Monzo - 2019 - Will it Thrive or Fail?


(James Prince) #1

Christmas and New Years are over, I am looking forward to what Monzo has in-store for 2019.

Do we think Monzo will outcompete? I have been reading up on other start-ups over Christmas and have realised the vast amounts of similar fin-tech companies trying to start up all over the world.

Will Monzo go Global or remain UK based!


#2

Here are my predictions:

In 2019 they’re going to hit 3-4 million UK users and become profitable.

In 2020 they’ll hit 7-10 million UK users and maybe dip a toe in the water in the US if they can get licensed.

In 2021 they’ll be a top 5 UK bank with 10m+ users and they will rapidly scale to 10m+ in the US.

In 2022 or 2023 they’ll IPO on the West Coast at a valuation of $30-50bn.

By 2030 they will have hundreds of millions of users and be valued at $1 trillion+

Personally I see currency cards like Revolut, brokerage firms like Robinhood and startups with vertical models partnering with incumbents (Chime etc) as achieving large amounts of success but not threatening Monzo’s inevitable world domination.

Slightly bullish here.


#3

Monzo for world domination? I like the sound of that. :monzopride:


#4

Bit pessimistic there, try to cheer up it’s a new year :wink:


(Nathan) #5

Wow very optimistic… i like it.

I think business accounts are going to be the real money generator for monzo this year. They get thise launched and profitability will be hit sooner rather than later.

I’d say monzo will hit close to 2.5 million accounts by end of the year i think anymore than that is wishful thinking.

I’d like to think by the end of this year hitting overall profitability means they no longer need to take more investment and can become self sufficient in the u.k at least.

I think a shift to ireland as the next market may be a greater/easier priority than the u.s also so can see that being persued especially after brexit.


#6

I think that in 2019 Monzo will be the first bank to get a branch on the moon, the only branch Monzo will ever have. Will be plodded up there by SpaceX.
:wink:

In all seriousness, I see Monzo (and it’s it’s users) almost maturing this year, as in the way people speak about Monzo, rather than being the “trend” or the buzz, people will just say Monzo and think of Monzo as a bank, and will start to finally loose it’s last remaining Prepaid references and keep growing at the amazing rates!


(Kenny Grant) #7

My predictions for Monzo (strictly in the sublunary sphere):

  • 2019 - 2 million UK users, still losing money, more fundraising
  • 2020 - 3 million UK users, breaking even, apply for US banking license
  • 2021 - Launch in Eire, more fundraising
  • 2023 - Launch in US, one other EU country
  • 2024 - 1 million users in the US
  • 2026 - IPO at £8B
  • 2030 - Launch in many other EU countries
  • 2035 - Monzo launches a payment network to compete with Visa etc. Valued at £50B

They need to go global to get the scale required for a marketplace, the UK market will not be enough alone IMO. When they get big enough and are global, payment networks are an area which is ripe for disruption and is run by a duopoly at present with very high profits for the service provided. This is an area which really could be revolutionised given a large enough customer base.


(Only available in amateur ) #8

I suspect they’ve already applied for or very close to applying for the US license, they’re recruiting for a special projects manager for the US (and also one for Europe)


(James Prince) #9

I like everyones optimism but I feel as though someone with a pessimistic outlook for Monzo would be useful for us to assess.
Anyone feel the fin-tech disruption might just become one big bubble just like we have seen with cryptocurrency? and that big banks will soon catch on and invest in their own technology to wash away with all of these digital bank startups?


#10

You’ve got to dream to believe! New year positive, think happy jazz hands


(James Prince) #11

Yes of course I am rooting for Monzo but if no-one is ever going to be critical of the company in the early stages how will it know what needs to be improved or what we want …


#12

I’m not sure they’ll “wash away” the likes of Monzo or Starling, but I can see the argument for switching to a challenger bank MUCH harder down the line.

Previously it’s been about instant notifications, legacy fees, poor customer service, slow mobile apps etc etc.

To be honest, a lot of that has gone already with some of the legacy banks - Ask your average joe on the street to switch bank accounts, and when you tell them the benefits of someone like Monzo or Starling, it probably won’t be enough (purely my own opinion).

If the challengers can do just enough to stay ahead, I think they’ll do well.

But I imagine he big boys will only really take notice, when they start to eat into genuine market share (may be too late by that point, but who knows).


