There was a topic that I saw recently asking users to outline the worst feature of their legacy banks. I’d like to ask a question flipped around the other way.
I have been a follower of Monzo since the beginning and have invested in both of the crowdfunding arounds. I am amazed at the level of excitement and passion that Monzo have created and I love the product that has been launched so far and the UI. The desire from people to get a current account is unbelievable - so much passion for what is essential just a bank account!
As we get closer to the full current account rollout and I consider my current banking arrangements and how Monzo fits into future arrangements I began asking some objective questions of myself around the pros and cons of Monzo vs other bank accounts / legacy banks.
I am really curious to hear from people what it is about Monzo that excites them so much and why most people on here can’t wait to switch from their legacy bank to Monzo to see how this aligns to my own thoughts. Also curious to understand why the community is so passionate on the forums and keen to help and why some people have done side projects like the 3D printed Monzo character. And why I bought a Monzo hoody!
Over to the community…
Not even mentioning the technical aspect, what drives me to Monzo (instead of its competitors) is their desire to disrupt the banking industry and be on the side of their customers in helping them better manage their finances, and their fair business model that doesn’t rely on scams like hidden fees or charging 10£ for a failed direct debit.
The Monzo competitors (Starling for example, which I also use) might have the tech but it feels like they’re just following behind Monzo instead of truly innovating.
I just want to know how much money I have real time, it’s a dead simple one that Monzo nails (aside from darn TFL, but that’s out of their control). We’re living in an on demand world, and it’s silly that you can get finances mixed up due to the frustration of ‘pending’ transactions. I worked in a legacy bank whilst they were undergoing digital transformation (rolling out their gen 1 mobile app) and the devs just couldn’t keep up, they were used to people checking their online banking once a week, and mobile users were checking theirs up to 5 times a day… That was years ago and it’s no surprise a lot of users are craving this basic feature, which makes Monzo so attractive.
Those are my reasons too. My only reservation would be I wonder how people with special needs might cope with an app only bank. The elderly, blind or people with mild learning difficulties might always need a branch they can visit. Just a thought which I hope doesn’t stray too far beyond the subject of the post
Like others have mentioned, instant notifications, budget/ categorisation options, the use of a text-only support (hate calling and waiting around for half an hour just to solve something), simple things like how aesthetically pleasing every detail is + use of emoticons, search function, etc. I like seeing how often/how much I spend at a particular store/site (damn, 10 transactions at ___ with a total of £200? probably a sign to cut down!) and the average spend is handy too.
I really like seeing the location of the transaction though I am still mildly peeved that the maps has switched to Google maps for standardisation (Apple Maps show the neighbouring stores right in the display and looks better visually to me). I journal regularly, and it was very helpful while I was travelling to remember names of restaurants/stores I visited.
But of course I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic about Monzo if not for the amazing staff and community on here- pretty much everyone is genuinely interested in this bank, have its best interests at heart and share opinions and ideas for improvement/ respond without judgement even if a question has been asked a million times/ moot point. I peeked at the forums to get some tips and tricks about using Monzo but got sucked into it- I think it is arguably a cult now on some levels I check back every day.
It’s quite impressive that a bank’s forum can have such a great atmosphere. Imagine what the forums would look like if it was a legacy bank.
Things I love about monzo:
- The ease and speed of getting a card
- Instant updates
- More detailed description, map and logo for a transaction (no more decrypting bank statements)
- No complex login
- Splitting the bill
- Speed with which they reply to you
- No fees aborad
Less keen on:
- Sometimes it takes a minute to top up (bad wifi) but you get left on a bank page so it’s tempting to click back because you think nothing is happening. Needs a loading symbol.
- You have to enable the swipe ATM function on a daily basis (I’ve since been told you can ask the support team for this to be longer)
- Uncertain about how monzo will make money in the future and whether it will be ethical. Unsure about the overdraft idea (Since been sent articles on this, see here: https://monzo.com/blog/2016/06/07/ethical-banking/ )
I trust Monzo because they listen to us (customers) - hell they even have a forum! That’s the biggest thing for me - if something goes wrong I know a real person will really care and do their best to fix it for me.
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