Monzo applies for US banking licence

Interesting development but says it could take 18-24 months


The timeline for a competitor – Varo, which recently became the first ‘neobank’ to win a licence in the US – is outlined here:


“18 - 24 months” - "3 years “…or …”.and refiled with the FDIC in July 2019. CEO Colin Walsh expects the final approval to happen in Q2 2020, " slightly less than 1 year …take your pick :slight_smile:
maybe the appointment of TS Anil was a shrewd move


I’d certainly be happy to see Monzo become a fully licensed bank in the US, and the fact that they’re applying to become a “proper” bank here certainly shows that they’re committed to making the US market work.

Interesting that they’re going to open a new office in San Francisco instead of using Vegas again, though. Sure, you can’t really “reuse” the same employees as a customer support center (the Vegas office’s previous role) but some of the factors that made Vegas attractive to open in should still apply, right? In terms of cost of living and such.


Is being ‘close’ to the existing office in LA(?) not a bigger factor?

(My US geography is woeful. Are LA and SF even ‘close’?)

Los Angeles to Las Vegas: 270 miles
Los Angeles to San Francisco: 381 miles

Whether either are ‘close’ depends on your point of reference :laughing:


Can I delete my post now then?

I’m not surprised it’s in the 100s of miles but I obviously had no clue where Nevada is.


If you delete yours, I’ll delete mine :wink:

1 Like

I’ve screen shot them all [insert evil laugh] :laughing:

I actually didn’t know how far apart they were either :speak_no_evil:


Isn’t that also classed as a “commute” over there??? :joy: :joy: :joy:


Not a “commute” in the traditional sense, but some people do go work in one and fly back to the other for weekends or holidays. At least that’s my explanation for why there were so many flights between LA and SF before the pandemic.

i commute ~100 miles from Philly to NYC twice a week, but that’s nothing compared to this…


Thinking about it, before this lockdown malarkey, some of my friends worked down in the big smoke and commuted 125 odd miles each way every day.

1 Like

Hopefully an enduring benefit of the current situation will be more companies and individuals realising these insane commutes are unsustainable and very often unnecessary in 2020.

RE: Monzo in the US - I hadn’t realised how insanely complicated banking was over there until I looked into in this week (I have a lot of free time!) It will be interesting to see how Monzo can carve itself a little piece.


I fully agree.
As much as I love my work, and am also unable to work from home (bus driver) I’m not a big fan of my (relatively) short daily round trip commute of 25 miles.

I wasn’t aware of how arcane the US banking system was until I set foot in another country (Canada in 2017) and saw a contactless card for the first time, and my mind was blown :exploding_head:

that same day, i went to a restaurant and the saw the waiter bring out the terminal to me instead of taking my card (again :exploding_head: :exploding_head: :exploding_head:) and that kinda kicked off my fascination with fintech haha


I’d started going to Canada regularly back in 2011 and a lot of that was already in place. I got funny looks for having a card that swiped instead of tapped or inserted into the machine, some places required ID before they’d let me use my American card (or even flat-out refuse it), and later on, I even signed up for a secured Canadian credit card to have a card with a chip when I went to Europe on a study abroad (I was basically told I’d have a bad time with no chip cards on me due to kiosks and some shops refusing swipe cards).

1 Like

Yep - I used to work in retail and a lot of cashiers in the UK will just never have seen a card that doesn’t have a chip in these days. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if people refused to take them.