Its Good, but others are catching up - we need incentives/benefits

(If there's the wrong end of a stick, you'll find me holding it.) #210

I know. I only dislike the use of spelt when there isn’t context.

(Ben Green) #213

Agreed. I think everyone should be open to receiving constructive criticism but not on the thread. That’s what private messages are intended for.

Back on topic, I don’t really feel that Monzo are falling behind (yet). Yes, Starling have the features but the really don’t portray transparency and nurture trust from their community and wider customer group like Monzo do. Legacy banks might add the “temporarily freeze your card” feature like Barclaycard have done but that’s just lipstick on a pig. There’s no way for those banks to easily add instant notifications, plus the upcoming rules for pots and API-initiated transactions will be a game changer for banking industry, dare I say, on a global scale.

(Ben Green) #215

Monzo are aiming to help us be better with the money that we earn and already have. You may be used to a banking culture that pays you extra simply for being their customer while taking extortionate amounts of money from others in the likes of DD and cheque bounce fees and mind bogglingly complex overdrafts that is in their interest not to mention to you that you’ve gone into it.


How do you know that?

(Ben Green) #217

Correction: it’s more accurate to say that it’s less expensive for them to spend so much money maintaining the systems they currently have, some from the 1970’s running Fortran or even their own language, as opposed to doing a complete modernisation of their systems.

Because many legacy banks are financially struggling, or least just about coping, it’ll be an impossible task to modernise a legacy banking codebase and that’s what’ll need to happen in order for them to provide instant notifications.

I’m sure someone like @tristan might be able to explain the technicalities of it more accurately than I or perhaps correct if I’m wrong but this is just what I understand.

Loyalty points and other usage incentives

We won’t be introducing Credit Cards, I get why Section 75 is important to some people and I’ve had a couple of queries in the last few weeks. We want to help you control your money and provide you with knowledge on where the best products are. Not necessarily provide them from us.

I don’t think gaining money from referral fees is either unethical or not been transparently laid out. We are 100% clear about how much we get from each referral and it’s definitely not any small print.

My beautiful customer service??? I think our transparency and our ethics are massive things for us to be offering. We are clear that we are working for you, the customer, not the big fat money paychecks. I enjoyed @iansilversides list

What we are working on right now:

Moving accounts from prepaid to CA
CASS implementation
Spending evolving to Breakdown
Overdraft rollout including constantly revisiting our decision lending
Marketplace integration
International Payments - ie understanding and implementing them. It’s coming, we just want to do it right which is why it’s taking some time :sweat_smile:

I think that’s 6 pretty decent things going on :+1:

Testing Marketplace Beta

I haven’t had the time to read the full thread (amazing how much it blew up in a matter of days) but here are my 2 cents:

I too feel that the novelty wore off, but in my opinion this is also because after using Monzo for a long time you tend to forget how shitty the legacy competition is, and suddenly Monzo becomes boring and you might be tempted to switch back, if only for the novelty of trying something new.

The point is, Monzo is a bank, it’s more or less designed to be boring - all I want from a bank is to get out of my way and work for my use case, and Monzo does that perfectly. It stays quiet in the background but is always there for me when i need it, to make a chargeback, reverse a DD or order a new card ASAP.

For those that switch I wish you good luck, and you might be satisfied with the legacy offering, but I think the main difference will be when you have to interact with their customer service and stupid processes.


There does seem to be a view that all existing banks set up their systems in the 70s and haven’t touched them since.

Whilst there are probably aspects of their systems that are indeed very old, I don’t think those parts are relevant here, nor do I think the banks are incapable of changing them when required (faster payments haven’t been a thing for that long, for example - banks were able to cope).

I think all high street banks are able to show you your available balance in real time - this includes authorisations that haven’t yet been presented. Indeed, not only can they show available balance in real time, but all banks are doing some sort of real time processing on card payments to try and flag up fraud - which means their systems are able to receive and process merchant data as the transaction is happening.

And I’d say at least half are also now showing pending card transactions in some form in their online banking & mobile applications. If they can do that, they can add instant notifications.

The thing holding high street banks back is culture, not their systems (in most cases) - as soon as an external factor (fintech) forces a culture change at these organisations then they will be able to catch up - and quickly.

( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #221

so looking forward to the logic of spending being improved from its current form to be more accurate - for me it is the best feature of challengers like Monzo and Starling :slight_smile:


To suggest that Banks are financially struggling is a bit far fetched. They are all making money, even RBS has weathered some heavy calls without resorting to cash calls or further bailouts.

The argument that most banks are running on old systems is also a little naive. Lloyds Banking Group have a reasonably new platform, as does Nationwide the only one that probably doesn’t is RBS.

(Micky) #223

Argh those stupid processes! This week I had visit my legacy bank branch to order a debit card because it requires a credit check… why?! It’s a debit card not a credit card or loan. Monzo is a breath of fresh air in that respect

(Ben Green) #224

If they’re able to then why don’t they? All of my previous banks before switching to Monzo took days to update my balance after making a card payment.


Santander show this in their app and notify you of real-time spending and have done for a good while (at least as long as Monzo have.) I think showing pending might be new as I noticed that the other day.

I’m going to rock the boat here and say that seeing pending auths has never meant much to me.


Well, many do but for those that don’t probably a combination of a few things.

Perhaps a difference in opinion of the significance of an authorisation - to Monzo it’s a transaction that’s been made which should be shown. To others, it’s just an authorisation to the merchant that yes that money is there and they can take it - but they don’t have to take it. Showing and then refunding transactions could be a significant source of calls to support.

Maybe just a cost/benefit analysis - how many of their customers have actually shown an interest in seeing pending transactions? Most people don’t check their accounts every day. Lots of customers don’t even use the mobile app at all.

(Ben Green) #227

Eurgh! I despise them. By far the worst customer service I’ve ever experienced from a bank. They may have modernised their technology, but still need to enstill their staff with Monzo-esque charisma, speed of service and culture of transparency.

I may sometimes go a few days without spending anything but that’s very rare and I think that’ll probably resonate with a significant proportion of others as well, particularly those in cities. For a lot of those people, I’m gonna go out on limb and guess it’s also very important to them to know how much they have available to spend before making frivolous purchases, unless they don’t care about going into overdraft or bumping up their credit card balance.


I’ve never had any issues with Santander but then I’ve never called them about anything. In my history of banking I’ve never had an issue with any of the banks I’ve banked with. I imagine I’m in the minority with that one.


You might well be right, I find instant notifications very useful myself which is why I use Monzo as my spending account.

If it turns out that Monzo et al start to gain traction because of features like that then expect the high street banks to copy, and quickly.

That is why, going back to the OP, Monzo needs to seriously look at what their current account is actually offering. Compared to others in the market it’s actually quite poor. No interest, no way to put cash in, no foreign payments, seemingly inflexible payment limits, bad direct debit handling behaviour, not a member of LINK so can’t guarantee card will work in all UK ATMs - and worryingly there haven’t been many noises from Monzo to say they are looking to fix this stuff and where they have said something, it’s clearly not a priority.

Having a good app is great, but offering a great current account product (and maybe other products?) is how Monzo will be able to stick around.

Marketplace will be taken by the aggregators as they will have a full view of people’s finances, as will producing spending breakdowns. Monzo need to focus on getting people wanting to use them as their main current account and that is done with account benefits.


Monzo are going to have to raise their game pretty quickly. The feeling I get from various threads here is that the emperor has no clothes.

(Eve) #231

Didn’t think I would defend a legacy bank’s service on here but Santander have been pretty decent with customer service. The wait times on the phone are bad if you call late in the evening, but they’ve always been really helpful and nice on the phone and at the branch I go to.


My problem with this is that I just don’t want to go to a branch or talk to someone at all; for 90% of my interactions with a bank I already know what I need to do and I just need a button to do it; this is where Monzo and the other challengers (Starling, etc) shine compared to the legacy garbage.

The only time I would be happy to go to a branch is if the bank would compensate me at the same hourly rate I charge for freelance projects. :money_with_wings:

I sometimes look at the responses here and seriously can’t believe how people throw away their time like it was nothing - every second you save by not going to a branch is a second extra you can spend with your friends, family, kids, etc - don’t waste it. Even accounting for Monzo’s limitations (like the direct debits non-retry issue) is a lot more efficient that putting up with a legacy bank’s bullshit - and the time saved can be put to better use. Upset about the lack of interest? Just put the time Monzo saves you by getting out of your way into some billable work and suddenly you’ve got like 10x more that even the best legacy interest rate.