How/Will Monzo convince the older generation to switch?

Will Monzo work in a way of convincing the older generation (45+) to switch their accounts over or are you just hoping that the younger generation will adopt and convince people to switch?

Back story on where this came from:

When i first received my :monzo: card i was showing my mum how the instant transactions worked and told her that i’ll be switch over soon, she was instantly suspicious that you were fake and that you would steal all of my money even after talking her through that fact that you are regulated through the BOE just like all other banks. still no luck.

and just the other day my parents told me that their local branch (Clydesdale) which seems to be the worst in the UK was closing down and would automatically move them to the nearest branch, they said they were going to move to TSB so that it was local so i suggested :monzo: again and instantly they were like ‘‘I want a branch that i can walk into’’ i asked ‘‘When was the last time you walked into a bank?’’ knowing i was correctly they instantly changed the subject.

I just seems incredibly difficult to move someone from what they’re used to.


It’s never going to be the solution for everyone regardless of their age, even if older people might be a harder demographic to convince than younger people.

One of Metro Bank’s selling points is that its branch network is open outside normal opening hours and at weekends too. TSB advertise that branch based staff are able to make decisions rather than just sell you stuff. Nationwide branches are being changed to be almost lounge-like with loads of charging points for your phone, a bit like Virgin Money.

Some people still prefer branches and the facetime and trust that comes with that. I can see why. Monzo is great and all but it isn’t the answer to everyone’s banking situation. Just like how some people might prefer to keep their mortgage, savings, credit card all with one provider which Monzo also can’t do.

It’s well known very few people switch current accounts anyway even under the new switching program. So recruiting customers isn’t restriced to problems with signing up older people.


I’m half joking here but…

Steve Jobs -

Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.

From the below talk, which is brilliant -


Some of the “older generation” are already monzonauts. This reminds me that when ASOS ask me to complete a post-delivery customer survey, I fall into their “35+” classification, so I feel rather unwanted :angry: - a friend says it is so they know which clothing lines to drop asap from their range!

I think the topic here is (correctly) about attitudes, rather than capabilities, and 45+ (or 35+) are not a single homogenous group. There are some suggestions about age-friendly banking in this report.

@alexs Life expectancy for 45 year olds is 36 more years for men, and 39 more years for women (source). What is Monzo’s life expectancy? :grinning:


Some of us older generation (60+) can’t wait to leave the old banks behind :wink:

I’m using my golden tickets to get others hooked on :monzo:


Definitely, this probably why the Monzo team tend to talk about the most common characteristic of their users as simply being people who live their lives on their smartphones.

My grandfather, who’s in his eighties, is one of the most enthusiastic early adopters I know - & I’m going get him signed up to Monzo at some point!

Ha! Well if it’s like Lloyds or Barclays, it’ll be quite some time…if it ends up like Smile Bank, perhaps not quite so long :wink:

But seriously, the Steve Jobs quote is really just pointing out the inevitability of change & given that the iPhone was launched less than 10 years ago, perhaps in 10 years time, it will be difficult to find people of working age who don’t fit the above description?

When it comes to marketing, there are a few features that might attract the older generation’s attention -

  • There’s been quite a few positive comments from Monzo about offering their accounts to under 18 year olds. Given the fact that Monzo puts money management front & center with features like Targets, if the joint accounts functionality is also developed I expect that will draw a lot of parents, who want to teach their children how to look after their money, to the platform. If ideas like the connected piggy bank take off, they could end up joining when their children are at a very young age.

  • Tom has touched on the idea of Monzo developing a feature to enable users to top up their pension from their Monzo account this year.

  • And Peer to Peer lending seems like a good fit too.

To give Kieran’s question the proper attention it deserves, despite his anecdote, I’d hope that the full banking license & FSCS protection will convince most people to trust Monzo.

Bank branches are going to be around for quite a while longer, although given the rate of closures, perhaps there won’t be many left in 20 years. Obviously banks like Monzo are going to have to develop pretty excellent user experience as a substitute - like Monzo’s excellent chat support.

But again, we’re still in the early days of people getting used to mobile & trusting tech companies. In time everything that Monzo’s doing will be considered normal & if they didn’t innovate much beyond what they’ve developed now, they’d be looked at as the boring, safe legacy bank.

Lastly, international expansion means that there will be plenty more early adopters to go after, before hold outs of any age are a problem.


That got me thinking!

I had a quick look how atrocious Polish banks are and I was amazed. I thought that Barclay’s offer was ridiculous, but Polish situation is even worse. Some fairly believable article pointed that some currency exchange fees on holidays are reaching as high as 11%, which is made up of usual currency exchange fee + other fees, using poor exchange rates on top of that. And usually there’s ATM fee outside of Poland too.

If Monzo could offer no more than 3% fees all together and free ATM withdrawals, not to mention make it free :eyes:, it would be absolutely loved in Poland.

Poland seems to be quite hip regarding banking approaches all together. It was only I moved to UK, when I learned that not many banks (if any, actually), require one-time password verification sent via text to your mobile, when you make online payments/set up regular payments/etc. When I got barclay’s pinsentry thing, my face was literally in :scream: shape. When I learned about 3d secure with one password repeated over and over again, I gave up. :smiley:

So, yeah, drop Monzo to Poland. All you need to do is explain why it’s cheaper than Polish banks - especially when thinking about holidays abroad. :wink:

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Lots of over 60s I know are open to new ideas, remember in their lifespan they have seen and mostly adapted to tremendous technical changes.

