I guess I look at these discussions from a different point of view than the ‘average’ customer. I bought into Monzo because it was exciting, fun and I feel they genuinely listen to their customers. I knew I was protected as they had been given a banking licence, if they hadn’t I wouldn’t trust them with my money.
Edit: Also it’s good to remember that Monzo wants to change the way people feel about money which I think they can do in the long run, they don’t want to be another run of the mill bank.
The fact that Monzo doesn’t have the extensive loan, mortgage, business banking etc. income associated with the other banks’ high street businesses might go some way to cancelling out the benefits of this large saving.
There are implicit dangers in making assumptions based on only some of the facts and, as customers, we only have access to some of the facts.
The introduction of charges for retail banking has been mooted in the UK for decades and has yet to appear. Banks make money from their ‘free’ retail banking today with their current branch network, but I suspect they will make more money in the short term from paying the PO a per-use fee rather than all the costs of a branch network. However, the branch network is generating mortgage & other sales so I can’t see a noteable change in the next 5 years.
Most of the people who are positive about this fee are people who have said they don’t often deposit money and £1 a couple of times a year is ok,
The people on here who are vocally backing monzo in their reasoning (including me) are people who read the blogs and understand that monzo is transparent and they aren’t doing it to be stingy and it’s about long term goals.
But I seriously think that this won’t go down well with the general customer base , who won’t get what monzo stands for especially , and the argument that people will put off because of paying for something that all banks do for free is a very valid one.
Look at this thread, it hasn’t gone down well with people who have discussed this properly and read monzos reasoning and understand both sides well, how is it going to go down with people who don’t understand how much it would cost monzo and that it’s not stinginess.
Wouldn’t you have to know how many people actually want to deposit cash though , and what amounts of cash they want to deposit and how often they want to do it and what percentage of the total customer base they represent , to make that assumption ?
Just to be clear I don’t know how many want this feature, how much they want to pay in , how often they want to deposit etc etc
The only thing I do know is there are vocal members who seemingly cannot live without this feature, but don’t want to pay for it, and will use other banks, and there are other equally vocal members that are a bit ambivalent about the feature
I think this will always come back to “Starling are doing it for free”, or replace Starling with any of the other banks who offer cash deposits through the PO (there are a lot of them). Without seeing the broader “grand plan” behind it all, it’s difficult to justify.
Agree with this - But it’s the good ol’ Chicken and egg scenario.
Monzo introduce a fee for cash deposits… Only a tiny percentage of their user base use it (the rest opting for a “work around”, whatever that may be).
Monzo declare that their customers are happy with the fees, and only a small number of users are actually paying the fees…
The counter to that would be if they made it free from the start, you’d see who was actually going to use it (because it’s free, convenient and I don’t think it would get “abused” like the ATM thing, because… Who would go out of their way to deposit more cash than usual?).
However… If they did then need to bring in a fee, because the take up was higher than anticipated… All hell would break loose (akin to the foreign ATM fiasco) - So I kinda get why that decision wasn’t taken.
I feel like there are decisions that are being taken, which are relying on people’s loyalty towards the Monzo brand, which so far, has been pretty strong.
I would worry that as it’s becoming more “main stream”, those decisions which would previously be understood, will become misunderstood, and people will see Monzo in a different light (especially those who aren’t “following” their progress like us on the forum).
The only take out from all of this… Cash needs to die. Fast.
We’ve already had people comment in this thread that if deposits were free they would deposit little and often as opposed to infrequent, larger deposits, and we’ve had Monzo employees confirm this behaviour would cost the company more money.
I’m ambivalent about the charge myself. I’ll continue to deposit any cash into my legacy bank if I need to - and I’ve only needed to do so maybe three or four times in the year so far - and transfer it across to Monzo. And, to be honest, I don’t think I’d change this even if Monzo didn’t charge, as there’s a bank branch near where I work so I don’t have to go much out of my way to deposit.
Monzo made the following goal for Q4: Keep making Monzo the best account to use as your main account
I personally think that releasing this feature with the £1 fee ultimately takes a step back from this goal for many.
I wanted to ditch my legacy fully and use Monzo as my main account once i got my student overdraft sorted this christmas but I cant see myself doing that now for the forseeable.
See I dont see the negative in this… you got usage data and acted on this as a company.
This decision allowed the average user to use a feature respectively whilst saving money to the company by charging those that were in the higher usage percentage.
I don’t understand how this is a bad implementation? If you disclosed this at the start and said we may charge for this feature in the future once we find out how popular/costly it will be I think there wouldn’t have been as big an uproar as there was.
