I don’t believe that Monzo deliberately employs a ‘bait and switch’ tactic.
I do believe that a deliberate policy decision was made to widen the customer base and use MSE to bring Monzo to a wider audience.
Way back sometime in the 80’s I owned a VW Polo. It could drink both leaded and unleaded without any modification. Unleaded was just being introduced into the UK. I remember one filling station that had one unleaded pump. The pump was padlocked with all sorts of dire warnings about what would happen to your engine. I even had to remonstrate with the cashier and I seem to think that the fuel cost more. Some 30+ years later it is almost impossible to obtain fuel that an unmodified engine can safely burn-the tables have fully turned.
Why do I relate this tale? To demonstrate that sea change can and will occur with the right education, support, advantages and availability. The next big push is in to electric cars. This cannot really happen without solving the longer distance problem. I have no doubt that a solution will be found.
I digress. What is Monzo’s raison d’etre? Apparently it is to bring to a billion people the world’s best current account. Statements like ‘foreign exchange transactions should be seamless and without the need for consumer thought’. I actually can relate to that and can see money changers in the Middle East making a living on a very small buy/sell split. There is no need for the outrageous charges that we are used to being charged.
Reading this forum (and others) I see a big user base in tracking contactless payments instantly. Customers are using the account as an alternative to cash.
There is no doubt that governments and businesses (on the whole) want to move to a cashless society.
I saw somewhere a business account that was free to use but only allowed electronic transactions. It was marketed alongside a traditional business account with the ability to accept cheques and cash.
My point being is for Monzo to consider either just to offer electronic transactions (no cheques, no cash in or out and no top ups) or an account that offers those non electronic facilities but for a fee as well as a cashless account.
Obviously, my Polo could take leaded as well as unleaded which was good because initially it was hard to buy unleaded. In a similar way Monzo users in the main are maintaining their existing bank accounts.
In conclusion, if you are trail blazing then pioneer the cashless way and provide an account that doesn’t use ATMs or accept cheques etc. It is pointless trying to match the existing banks with a product that cannot compete because of no CASS or statements or joint accounts.