What the challenger banks did differently.


Billion dollar experiences

Monzo, Revolut and Starling—often called the challenger banks—have built billion-dollar businesses around the belief that they offer the best overall banking experience.

But are they actually any better, or is it all clever marketing? To answer that question I opened 12 real bank accounts, and logged everything.

Each chapter provides a forensic analysis of a particular feature or user journey.

But more importantly, I’ve highlighted what can we all learn from the challenger banks, and used real examples to teach you how to craft better experiences in the future.

Peter Ramsey 

Built for Mars Founder

As seen in

“This UX specialist opened 12 UK bank accounts and ‘logged everything’”.

Chapter 1

Opening an account

Analysing the experience of opening a new account with each bank. This includes:

How many days it took to get an active account.

How many clicks it took to open an account.

What questions the challenger banks don’t ask.

Plus much more.

8 min read

It took 18x longer to open an account with HSBC that it did with Monzo.

Chapter 2

Making my first payment

Looking at the experience of making my first payment with each bank. This includes:

How long it took to make a payment.

How long it took for the payment notifications to appear.

How banks handle payment errors.

Plus much more.

10 min read  ·  ⚡️Includes 12 case studies


Released 28th May 

Payment notifications were at least 2x faster with the challenger banks, and in some cases 100x faster.

Chapter 3

Freezing my card

Comparing the experience of freezing your card with each bank. This includes:

Which banks notify you when someone attempts to use your frozen card.

Which banks suspend Apple Pay when your card is frozen.

Which banks educate their users about freezing and cancelling their cards.

Plus much more.

6 min read  ·  ⚡️Includes 10 case studies


Released 4th June

These were the only 3 banks to send notifications when someone attempted to use a frozen card.

Chapters 4, 5 & 6

More chapters coming soon

This is only the beginning. Our subscribers will be sent every week, along with other great Built for Mars content.


New chapters every week

Subscribe (free)

This is what you’re looking for. 👇 


A summary of the publication

previous arrow
next arrow
Full screenExit full screen

💡Tip: Try using the ⬅️ ➡️arrows on your keyboard to navigate the slides.


Here’s a quick summary of the whole publication.

And finally...

Thank you for all your support