Legacy banks are fighting back against the Monzo insurrection


Despite more and more people switching to digital-only banks, only a small minority are actually choosing a challenger bank to provide their primary current account (for example to receive their salary), says Toby Coppel, the CEO of Mosaic Ventures.

It’s disappointing there wasn’t a reference to Tom’s tweet about almost 30% of Monzo customers using the account to receive their salary. I’d say that’s more than a small minority.


I really hope this doesn’t become a word

Zachariadis suggests a “phygital” approach, where a customer would have a full choice and could blend ad hoc.


Maybe I’m a rare case, but there seems to be a surprising lack of nuance in determining a ‘primary current account’. I have a bank account my salary goes in to, and I haven’t switched to Monzo. But this is in part because the non-Monzo account has a linked saver that I don’t want to give up yet.

After that, most of the money is then transferred out of the other account into Monzo, with what’s left behind being money earmarked for regular bills and, if anything left (due to any bill being lower than usual), further savings account transfers.
Any and all other spending is through my Monzo account, aside from anything I put on a credit card for section 75 protection.

In my mind, despite my salary not going in to it, my Monzo account is my primary account as it is the first one I turn to when I need to spend anything.


I’m the same. My salary still goes in old legacy account. But I hardly use it.
About 3 months since I had a debit card transaction on it.


I suspect Nationwide still deems our joint account as our ‘Primary’ one as it gets a hefty sum paid into it every month (from my Monzo account) and the mortgage and a few other direct debits still come out of it… Only because I can’t be bothered moving them away (and Monzo doesn’t yet offer overdrafts on joint accounts - I don’t think I’ve ever used Nationwide’s joint account overdraft, but you know full well the month you don’t have it is when your salary is a few days late due to banking issues and the mortgage comes out bang on time and therefore bounces).

I’ve been #fullMonzo since at least May last year and class Monzo as my primary account.


That’s a very fair point. Interestingly the rest of the quote I took from the article was this:

Instead, people use these secondary accounts to pay bills and track their monthly spending.

What else is a bank account really used for other than that? :thinking: Surely that definition should be used for a “primary” account.


Makes you want to shift around and have a good scratch. Clumsy word. Phizidig is much better. R-

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I’m also a little like “so what”? For me “primary banked” is an old school metric. In reality its a proxy for “owns the customer relationship”. I’m of the belief that many Monzo users feel much closer to Monzo and interact with it much more often than their incumbent bank even if they don’t have their salary paid in. How many Monzo users haven’t got around to ringing their work finance department to change the bank details but instead just send the money they need over to Monzo when needed? Lots I would suggest. If you do all your spending, budgeting in Monzo and interact with the app multiple times per day but only interact with your old bank twice per month then I’d say Monzo actually owns that customer relationship even if they aren’t currently getting the salary. It’s just a lazy dig from an industry set in their ways IMO.

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I’m happy for the legacies to postulate about “fighting back” whilst Monzo continues to crack on and out-pace them day by day.

The article is rubbish because they don’t even consider apps like Cleo. It’s impossible for Cleo to have any “primary accounts” because they are not a bank. Doesn’t mean they can’t eat the banks’ breakfast and own the customer relationship. My view of the future is that banks will become back-end product providers and Monzo/Cleo (to show you don’t need to be bank) are the shop front. A bank is just a product factory producing commodities and are reduced to competing on price only. Monzo provide the value to the customer, the customer trusts Monzo, allows Monzo to smartly suggest products and manage their money which can then spawn a whole heap of other opportunities for Monzo. Those in legacy banks that think putting a round-up feature on the front of their hideous out-dated tech and ops is “fighting back” just don’t get it.


Well about time, they’re called “legacy” for a reason. About time they get dragged to the 21st century.

I’m tempted to go full monzo (I pretty much am apart from manually moving my salary).
Although as I currently move the majority over on payday is there any benefit to monzo that my salary gets directly paid in?
Like others have said, I don’t spend time on a community to do with my legacy bank, nor do they take onboard feedback and ideas.
I’m far more happy with monzo than any other bank I’ve been with.
So if anyone asked me who I banked with my answer would be monzo and I would recommend them and tell them why, I’d even help them set up an account if needed in my own time (originally for no financial gain although at the moment you do get £5)
Would I do this with my legacy bank. No chance.
I think the term primary bank needs to change, for monzo surely it would be better to have users who recommend the bank and rate it highly than just people who get their salary paid in and have no other interest than that.

In addition, this stat isn’t accurate. Monzo is my account with my salary, but I get it through Paypal not the usual channels.

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Sounds like some sort of STD


If your money is within Monzo for almost as long as it would have been, I would have thought the difference is marginal at best - both are just inbound transfers - and they’ll be getting interest from the BoE per day

The legacy banks are in trouble as far as current accounts go:

1: I have 3 good as dormant accounts that cost them to maintain but the real action is within my Monzo account.
2: they have to maintain their branch network and old school systems such as cheque management, call centres.
3: they need to continue supporting the less technically able or traditional customers. You have to assume that they take a load more cost to manage. By definition the user of a modern bank is smartphone enabled.
4: these old banks still run on old tech with few if any native APIs. No way can they keep up with these new nimble competitors.

Roll forward 5 years and these old accounts will be a burden for the old banks, holding them back and potentially even loss making.

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On your point number 3.
I am in NatWest most days as I have to bank money for where I work there.
I’ve noticed the branch are trying to move people away from counter services. Signs now up saying the minimum counter withdrawal is £250 otherwise must use the machines.
Also have people waiting in the foyer showing people how to use the paying in machines.
You can tell some people are very reluctant to use them.

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I used my Legacy account this week, following the loss of my Monzo card. That’s the only downfall of a digital bank - no cash from an ATM/branch if you need it.

Branches cost a lot to run which is why they’re closing all over the place. All banks are going to end up where Monzo is now I think… might take a while (or maybe not so long… the only branch left here is Barclays. A couple of years ago we had 5).

There is not a lot you need a counter for.
Buisness wise I just walk in put a sealed bag in a letter box (drops into a safe) and walk out.
Only thing my legacy bank has that’s great is a coin paying in machine.
I save loose change in a huge 5 litre grolsh bottle. Would hate to bag it all up.
Maybe the future is 1 place where money can be paid into and bank :thinking:

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