(Andrew Clark) #13

The big banks are in trouble (at least when it comes to current accounts). They have a branch network to manage decline within ( redundancy payments), bad PR etc), they typically run on old hardware such as mainframes which don’t just affect their speed but mean things like software releases are risky, and are a significant thing to maintain let alone move forward in. When it comes to migration you’ll Have seen what happens to RBS and TSB etc. They’ve done some “me too” bits with freezing cards and gambling blocks but when the fun stuff happens they simply have no way of integrating, migrating and adapting like Monzo etc. Given these restrictions it is hard to see how they will compete with their standard product. I think we’ll see more products like Mettle where you have to assume that the mother bank will try and migrate their large customer bases to their internal “startups”. And while they’re doing these huge projects the Monzo’s etc will be getting further ahead.

The bottle has been opened and the big banks are joining too late. Small teams with a vision will outperform huge teams of bank developers, often outsourced and relatively inflexible. My background is infrastructure migrations and I would honestly say that the migration from conventional infrastructure to microservice based infrastructure could take the old banks around three years. If you consider that there are disruptors in all their spaces they could be in big trouble. Perhaps we’ll see some mergers or acquisitions but the big banks got lazy and it takes ages to turn around the proverbial oil tanker.

TL:DR The disruptors win and take the spoils.


(James Prince) #14

This is my response from another thread in regards to Monzo and its human interaction, or more particularly its lack of human interaction…

I feel as the bank grows it will need to adapt and take a few traditional banking methods along with it that work well for example call centres and helplines where one can speak to an agent direct to discuss any issues/problems they may be having with their finances etc. I am aware this bank is still in its early stage of development and thus its unlikely to occur anytime soon as they have other priorities which will need access to funding and development first, but its just a thought;

Anyway this was my response and I advise people to check out this thread as its got some very interesting/useful comments;

"I like the idea of Monzo opening its platform to a web-based form so that we can view our account details online on are laptops/desktops etc. I believe this is the main reason why a large majority of my family are prevented from using Monzo as their bank of choice.

I also believe that your statement regarding face-to-face connections is vital for anyone dealing with my finances. I believe that in the near future - Monzo will have to look at developing a call centre or helpline etc.

I found myself visiting the HQ just before the Christmas holidays and was shocked to find that even the lady at reception was unable to put me in contact with any individual and was more occupied replying to emails at the front desk. I even remember two individuals walking in their office for a meeting and they were told to sign in via the iPad displayed infront of them. Like literally even entering Monzo’s office their is no face-to-face contact or human interaction. I was very disappointed with this as all I wanted to do was set up a meeting with someone from the careers department at a future date but was advised to go on the app and speak through the Monzo help forum to book a meeting! like seriously, I was in the office right there and then and had travelled very far and all I wanted to do was set up a meeting which they told me to do via the app.

Not all pessimistic as I love Monzo and thus that is why I invested in the company and will continue to watch it grow, I am just also stating that I don’t want to loose human interaction with every service I am offered in the future especially ones concerning my finance."


#15

For me, as much as I love Monzo (obviously) I need to see profit, they need to become self sustaining in 2019. Any future fundraising should be purely to develop and not keep the lights on.

But I also think they are super close to that so this year will be the test for me.


(Only available in amateur ) #16

A lot of staff work remotely at least some of the time if not all the time. Or in the Cardiff office. Chances are there was nobody there. Why is face to face human interaction or by phone so important?


(MikeF) #17

I’d suggest shock is an inappropriate reaction to an effective dismissal after turning up on the ‘off chance’. I can quite imagine my own employer and most other company sites I’ve visited would behave in exactly the same way to that sort of approach.

Similarly, sign in on an iPad or a book. Companies just work that way (or have for the last 30 years) so, again, why the surprise? There may be better ways but, in this case, the current approach isn’t new or ground breaking in any way, positive or negative!


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #18

crikey that “I invested in Monzo” didn’t last long :slight_smile: :slight_smile:


(James Prince) #19

do you not think that human interaction is important? Especially when dealing with you’re finances?


(James Prince) #20

Thats a fair comment, but it was a new experience to me as I am very used to face to face interaction and if you want information about a company or to get in touch with them then the most effective way to do so is the old - fashioned way I.e. turn up in a suit and try to speak to a colleague direct.

I suppose everyone is accustomed to their own preferences however it was unusual for me and something I suppose I and many others will have to get used to. However, I do still prefer companies operating like this, with human interaction at the focal point.