Mondo signs with Thames Card Technology for debit cards; has problems with mobile app
A UK-based challenger bank, Mondo, has partnered with Thames Card Technology for debit card production and personalisation. Beta test cards will be issued to consumers this year.
Mondo, which positions itself as a “mobile first” bank, will be offering a contactless debit card paired with a mobile banking app to its customers. The mobile app’s standout features are intelligent notifications, instant balance updates and financial management.
However, it would seem the bank is currently having issues with its mobile app, with customers unsuccessfully trying to join the “virtual queue” to sign up for the Mondo card.
The debit cards are being issued to consumers in waves. The first 2,000 alpha-cards are already in circulation working alongside the Mondo app and another 4,000 are expected to be commissioned over the next two months.
The bank assures its followers on Twitter that it is “working on a fix”.
“Thanks for your enthusiasm!” it adds.
Indeed, Mondo has been enjoying a high public profile recently.
Although it is yet to obtain the full banking licence and open for business, it has been already valued at £30 million in a recent £6 million funding round. It secured £5 million from Passion Capital, a London-based venture capital fund (this fund already invested £2 million last year).
And £1 million was raised via a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. It was so popular that the Crowdcube website crashed. The bank raised the required £1 million in 96 seconds, making it the fastest crowdfunding raise in history at more than £10,000 per second. More than 1,800 individuals invested in Mondo.
Mondo: what’s the tech
The bank decided to develop its own solution to underpin its operations. There is a team of 16 people working on this.
Tom Blomfield, CEO of Mondo, says that the existing software packages are too big and complex for what the bank requires. Mondo offers “simple and straightforward” services – current accounts and personal financing – so it would be using just a small portion of a core system’s functionality.
Plus, “we did not want to be a brand new bank going for a very old system like some others have done”, he comments.
Hence, the bank has built its own system that is “genuinely online and is truly fit for the 21st century”. It is a 24×7, real-time solution, according to Blomfield, “and we have learned from Netflix, Google and Amazon”.
Technology used is mainly open source: Linux, Apache Cassandra distributed database (used by the likes of Apple and Twitter), Google’s Go (golang) programming language at the back-end and PostgreSQL relational database.
The system is hosted at two data centres in the UK on Mondo’s own hardware.