This is what makes up our secret sauce 🥫

Rob Braileanu

 · 10/29/2018  · 10/29/2018

Growing to nearly 3 million users in the space of 3 years is something we are very proud of. And while we always praise our community and share tips on how we've got this far, we're always careful not to give away too much of our internal processes, for obvious reasons. Today, we're switching things up by sharing one of our essential ingredients that make up the secret sauce behind Revolut.

Although we are a tech company, our innovation doesn't stop at tech - it's at the heart of everything we do. Internally, Revolut has its own framework that governs how we do things. From looking after your funds, to cooking up new products and handling your data securely, our end goal is always to optimise the way we deliver.

In true Revolut style, we don't just guesstimate how effective these procedures are, we use hard numbers and data to measure success - and this is where KPIs come in.

So, what actually is a KPI? 🤔

Put simply, KPIs (or key performance indicators), are internal metrics we have created to guide the company towards achieving common goals. At Revolut, we break down KPIs into:

  • Business Goal KPIs
  • Business Debt KPIs
  • Risk KPIs

An example of a Business Goal KPI would be the number of positive news articles covering Revolut in a given timeframe - this would be a KPI assigned to the PR team. Another example could be linked to how quickly the international expansion team can launch Revolut in a new market. Long story short, you can simply think of KPIs as goals or targets - ambitious but not impossible to beat.

Regardless of which side of the business we're monitoring, the two main reasons for setting KPIs are to align with the company-wide business goals and to treat our customers fairly.

Makes sense, but what do you mean by business risk and debt? 🤷‍♂️

Business debt is produced when a team, a project or a person creates problems for other teams in the company - for example, when a new product launch creates a high volume of customer support chats. We define Business debt as a function of:

  • The percentage of total formal complaints related to a specific product team
  • The percentage of 1-star customer support tickets (rated by our users)
  • The number of incidents where customers were misled

Business risk refers to the potential impact that a product, feature or even an action can have on our stakeholders - our customers, the regulator, business partners and so on.

For instance, if an inbound money transfer were to be credited to the wrong account, this would increase our risk of damaging our reputation (because customers can complain online) as well as posing a financial risk (as we could be out of pocket to refund the customer if the funds were lost).

I get it, but how do KPIs reduce risk and debt for the business? 🧐

By setting up company-wide KPIs we effectively create a framework to ensure that as we grow, everyone is in line with our goals. To give you an example, when we launched Revolut Metal, we knew that we only had a limited number of cards available and there was a risk of shortage. So we made a point of openly sharing this fact with the community, in all our public communications. Retrospectively, this was a good control to mitigate our reputational risk and maintain our customers' trust.

Team KPIs are in place to help product teams reach their goal of delivering a successful product, while ensuring that its impact on our community of users and regulators has been considered. Any areas of concern are then addressed before the feature goes live into the app, to ensure that all (hopefully) goes to plan.

At Revolut, KPIs are just one of the ingredients that make up our secret sauce, and they are part of the reason why we've been able to achieve so much over the last three years.

When we work together to meet our goals, both individually and as a whole, we can achieve things much faster than we ever could have done alone. The idea is to increase productivity while reducing business debt and mitigating risk, all at the same time.

But the real drive for having internal KPIs is to make sure that the customer is always at the forefront of everything we do. We favour language that speaks to you like an individual, we avoid any necessary jargon and ultimately, we try to prevent things from going wrong - but we always take ownership when they do.

Putting the customer at the centre of everything keeps us focused, accountable and results-driven. Our goal has always been to offer a fresh alternative to the norm and to work in a way that delivers better results for you - and that will never change.

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