If you switched to Monzo: Why?


#1

This is inspired by If you haven’t moved over, what’s stopping you from making Monzo your main bank?, although I have been thinking about posting this for a while:

As I posted there, there are multiple reasons why I don’t really consider monzo for anything else than odd transactions here and there.

Add to that the fact that in my opinion monzo doesn’t really offer anything that my other bank(s) don’t offer. The only thing I can think of is instant notifications, and free withdrawals abroad. However, the first isn’t a big deal for me personally (I usually know when I have used my card :slight_smile: ), and for the second there is a competitor that offers better options.

Thus I am almost surprised every time someone says they have completely switched, and maybe even closed their old account.

So, what current features led you to make monzo your main account? What actually is so great about monzo right now?

Just a few notes:

  • I leave it to you how you define “main account”. Everyone is going to have slightly different definitions for this.

  • I am a aware of some supposed USPs for monzo (good support, good app, low fees) but none of them ever attracted me personally (I can reach my bank in branch, on the phone or by email, and they have always been very helpful and quick to me, my only gripe with Barclays’ app is its speed, and I have never paid a penny for banking, except for foreign atm withdrawals). If these are the points that attracted you to Monzo then I’d still love to hear from you.

  • I know lots of things are under development, and planned, etc. Hence the emphasis: what’s so great right now?


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What made you switch to Monzo?
#2

Agreed Nanos, a lot of positives are subjective - customer service (though not 24 hour) and…colour of the card.

It’ll be a while before Monzo has sufficient features to be judged on functionality.

It may well become a leader - long way off yet.


(Kevyn) #3

I guess my use is subjective as I do use it as my main day to day spending card, but not as my main salary and billing account. I explained in the other thread for this position so I won’t go into it again here.

I do like, however, using Monzo as a spending account for the instant notifications and deductions from the account balance. It is very useful for budgeting accurately. The customer service is also excellent and issues are sorted very quickly. Just introduce all the proposed features and I’ll make a full jump!


(Rika Raybould) #4

I’m a little biased but my main current account is with Monzo. :sweat_smile: I define main current account as the most frequently used account for income and outgoings.

Being someone who works overnight, uses their phone for just about everything, and makes a reasonable amount of USD/EUR/JPY card payments, Monzo offers most of what I need in my personal life. The Monzo feed, balance, and real-time notifications are honestly the single most compelling combined feature for me. It fits with the way I do things in a way that no other bank does.

That being said, I also have accounts elsewhere and that’s perfectly fine. My bulk savings are with Nationwide as they offer the best rates for me, I use Metro Bank for activities that require a physical branch such as cash handling (I withdraw £5 notes from the counter and then dump all change back into their Magic Money Machine), and I use TransferWise for international transfers. :slightly_smiling_face:

All that being said, there’s still work for us to do! 2018 is going to be a fun year now that we can focus all of our time on current account features. :hammer_and_wrench:


(Jamie Johnson) #5

I’m the same as you, I use the card almost every single day, but I don’t use it for direct debits or income as of yet due to the reasons I mentioned here.

Now that I have started using monzo, I can’t see myself ever turning back to a legacy bank as a day-to-day account. Primarily, the avoidance of the ridiculous actual balance vs available balance and simplicity of the app are my main reasons for it being my everyday bank. Most of the features that monzo is yet to implement are features that I rarely or never use anyway, or that none of my other banks offer themselves.

I actually have 5 bank accounts now that I have monzo, Santander being my graduate account (which I intend to close after I pay off the overdraft), a Natwest account which I pay £10 a month for (just for the Select Silver benefits) and use for food shopping only (shared with my partner), Halifax for direct debits and salary as I am rewarded for doing so, although the reward has recently been reduced :expressionless: - typical - so will likely close it if monzo implement my reasons for it not being my main billing and income account. And finally a Savings account with Yorkshire Bank that I have had since I was 16 (worst banking systems I’ve ever come across) which I will be shortly closing thanks to the introduction of Pots - the interest rate is next to nothing anyway. I hate all of the banks I’ve ever used for their poor online banking and apps - I merely like my Natwest account for the benefits I pay for.


(Allie) #6

For me, it’s exciting… it’s got something unique. Truly great design results in a product that is more than the sum of its parts, and for me, Monzo has that.

Perfect? No way… I have a wishlist! But it’s great design I really like.


(Andre Borie) #7

I love the good design (though IMO they dropped the ball with the last updates since the general CA rollout), good and modern software (no rust!) and great customer service (tell me any other bank where you can get an engineer to tell you exactly why your card declined on a faulty terminal).

