What prevents the Monzo online bank model from being replicated in the U.S.? Is it because…
1/ the American e-payments system (e.g. BACs, Faster payments) isn’t developed as well as in UK
2/ some other back-end technology ecosystem is less developed (API availability,etc.)
3/ Or, because of some regulatory differences between UK and US?
Or, are there examples of a Monzo-like bank in the U.S. that I just don’t know about?
Well hopefully there won’t need to be an American version of Monzo because Monzo will be able to expand to America
I’ve summarized what we know about Monzo’s ambitions, preparation for entering new markets & some of the challengers that ‘challenger banks’ currently face in the US, in this post -
which also includes a link to some changes to regulations that should make it easier for Monzo to set itself up as a bank in the US.
It also helps that Monzo’s focus is on developing a current account only while offering user’s access to other service providers (for credit cards, mortgages, savings accounts etc.) so fewer regulations would apply to Monzo.
Monzo might not try to set itself up as a bank in the US, if it expands there at all, of course & in which case, it could offer a prepaid solution like the one we currently use in the UK, while we’re waiting for the full banking license.
A couple of days ago, it was announced that customers will be able to apply for prepaid cards which offer overdrafts which may support Monzo’s business model (it plans to make at least some of it’s revenue from it’s first product which will be overdrafts)
There are a number of companies like Monzo in America already:
Moven (as Ian mentioned) who have an interesting looking feature that sends alerts when your spend is higher than normal
Simple who have a savings goals feature that appears to be well designed
And a lot of other prepaid card providers but it’s difficult to find others who’ve taken Monzo’s user experience (as opposed to financial product) first approach.
Hi @arg26 great question and as ever @alexs is on the money! Although the birth place is London and we have a UK banking licence, we’d love to give people around the world help managing their money. One way to do that is getting a banking licence in lots of jurisdictions, or partner with a US bank, or maybe find a way to WhatsApp banking i.e. do it irrespective of the regulatory jurisdiction.
Right now it’s important we get our ‘restrictions’ lifted in the UK on our banking licence (to hold unlimited deposits and lend) then we will turn our attention to other markets like the US. That aside, all the points you make are valid, but none (in my opinion) prevent Monzo or a Monzo-like bank operating in the US.
A US expansion is possible via sponsor banks. This could take 6 months
to get live, and short-term revenue would be generated by higher US
MasterCard interchange rates. Medium-term profitability would depend
on a partnership with a US-regulated unsecured consumer credit
provider or acquisition of a US banking licence.
Tom Blomfield told CNBC that Monzo is in the “very, very early stages” of discussions with US regulators.
"I think there’s a huge market opportunity there, because there haven’t really been any new banks in the last 10 years or so”, he said.
Judging by this & Tom sharing that his attention’s on the US at various talks, I think it’s pretty safe to bet that Monzo will expand to the US before Europe although the crowdfunding deck did say that -