As to the branch network there will always be some things that need paper to be moved or signed. I suspect that the supermarkets may shelter a multi bank mini branch in the same way as The Post Office have moved to lodge in places like what Smith and Waitrose.


That’s a good point actually. There are many people with bank accounts that have been open since the '30s, perhaps earlier; as much as I like Monzo I’m sceptical it will last even as long as that, nevermind however much older than that those other banks are.

Most anticipatable ‘death’ in my view would be:

  • Acquired by BigBank
  • BigBank promises to keep Monzo nimble and modern
  • Monzo is modern for a while; inevitably stagnates
  • Hip new Mozon has broken out in the meanwhile, criticising BigBank and aiming to be ‘proper modern’
  • This forum’s users are mostly Mozonaughts, with a handful of loyalists sticking behind
  • Loyalists are fed up with stagnation, jump ship
  • BigBank closes ends Monzo’s operations, promising to fold technology and expertise into BigBank
  • Process repeats; Zonom is born
  • :champagne: HNY! 2018 begins!

(Last point especially is hopefully obviously exaggerated…)

Everything that’s ‘hip’ or ‘modern’ feels rather ephemeral. Wide open to challenge because as soon as it’s popular it’s no longer ‘hip’, and as soon as it’s been around long it’s no longer ‘modern’.

We’re going off topic here so I’ve moved my reply to a new post, here -

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There’s more discussion on this (hopefully :wink:) here -

With the rollouts of current accounts looming, we often raise the question to people in user testing sessions; would you switch to us as your sole current account once we’re a bank? And if not what would stop you from doing so? One thing which is apparent is that loyalty and trust don’t always follow logic or reason, people are comfortable with what they know even if they’re not necessarily ‘happy’ with the service provided. People are naturally reluctant to try something new especially if it incurs an element of risk.

As a relatively new bank, we need to earn trust from our customers over time and prove to the thousands of potential customers out there, that they can bank safely with us. Inevitably it may take more time for those who are unfamiliar with our product or the technologies the app is associated with, but that’s not to say they wouldn’t consider trying Monzo once they have some confidence in our reputability.

I would be careful of singling out any of our users based simply on their age demographic as it would be presumptuous to assume they all have the same needs, interests and outlook on managing their personal finances. Ultimately we want to make an awesome product accessible to all. That being said, Alex has also raised some interesting points around salient features which might be of particular interest to older users. Along with gradually building a trustworthy reputation, I think the key is in our messaging, how we communicate our offering to older users. Maybe we need to provide more of a a frame of reference, demonstrating how Monzo could help them in a practical everyday context?


I have given out Golden tickets to both my Dad (51) and his partner (50) as they were really enthusiastic about Monzo and what it could do for them. My mum on the other hand was not interested at all as she doesn’t see anything different about Monzo from her legacy bank (targets/instant notifications not an interest to her).

I think that people of 45+ generally have more money and so are more reluctant to switch to new things in case something goes wrong, whereas us 20 year olds don’t have those worries generally. I think Monzo’s target audience are at the moment people aged around 18 - 30. Once they become a full bank then it may broaden the appeal somewhat, especially if the marketplace idea takes off.


This was my assumption too but in fact

which is why these points

are quite significant.


I’m glad that they are appealing to “older” users. I do think though that a lot of people though have massive issue with online banking and therefore mobile banking. I know a lot of adults who refuse to use mobile banking as they think they will be hacked and so on. So I think Monzo could do a lot to target those type of people too

For your information, I’m 53, so it’s not impossible. On the other hand, I’m about as techy as it gets (worked with some of the Monzo people on a microservices architecture at a previous Internet startup).


Age has nothing to do with it. I am in my 50s and prefer banking online thru a web or via a mobile. I think that is much more secure than sending card details or a cheque thru the post. I always thought it stupid when a previous bank refused to communicate via email as they claimed it was insecure and yet would rather put a letter in the post that may never arrive. I have been using tech since some users were in nappies so dislike the ageist comments implying we are old gits who would rather shuffle into some branch on the high street and get out our quill pen


What’s wrong with Smile bank then?

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My dad (in his 60s) started using Monzo because I owed him some money and made him sign up so I could P2P him :rolling_eyes: but now he loves it. His motivations for switching when we have current accounts are essentially the same as mine.

I’m always sceptical of bucketing people by generation (or gender, etc) - you lose an awful lot of nuance. People say things like “Monzo’s cool for millennials, but what about parents?” :wave: hi, I’m both, let’s not oversimplify. I think Monzo (as a team) are very deliberate at thinking about people in terms broader than what one extrinsic fact (e.g. date of birth) could be construed to imply about them.

In short, I don’t think someone’s openness to change is directly related to their age. There’s likely some work to do around making it easy and worthwhile to overcome the barrier to making that change.


I had one gran about 102 who was more up to date and modern than another relative who was in her 70s, it is all a matter of attitude not some date on a certificate