Monzo is now my main and only account. I did have Starling in the past (which I consider slightly inferior on the design point of view but otherwise still way ahead of any legacy rust) but closed it since getting invited to the CA preview.


(Hugo Cornejo) #8

Ouch! :pensive:

May I ask you to give some details about this? Is there any specific feature of the CA making you feel that way? What should we improve on the design side of things?

So many thanks for sharing that feedback, it really helps! :pray:


#9

For me personally, features are not something I prioritise highly, a Bank is supposed to provide services that allow me to access and use my money safely and conveniently, and Monzo does that perfectly. So it wins hands down and is why it is my main account.

Does it offer interest rates, savings, investment accounts, bitcoin trading? No and I don’t care, in time it will offer access to those companies that specialise in those services through its marketplace.

I would be seriously concerned if Monzo started focusing on building a bitcoin trading platform (for example) but more than happy if they allowed me to integrate a trading platform with Monzo. Also by allowing access to others services they have the potential to get more customers in the future, why have only one bitcoin trading platform when Monzo gives me access to all of them! (Again as an example)


#10

Here’s one small but potentially quite different reason for having Monzo as a main account: the simplicity of setting up an account and having a bank that “just works”.

If you haven’t moved to the UK under a residence visa before, you might not know the huge hassle that it is to begin setting up bank accounts (usually due to circular dependencies like needing proof of a UK bank account to rent accommodation, but needing proof of UK address to open a bank account…).

Having moved to the UK very recently, I was looking at bank account options and tried applying for several accounts, both online and in branch. Monzo’s application was not only by far the easiest, it also gave me a working account and card within days that I have already used everywhere with no issues (including having salary paid in, paying bills, even using Android Pay to take the tube).

Meanwhile, one other high street bank didn’t even bother to respond to my online application (rather, they wanted me to call them and wait on hold for someone to question me about my expected income and expenses for the account), and another required two trips to a branch to provide them with various copies of documents (after having to first procure more documents due to circular dependencies like mentioned before) - finally, two weeks later, they’re still in the process of slowly sending me individual letters in the mail containing a card, PIN, internet password, and security dongle, before I can even start properly using the account.

The hassle-free set up and use of a Monzo account has left me completely disillusioned with all the other UK banks I tried, and I can’t really justify converting to them for that reason. Obviously this reason wouldn’t necessarily apply for people who are raised in the UK (and thus have an easier time setting up accounts), but it’s still a real difference, I feel.


(Allie) #11

I moved back here from the US a few years ago, as British Citizen though, not under a visa. Lloyds was the easiest at that time. They just needed to see my (British, but I don’t know if this mattered) passport. I had the card sent to my aunt’s house. Others wanted proof of address which I didn’t have immediately.


(Eve) #12

I don’t have an income, so I define my main account as the place where I do most of my day-to-day transactions. With the exception of huge payments like uni fees, almost all my transactions and direct debits are with Monzo. It’s really convenient since I travel a lot and it just works magically anywhere! I personally haven’t caught on to a lot of the newer features like Pots but what’s important is the core product- it’s sleek, visually appealing and efficient. I love opening the app.

Opening a Monzo account was such a breeze compared to the mess I had to go through with Lloyds, and my first acc with Santander took a full month to be opened. I wish I could leave it but it’s too much hassle and I need it for large payments.

The customer service is another important point- always amazing and quick and a friendly person talking to you always makes you feel so much better. They give you specific info about your problem instead of using stock answers and you aren’t stuck waiting on the phone on hold for half an hour for someone to get back to you, and you can still get in touch after 5pm/10pm.
I got off on the wrong foot with Starling since it took ages for my account verification to be processed, reached out in app/ via social media to try and resolve this, and it was read but not replied to. It happened again on the other occasions I tried to ask for help- you get disconnected, it takes ages to get a response, I don’t like the chat system. A lot of people on their forums talk about how good the customer service is there so obviously this isn’t always the norm, but this has coloured my perception of the app and I feel like I’m not valued.

imo Monzo is really good at fostering a brand identity and sense of belonging in people- how often do you have people willing to help their bank cut costs? It amazes me everytime- there’s such a strong sense of community and inclusion.


(Jack Donovan) #13

There are a lot of reasons why I use Monzo over any HS Bank, but I have kids running riot and don’t want to get in to detail :joy:

My main reason is simply principle. Monzo offers something exciting and everything that is built is based around what we have asked for. HS Banks claim to care about you, but they don’t. Not at all.

