British bank awards 2019

(Joe) #1

I’ve received an email today from Starling with their regular updates and one of their points was that they’re nominated for best bank account and best business bank account.

I clicked the link and it’s the smarter money page. I decided to vote for Monzo as I prefer them to my Starling Account.

Here’s the link in case anyone else wants to vote Monzo up and see if we can get another award for them.


I’m not sure I feel like Monzo should get the best bank award this year… they’re close, but the customer service issues is rediculoisly serious and a massive oversight.

(Joe) #3

I’ve not had the need to contact customer services recently but have seen other similar comments. It seems they’re growing so quickly it’s a challenge to keep up with resources. I notice they’ve got a load of jobs on their careers pages so I believe they’re actively trying to resolve this problem. I hope they make progress on this and again become known for great customer service.

(Jason Winstanley) #4

I contacted Customer Services yesterday, and had a response in minutes. Just about the same amount of time I would have spent waiting on hold on the phone to any other bank.

(Is Santa here yet?) #5

They’ve had a couple of blitzes this week that have massively brought down the times, it’s well under a day now


Yeah I know they are trying, I just don’t know what they expected… it’s as if they thought people would just use the help pages and had no idea of the volume of support they actually needed to handle. Even when not using their support it’s painfully obvious how bad it has been for people.

The things that makes it worse is it’s the only way to contact them. I’m glad they still prioritise urgent requests in time but that’s just playing on the kindness of people not marking all requests as urgent, probably because people don’t realise how bad it is right now.

If they got this wrong, something they needed to serious get right first time. What else?

But I’m not meaning to derail into a bad support thread, that’s just the reason I’m hesitant to say they should get that award this year. Maybe next year when they fix these issues.

(Nick) #7

I think you’re being a bit harsh on Monzo here. I think they did have an idea of the volume of support needed, and they had planned for it, but they got caught out by circumstances unexpectedly overtaking the plans. There was some combination of growth being higher than expected, and recruitment being slower than expected. They’ve held their hands up and said that if they were to do it again knowing what they do now they’d ramp up recruitment earlier.

tl;dr, I think they knew, but just got caught out.

One thing I agree with is that if people have experienced support problems, and they don’t think they can vote for Monzo as the best bank because of that, then that’s absolutely the right thing for them to do. I think it’d take quite a Monzo zealot to disagree with that one (and I hope that most of the most dedicated ‘fans’ on this forum are still not that zealous).

Personally I still think Monzo is the best bank account and would vote as such, but given I have been adding the “Support isn’t optimal at the moment, so don’t go all in just yet…” caveat when recommending it to others, I can’t fault anyone for thinking otherwise.


I think there close, good support I would have said yes. I’m sure it’ll be resolved and then that’s a win for next year, assuming no one does better.

(David Walton) #9

Voted, :monzo::+1:

(Matt C) #10

Thanks for the link - also voted! :smiley:

(Ed) #11

With Monzo’s new chat system — I think Monzo will be able to do a lot to improve customer support. For example with their own system they could implement machine learning to recommend relevent ‘Help’ articles to route as many people as possible through the docs to resolve issues themselves etc. before going to Human help.

(Thomas) #12

I’ve been waiting for a reply from their team for over an hour now. They used to be so much quicker.

(Is Santa here yet?) #13

Can I ask why you decided to invest in Monzo if you don’t even think they deserve a vote for a banking award?

(Adam) #14

Monzo has completely revolutionised the way I think about my finances and help me to budget. So for that single reason alone. It deserves the best bank award. So happily voted.


I’m not sure they if they should get it this year, they’ve done lots of great things, but the CS issue was a real down side. It does look like they are coming over that hill, I’m waiting to see if they officially say they’ve got it back on track.

Overall Monzo are going to do one of two things, up their game and succeed, or be bought out. I’m critical of a lot of things with Monzo because they could and need to do better. It is only a matter of time before the larger banks with larger budgets push out everything Monzo has done in 6 months and do it better. Monzo can have an edge if they don’t let their guard down and stop improving existing features and creating new ones.

I put a little money there because I think there’s good potential, and they’ll do well in the long run If they plan appropriately.

Edit: imo, I would think anyone invested in Monzo would be extremely critical of issues and problems that arise. It’s not the end of the year yet, maybe they will deserve that award.

(Andre Borie) #16

Given the state of the iOS app I’m not sure if I should vote Monzo anymore. :pensive:

(Is Santa here yet?) #17

Do you think the bigger banks will innovate or just replicate what Monzo and their ilk are doing?

The customer service issues have been dire but they responded to that by dramatically increasing their hiring. Can’t see any reason they’d let this happen again


It depends. A lot of things Monzo do are just existing things done differently, pots instead of accounts for example. Spending analysis was already done, easy payments already done, rounding up was already done. Big banks have created a lot of new ideas. The goal is who’s is going to implement them in the best way the quickest.

Monzo got the first pass along with the likes of Starling, but you could create a list of where all the issues are with actual implementation. Some banks already have very good apps and very good features and have had for a while, they’ve just been missing some finer integrations and data. That won’t take long to implement when they decide the time is right.

Monzo edge was for me customer service, not their features, they don’t offer anything particularly special or easier to use outside of pots (which is a great thing, I’ve saved a tonne of money using them, they are infinitely better than trying to have multiple accounts). My personal opinion is they they need to get their CS back to <30 minute response time and they need to really polish their existing features if they want to compete in the long term. Otherwise they’ll be taken over by competitors.


Big banks will definitely replicate - big banks have recently introduced freeze your card, merchant logos, richer transaction details etc. Now is a pivotal point for monzo, they can either use their amazing foundation and tech to quickly pull ahead of competition again or risk stagnating and lose their usp. Monzo has the advantage of a modern tech stack and great engineering talent, so in theory they should be able to iterate on ideas and features far quicker. Also, assuming marketplace model becomes a thing next year - that should provide further differentiation from the big banks. Big banks will have no interest promoting third party products in fear of cannibalising their own product lines.

On the flip side, customer service is a major issue. This used to be a secret sauce for Monzo; super slick chat experience and highly responsive customer support. Now the monzo chat UI has regressed, and chat response takes days. Monzo claims to have significantly reduced account serving cost but this honestly feels like it let’s been at the expense of great customer support.

(Joe) #20

The problem big banks will face is legacy architecture and the fact that a big ship takes longer to turn than a small speed boat.

Look at TSB, they tried to upgrade their systems and took everything down for weeks. They’re still not back to 100% and had to compensate all their customers.

Also, even if the bigger banks add the features, they still won’t have that sense of community, plus they need to go through the exercise of closing down all of their branches to compete in the long term as branches are costly and old school. Kids who get to 18 aren’t going to spend money travelling to the nearest city to go to a branch, they’ll open an app and set up an account in mins and start spending money on Google or Apple pay immediately.

World’s apart.