Having taken a look at last year’s Monzo in 2020 post, and having given it a bit of end-of-year review, I thought it might be fun to offer our own predictions for 2021.
Rules for the topic: this should be about what we think will happen, not what we want to happen.
Here are my Monzo predictions
Monzo will bring new features to Plus and Premium accounts. By the end of the year we’ll see discounts for eating out (via a Taste card or similar), virtual cards connected to pots, credit card pots (that’ll stash away the amount you’ll spend on credit cards ready for your bill) and a (nearly) native experience for connected accounts. A web interface will launch for paid customers.
Monzo will stop issuing physical cards by default - to both save money and help the environment.
The core app will remain practically unchanged. The payments tab will receive improvements, but won’t be perfect. There will be talk about revisiting budgeting, but it’ll be more or less the same at the year’s end. Search will remain basic and the iOS / Android disparity will remain. There will be no in-depth analytics.
Losses will mount this year. The forum and the broadsheets will overreact. There will be talk of acquisition but Monzo will remain independent with a path to profitability.
This Community will wither but still be around. I’ll reply to this next year and say that I was horribly over-optimistic in these predictions but failed to predict a couple of significant events. No one new from the C-suite will have posted on here. There may be a virtual Investival but further community events will be unlikely.
International payments will formally launch, but only for business customers.
Monzo will still be working on a US launch, but it won’t be a priority and US staff numbers may decrease. It will still be in beta by the end of the year and there will be speculation about its future.
Monzo will announce it is overhauling lending. Nothing tangible will change for users, though.
And as a wild card…
There will be a limited beta of a Monzo credit card. Starling will launch their full credit card product the day before, following press rumours.
Elsewhere in consumer fintech:
- Starling will acquire a lender. It’ll reach profitability but the app will be largely unchanged. Innovation will continue to be financial products, rather than user experience.
- Revolut will impress with its innovation. It’ll match Monzo in terms of features and be ahead in a number of areas. It still won’t be a bank, though.
- It’ll be sink or swim for Project Imagine. PI1 will struggle to generate revenue. Dozens will pull through and carve out a small niche for wealth management.
- There will be consolidation in the market. Atom, Tandem, Coconut and Tide will be candidates for merger or acquisition.
- Someone will realise that providing white-label digital services (including an app) to building societies is a goldmine. ClearBank might look to acquire someone like Project Imagine to that end.
- We will see some moves towards financial automation in the UK (money moving between accounts on the basis of rules).
What does everyone else think?