With cash deposits you’ve basically said we don’t care if you’ll use this once or nine times a month we are going to charge you cost… with no idea of how the average user will potentially use this feature and what potential cost this will be to the company.
I think it would be much better if you applied similar to the top up logic to this…
Allow it for free initially, gain useful statistics on usage
If too costly to swallow, say fees could be incoming and implore usage change (fewer deposits, greater value)
Bring in fees that would allow non-costly average usage, punish those who use too often
But again, im not instructing Monzo how to run there business just trying to give feedback and ignite some brainstorming and debate among the community… please understand I want Monzo to succeed as much as anyone here.
Virtually everyone ends up getting dinged with a 3% FX fee when on holiday, this is a great plus for Monzo. But most people don’t go abroad very much, and don’t have failed direct debits. Monzo (& Starling et al.) have done a great job at sucking up customers who benefit from frequent travel and low ‘bullshit’ fees.
But - if you were discussing accounts in the future (either speaking to a friend or writing an article) to get the next 69 million customers you will say you’re going to save money when abroad, but incur a fee every time you deposit cash. That’s a new one to the UK, and will be a big sticking point. Everyone is used to, and the majority expect, to be able to take cash in and out of their bank free of charge. That’s what a bank is all about in the UK. We can understand bundling extra services (insurance, high interest, cashback on bills) in exchange for a monthly fee, but to pay for core banking services?
I can’t see this fee lasting to be honest, it is just so far from banking norms.
But most people don’t go abroad very much, and don’t have failed direct debits
Is it? I think the reason legacy banks can offer “free” banking despite having lots of overheads (branches, legacy tech, etc) is because the model of bullshit unexpected fees is so successful. Also I wouldn’t discard the bullshit fees as a mere annoyance - for a lot of less fortunate people it is the difference between working their way out of debt or getting even deeper in debt just to cover the fees.
Also FX fees are not only about going abroad - online purchases (including some online services which flat out don’t exist in the UK and thus bill in their native currency) are affected too.
incur a fee every time you deposit cash
I still don’t see how you’d end up with so much cash that you can’t just spend it over a few days and have to deposit it. Either you’re running a cash-heavy business (in which case you should get a business account - which surprise surprise will charge you even in Starling’s case), or you’re doing something shady (in which case I wouldn’t recommend depositing that cash even if you could).
if (and that’s a big if) you indeed have a legitimate use for depositing lots and lots of cash then Monzo isn’t for you and that’s okay. Nothing prevents you from keeping a Starling (or even legacy) account open for the purposes of depositing cash. However the market is changing and when faced with strong competition from the modern banks I wouldn’t be surprised if even legacy ones start cutting their overheads (branch closures are already happening) and possibly even start charging for cash (maybe as part of an overall account fee).
That’s a good point, but I wonder if the people who are hit by these fees and recognise them as bullshit have moved to Monzo already leaving those that don’t understand or care enough about them behind - so to grow further Monzo have to offer something else to those who haven’t yet switched. Just a thought.
so to grow further Monzo have to offer something else to those who haven’t yet switched.
Monzo needs to become profitable. Growth by itself doesn’t mean anything. If “growth” is the priority then Monzo can just start giving away free money and instantly get millions of customers overnight. They’d be bankrupt the next day though.
I don’t see how offering a feature at a loss just to “grow” is a sane strategy. I’ve seen many companies do stupid things in the name of growth and they all ended up worse off financially (Twitter is the golden example of this - it’s “How not to run a business 101”).
If you live in Ireland aib and bank of Ireland have full range of charges on every transaction you do and a quarterly fee and then you have permanent tsb who charge €4 a month but you can earn €1 and cancel the charge if you use your debit card 50+ times then you have KBC bank Ireland who charge quarterly and a atm fee with no cash deposits as they are digital first bank but all these banks charge foreign atm and debit card use abroad and government stamp duty so I can see the point of charging but it’s what you charge and when to give to the customer as benefits there needs to be a good way forward and none of the arguing over a fee
And that’s the entire premise of Monzo’s argument, I don’t see how it’s difficult to understand.
Monzo are worried about the backlash of having a free service that then becomes a paid for service if it’s unsustainable. Exactly like what happened to International ATM Withdrawals, which at least 3 members of staff have explained now.
So they’re going to introduce the fee, get some data, and then possibly reevaluate.
You are making the assumption that if Monzo was to just say “we might introduce a fee in the future” then if a fee came about, everybody would be fine - all the angriness would be none existent because Monzo warned you.
But you are the one making an assumption here - on data you don’t have.
Monzo are navigating this ship, and they think this option involves less risk of upsetting people, as well as less risk to themselves. You can’t make assumptions yourself and call Monzo foul choosing to minimise risk and get some data first.