As one of the first app-only players in the UK, Monzo has certainly made a big impact on the new digital banking landscape.
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Very simple and quick to open
Low interest rate on savings
Last updated: April, 2019
Specifically built for smartphones, Monzo bank’s ethos is to offer an alternative banking solution that helps solve people’s problems. Based in London, the company launched in 2017 and offers a flexible banking service that operates entirely online.
The bank currently offers a Mastercard but is shortly launching a range of other services including Current Accounts, Standing Orders, Direct Debits and Overdrafts.
Monzo, founded in 2015, is a digital mobile-only challenger bank based in London, United Kingdom. Originally named Mondo, the company was started by a team who met while working for Starling Bank, another UK challenger bank. Monzo was one of the earliest of these new app-based banks and holds the record for the fastest crowdfunding campaign in history, raising £1m in just 96 seconds via Crowdcube in 2016.
Monzo was initially granted a restricted banking licence but these restrictions were lifted in April 2017. The bank initially issued customers with prepaid debit cards, but this ended in April 2018 when the current account was rolled out to all customers. Integration with other smart devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa, was added in June.
Monzo reached 1million customers in September 2018.
Monzo Products and Services
Monzo prides itself on listening to customer input and feedback; their user community suggests features; tests beta versions and offers feedback for improvements.
As of June 2018, Monzo customers can make international money transfers via Transferwise.
In-app, Monzo users can manage their money by setting monthly budgets for different outgoings such as eating out or grocery shopping.
Spending is updated in real time, with notifications sent instantly every time money is spent on the card. Customers can see an overview of their account on demand, sorted by what money has been spent on. The app also sends notifications if customers are in danger of spending too much or going over budget.
Internationally, Monzo works globally and there are no charges for using the card abroad; however, there are restrictions on ATM withdrawals. Up to £200 can be withdrawn over a 30-day period but there is a 3% charge on withdrawals over this amount.
Monzo does not offer what it considers to be ‘obsolete’ features of traditional banking; physical branches and chequebooks. This means that the bank is not necessarily a good solution for those who may still be reliant on cash.
Monzo is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for deposits of up to £85,000.