Discovering business opportunities & unlocking a new market for Monzo
Monzo had built a solid customer base with micro-businesses but wanted to extend their offering to small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). They asked us to conduct a diary study to understand the challenges that those responsible for a small business’ finances face and identify potential opportunities to better serve them.

Our insights helped to create new business opportunities and unlock a potential new market for the fintech company.
Research services
Diary study
The challenge
Uncover financial pain points and new opportunities
With Monzo aiming to break into the SMB market, our challenge was to help them gain an in-depth understanding of the common pain points SMBs experience in financial management and translate these into opportunities to extend their services to this audience.
Our approach
Creating a bespoke month long diary study
  • 20 participants
  • 4 weeks of research
  • 120 research sessions
Our bespoke diary study aimed to gather insights from a wide range of participants working in various business sizes, sectors and roles. We chose to run the study for one month to capture the full breadth of tasks in a businesses’ “typical financial cycle.”

To ensure smooth management of 20 participants across several weeks, we ran a test with a Fluent volunteer and set up pilot sessions that helped us refine our approach and questions before starting the full study. We also created a discussion guide, pre-interview survey and diary logs to facilitate interviews, before posting participants an invite with a personalised schedule.
Presentation screens with our approach, methodology and research themes
Building a complete picture of the challenges businesses face
  • Diary logs and visuals
  • Weekly team catch-ups
  • Insights pack including context, issues and opportunities
To start off, we conducted baseline interviews with participants and introduced them to the diary study format and materials. We then carried out weekly check-ins to discuss their diary logs, allowing us to probe into the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of people’s ways of working and their challenges. We aimed to explore financial topics beyond just banking.

Each week, participants grew more comfortable and understood the type of feedback we were interested in. This enabled us to revisit previous issues, compare learnings from other sessions and discuss future opportunities. To conclude, we held a wrap up session with each participant.

We caught up weekly with the Monzo team to provide them with high-level findings and discuss emerging themes. This helped us to identify topics that needed further probing and new topics to investigate.
A UX researcher at a desk with a laptop and a monitor while on a video call with the project team.
Greater understanding of a potential new market
The final study report we delivered offered rich insights into the contexts and key issues faced by SMBs in managing their finances. The outputs included contextual scenarios, participant quotes, examples of challenges contributing to their issues and opportunities for improvements discussed with participants, providing Monzo with a solid base of insight to break into this market.
New business and innovation opportunities
The findings were detailed enough for Monzo to share with other internal teams and give them a robust understanding of this audience’s challenges. From this evidence-based foundation, they could start developing and testing potential solutions with a view to include them in their future business offering.
A solid foundation for new products and features
Our insights helped to ensure that Monzo’s future products and features are evidence-based and customer-centric. Laying the foundation for an improved user experience that makes SMBs financial management tasks easier and more efficient.
Our thoughts
You build up really great connections with people over the course of a month, which makes interviewing enjoyable, different and somewhat more personal. It’s also nice to explore using research techniques that aren’t “testing” as it helps to build a greater understanding of research and how broad the field can be. I’m proud of what we delivered on this project and think we proved the value in picking the correct research approach for this context.
An Marien, Lead UX Researcher

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