharing his thoughts on entrepreneurship, startups and the future of banking.

The sell-out event was part of a series of EntrepreneursTalk@Cass talks, sponsored by Thomson Reuters.  Tom was interviewed by Thomson Reuters Editor-at-Large, Axel Threlfall.

The audience at EntrepreneursTalk@Cass

Profitability

Tom discussed the challenges of profitability, saying his current priority was ensuring that Monzo broke even in 2018 and turned a profit in 2019.  He said he wasn’t worried about the big banks muscling in on Monzo’s turf.

“I think trust in big banks is overrated.  The financial crisis eroded trust in them. I worry more about how Monzo can continue to be compelling for our customers and how we can best look after them.”

New era of banking on the way

Tom said he thought a new era of banking was on the way, with app-based banking perhaps the only way to manage your finances.

“I think a new area of finance is coming, where we see one banking hub which looks after all our financial needs - student loan, mortgage, current accounts, and savings.”

Tom Blomfield, CEO and co-founder, Monzo

The importance of knowing your product

Tom spoke about how much he enjoyed building a product – and then hearing people talk about what they thought about it.

“I love going into Pret and seeing someone pay with a Monzo card.  The cashier might spot the card and say how much they like their Monzo card and then they have a conversation about us, not realising that I’m standing there, eavesdropping.”

The importance of trust – and knowing your customer base

Tom said Monzo’s target customer is people who use their cell phones to run their lives He said the most important lesson was to build trust with your customers.

“The important thing is to build trust.  We are radically transparent which builds trust and we always look after our customers.  If we experience any problems, we communicate with them proactively.”

Axel Threlfall interviews Tom Blomfield

Monzo culture

Tom said Monzo workers were smart, first principle thinkers who care about life and the world, as well as the Monzo mission and values.

Speaking on International Women’s Day, he also said Monzo was committed to diversity and inclusion and had recently signed up to the Women in Finance Charter. Monzo aims to have at least 40 per cent female representation in their Executive Committee and Board by 2020.

Students inspired

Wendi Lai and Katerina Koleva are both studying for an MSc in Entrepreneurship at Cass.  They said they found the evening inspiring and informative.

“I liked what Tom said about the importance of building a product which has a strong customer focus and is a product that people love,” said Wendi.

“We can apply what he said tonight to what we’re learning on the MSc,” Katerina added.

Tom Blomfield speaks to Cass students

Thanks to Tom and Axel

Aurore Hochard is Head of Entrepreneurship Programmes at Cass.  She said she was delighted to welcome Tom to Cass to share his insights and experience with students and staff.

“Tom is the perfect example of an inspiring entrepreneur who our students – the entrepreneurs of tomorrow – can learn from.  I’m so pleased Tom could join us tonight and would like to thank both Tom and Axel for their time and look forward to welcoming them back to Cass in the future.”

L-R Tom Blomfield, Aurore Hochard and Axel Threlfall

Video highlights

Watch the highlights from the evening here:

You can also watch the full video here.

About Tom Blomfield

Tom Blomfield was born in Hong Kong in 1986.  He read Law at Oxford and worked as a management consultant before co-founding Boso.com and GoCardless.  Tom co-founded leading challenger bank Monzo with Jonas Huckestein, Jason Bates, Paul Rippon and Gary Dolman in 2015.

In 2013, Tom was recognised as one of the top five entrepreneurs under 30 by the European Commission.

EntrepreneursTalk@Cass

EntrepreneursTalk@Cass, in partnership with Thomson Reuters, are intimate, in-depth interviews with some of the UK’s most innovative and inspirational tech entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship at Cass

Find out more about Entrepreneurship at Cass here.

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