Why would I want to help support the growth of a HS Bank when I firmly believe the whole industry needs to change. Monzo is a huge part of that change and they do everything I need just as well, in the most part - better.

Yes ok currently, aside from a few small features HS Banks, currently do the same as Monzo (sometimes small features hold the most impact) but I would take a company that holds every single customer they have close to their heart, over somewhere else where I am treated as a number any day of the week.

I want to be part of the change within the banking industry. Being a customer of Monzo means that I can :muscle:

Small story:

Whilst I can’t currently comment on the budgeting tools within Monzo, (I’m an Android user) I did used to work in a HS Bank.

We used to have to conduct “Helping Hands” interviews where we would support customers in financial difficulty. For most staff, this simply meant have a chat, fill out a paper budget planner and send them on their way as quickly as possible because you couldn’t sell anything to them, so if you wanted to do well and hit targets, talking to these customers was a waste of your time.

Management disagreed. To them it was about getting them to switch their Home Insurance to us because although ours wasn’t the cheapest, it was the best! On the whole market… :roll_eyes: and what would these customers in financial difficulty do if their house burnt down and they didn’t have our amazing home insurance? (I was quoted £38 per month, I ended up with John Lewis for cover that was just as good for £14 per month)

For me it was about gaining a real understanding of the customers situation and trying to do everything you can do to help, even if it meant talking about products from companies that had nothing to do with ours. (YNAB - a budgeting tool, came up in conversation a lot) I sure as hell know that if I hadn’t have been made redundant, I would currently now be recommending Monzo on a daily basis. (Funny, probably would have been time for me to leave :see_no_evil:)

Like I said, I can’t comment on the budgeting tools within Monzo, but I sure as hell know that they are put in place to support people.

Oh look. I went off on a rant. :joy: but I really hope this helps somebody out there make the switch.


#14

Thank you all for your answers. Interesting to see, that it appears the main points are the things that I just and simply don’t see as important. Which is cool. I guess I’m not really the target audience for Monzo :slight_smile:

There are a few things though:

Well, it depends if by features you mean cool but not required features (such as pots and instant notifications) or core banking features such as joint accounts and bank statements :stuck_out_tongue: :stuck_out_tongue: This is very much tongue in cheek! Incidentally I agree with most points you make about not caring about things like interest (I use dedicated accounts for that) and bitcoin trading, but there is just some stuff that I consider core banking functionality that just isn’t there.

I can fully relate to that: When I first came to the UK I would’ve also signed up to Monzo, as the effort I had to go through to open a bank account was dreadful. I ended up getting my German bank send me a bank statement to my UK address, and my employer writing a letter confirming that I lived were I said I lived. Barclays accepted the combination of both, but it took a few months to sort out.


(Allie) #15

Wow… and yes, it was tough. Lloyds was so easy compared to that, they’re the only high street bank that doesn’t (didn’t, at least a few years ago) require proof of address (at least for British Citizens).


#16

That does indeed only appear to be the case for those with UK driving licence of passport: https://www.lloydsbank.com/legal/proof-of-identity.asp (Although they say they accept “Current EU/EEA photo driving licence.” as proof of address - my German DL doesn’t have an address on it, and even my German ID card still had my German address on it until a few months ago - almost a decade after moving to the UK - so I wonder how that would work.)

As an aside I never understood the requirement to verify address when opening account, but not when changing address. How on earth does that make sense?


(Allie) #17

Well, there goes that idea for anyone immigrating. :frowning: Oh well, the world has Monzo now!

It doesn’t make sense, at all, but Lloyds actually did require proof of address (I used my driving licence) to change address, as did Halifax and Metro Bank. Requiring proof of address for a change honestly makes more sense than for a new account, after all, why would someone open an account (in person, with ID) and post the debit card to an address they don’t know?

And why does Lloyds not need proof of address to open an account for British Citizens, but does for everyone else? Oh, the strange ways of legacy banking…

As another odd aside, my new employer (new at the time) gave me a proof of employment letter and told me to take it to Santander and they’d open an account for me without proof of address. I took it to Santander, and they told me no, that because my job paid under £30,000 that didn’t apply - the agreement was only for people making over £30k. How does that make any sense, either?


(Simmy) #18

For me, it was ease of applying, speed of service, getting a contactless card, having the useful app, helpful forum and the good uk based customer service.


(Lancelot Payne) #19

I switched over to Monzo because ease of use, great service from the team no matter how big or small question/issue is, new and exciting things. :slight_smile:


(Jack) #20

There’s already a very similar thread, maybe it would be nice to merge these two so it’s all in once place :slight_smile: