Monzo is launching in the USA!

I read elsewhere on this forum that uk-us integration is on the roadmap

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Oh lord! They will need to hire a team just for that.:joy:

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It would make sense and it would add a massive additional value. Imagine Monzo being in the US, Europe and Asia in 10 years and you can easily send money around using the same process we use for the UK app, with low fees. That would be a killer feature!

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Option A:
Access to joint accounts in 1 month. Basic offering and will be developed over time based on your feedback

Option B:
Access to joint accounts in 6 months. “Fully baked”. No feedback from you until fully done

Which is more desirable for you? Surely you’d like it sooner and the ability to shape it?

Monzo go with option A. Legacies have gone with Option B until now. Its why Monzo are where they are. “Get it in the hands of customers asap and see what they think” is the principle.

Traditionally, option B has seen time wasted on features that customers never even wanted and poor prioritisation due to lack of customer involvement throughout the development process.

It’s half baked by design and very purposely so. Under option A or option B the offering needs to be in the hands of customers to be classed as “fully baked” (because they are the ultimate judges) so do that asap rather than waiting until the end.

Legacy banks have had decades to do this stuff and have failed. I feel we can be unfair on Monzo expecting them to overhaul a centuries old industry in 4 short years. It’s a big old task and they are smashing it

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Monzo doesn’t only compete with legacy banks. Monzo weren’t even the first app bank to offer joint accounts, or business accounts, they’re firmly playing catch-up on many features.

Even then, I’m not asking for “an overhaul of a centuries old banking system”, just features released, advertised and endlessly promised to be corrected to work as they do elsewhere before expanding to another (unquestionably more complicated) market.

Monzo being “good enough” is fine, and I believe the US expansion was inevitable eventually, but I’d personally prefer if they got the house in order at home first. That’s the last I’ll say on it.

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Have Monzo ever really been first? Starling have always been slightly ahead feature wise as far as I can tell. Doesn’t mean Starling have more CA customers. Do you know if Starling/Revolut/N26 fully baked their offering before expanding into Europe/UK. I suspect they all had features customers wanted but followed their strategies to expand in parallel.

I’m not a JA user but I’m interested as an investor; which features have been promised and not delivered within provided timelines? Which need to be corrected?

I think that’s my point, running a business like Monzo is more than a list features to tick off a list, we have to remember they are aiming to overhaul a broken, extremely complex and heavily regulated industry.

Whats broken in your opinion that needs an overhaul?

Banking business models have been traditionally product-centric. Monzo are about customer advocacy - doing what’s right by the customer. Advocacy builds trust. Trust, advocacy and data science get customers better deals. Rather than getting my loan with nationwide because i’ve banked with them 15 years Monzo want to open up a marketplace to allows customers to find good deals. Not only on banking products but utilities and other things.

Big bank culture stinks and that’s from someone who works in them every day. Legacies have a “whats the minimum i can get away with” approach to regulation rather than “how can i best serve the customer”.

Legacies have not wanted to give you insight into your spending until now when they are reacting monzo. They have stopped vulnerable people getting accounts. They have charged silly high fees. There’s a heap of friction on the customer jouneys of traditional banks. They don’t offer real time notifications. Didn’t help out those with gambling issues. Didn’t have a view of their broader impact on society (Monzo do, look at the big issue initiative).

I could go on and on…

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I hate this “all legacy banks are evil” and “Monzo is the saviour” narrative.

I’m not 100% disagreeing that on general, the legacy banks have severely undelivered to a huge part of the population, and have got away with the bare minimum at times.

Edit - Although I’d add that I’ve had some legacy banks move heaven and earth to help me with certain things over the past few years.

But when you look at Monzo, and other challenger banks, I don’t think you can argue that just because they’ve created an app with instant notifications and some spending analysis, they are “for the people”.

It’s easy on both sides to pick examples to support each of our opinions (like you rightly did with the Big Issue, which is a great start and I hope it gets rolled out to the rest of the UK).

Look at the PayPoint vs Post Office cash deposit argument.

One would have resulted in free cash deposits at a professional place (PO), the other is still resulting in a horrible experience, and a cost involved to deposit your own money - Yes, there will be people who prefer PP due to their locations - But I’ve seen a significant number more who have said it’s been horrendous for them.

Also appreciate the PO are needing to change their contracts with banks, but if other challenger banks can absorb the cost, why can’t Monzo?

Same with the change to foreign ATM withdrawal.

When it comes down to it, Monzo are a business and make decisions for business reasons - Even if that means a worse result for the customer.

For clarity, I’m all for that, and have zero issue with it at all.

I want Monzo to be the absolute best UK current account as it’s currently my main one (Joint account), and I’ve loved the app up until now.

I’ve just found the past few months to be a bit trying, when all the new releases seem to be 10% complete, designed to make Monzo money with little benefit to the end user, and the rest of the app feels like it’s fallen by the wayside.

I don’t think the majority of us would be here (on the forum), if we didn’t want Monzo to succeed.

If I could guarantee that Monzo US expansion wouldn’t detract from the UK offering in any way, shape or form… I’d be really happy for them.

But I fear it’s inevitable that it will, and right now the Monzo UK offering needs a hell of a lot of TLC.

All my opinion of course, and I’d love to be wrong. :grinning:

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Monzo are a scale up that are four years old. They are literally building a bank from the ground up. I feel you a little harsh to criticise what is, with full transparency, a work in progress. Yes, high standards are good and we should ask for what we want but some of the vibe here feels overly negative rather than constructive. The legacies have had decades to get a hold of their IT, culture and processes. Monzo is very much in its infancy and i’m confident they’ll address the items you raise over time.

In an ideal world full free ATM withdrawals would be great but they found it was being over used and costing a fortune when that money could be put elsewhere. Every decision has an opportunity cost and perhaps one of your favourite Monzo features would have been delayed if that decision was not made.

I would take a look at the “we are working on a new look for Monzo” thread. I believe they’ve gone down the route of a re-build to address some of the things you mention.

As for you point on “things to make monzo money”. Shock. Horror. I think we should be mindful that making money is good thing. They pay corporation tax, national insurance, put people in long term sustainable jobs, those people pay income tax and spend money that generate VAT receipts etc. Monzo simply has to make money to continue to exist and to criticise them for aiming for profit (that was transparently stated as the goal for 2018 in the 2017 annual report) is not the realities of building a business.

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It’s funny because I’m sure a lot of people would replace the word “negative” with “positive” and get the same end result you are looking for (that the feedback comments, both negative and positive, don’t help Monzo in the slightest).

The Monzo Plus thread is a prime example of that.

I’ve already mentioned before, but I don’t think you can give Monzo as much “benefit of the doubt” these days, as you could 2 years ago.

Heck, they are expanding into the US, so clearly they feel they have the ability to do so, which points to them feeling happy about where they are at.

But my point was more that people comment about how Monzo does X or Y better than other banks, and it’s just cherry picking examples to support that thought.

Monzo right now have to watch their pennies, which is why their Plus cards are sub standard (despite people paying for them), and some other factors are in place as a cost saving/money making measure.

To reiterate… I don’t see a problem with this (apart from the Plus card, that should really be better).

I want them to make money, I want them to succeed, I want them to give me access to the best banking app available.

But I’m not going to constantly use the “ahhhh, they are a start up” excuse anymore.

They are a business making business decisions - You can’t have it both way I’m afraid.

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Who criticised them for making money? I think you are reading something that hadn’t been said (I said the opposite in fact).

I was highlighting that other banks have taken the decision to absorb certain costs, which ultimately benefit the customer.

Nearly every time an opportunity like that has arose with Monzo, the cost has been passed on to the customer (again, absolutely fine with me).

So you can’t on the one hand say how transformative they are in banking, despite doing what every other bank has done for decades, and then defend them for being a start up and “needs must”… :man_shrugging:

Again, you’re ignoring that Monzo is not an island in fintech challenger banks. The competition isn’t just legacy banks anymore, arguably it never was.

Full free ATM withdrawals exist on a competing Challenger bank. In fact, for £9 per month Monzo will only increase this to a paltry £400 per month limit - the very definition of, as you put it, “how little we can get away with”

Plus itself is the perfect example of this, objectively not good value for money and that’s ignoring the continuing card quality issues. Customer service standard is nosediving. Platform and account disparity isn’t being fixed at all, never mind quickly. The new app is divisive at best and, in general, is symptomatic of a lack of fresh ideas.

Why then is Monzo expanding? It’s not some noble crusade to liberate the masses enslaved by legacy banks, it’s to make money and grow their business. That’s fine in and of itself, but it becomes problematic when less attention goes to developing a better bank especially when there’s literally other Challenger banks offering much more

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Starling can absorb post office costs because they have established business banking revenues and businesses need to put large sums of cash in more regularly. They also got a 75m grant from the government for business banking.

Paypoint charge Monzo. They pass on the cost. Worth bearing in mind that Monzo don’t want you to deposit cash really. They have always been mobile only. Monzo are skating to where the puck is going (reduction in cash use continuing) rather than where the puck is now.

I do expect PO deposits to come online when business bankings kicks off though

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Continuous development is great, the problem is we are seeing MVP feature releases that do not receive further iteration. SEPA/SWIFT are still MIA, cash payments are infamously bad with Paypoint, cheque payments are a joke and imaging is effectively dropped, categories are still inflexible years after launch, payee details still have no staff assigned and take weeks to months to be fixed (if ever), etc.
Cheque imaging specifically has been stated to be ‘indefinitely delayed’ due to lack of staff, so Monzo are developer limited. Moving into a while new market with a new banking system to integrate will mean resources moved away from polishing existing features in favour of more MVPs.

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I take your point but i do feel the competition is legacies. I think Monzo, Starling, Revolut, N26 can all be successful. Why? Because the pie so god damn enormous. How do you get the pie? Take it off those who already have most of it - legacies.

I see the slow moving legacies (including wealth managers) simply becoming product factories. They do the financial engineering and treasury management. They lose the shop front and ownership of the customer relationship which is transferred to multiple challengers. The customer relationship is super important because if you know your customer well (as the challengers will with their data first approach) then you can sell them well suited products - that’s where the real money is in retail banking.

Lloyds become the cash and carry, the challengers become the news agent. Both can make money but the challengers have taken a big piece of the pie and there’s plenty to go around - especially globally (and in the US - hence the move!).

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Come on, Monzo are the bank of the future and you are going to complain that they don’t do cheques? Cheques should be removed all together across the board IMO. Literally no need for them at all in todays world. And, Monzo are actively skating to where the puck is going (the future of banking) not where the puck is now. Legacies are skating where it is now and that’s why Monzo will succeed IMO.

ps: i know HSBC would absolutely love to remove cheques but for some literally unknown reason people revolt and cheque processsing costs them a fortune

pps: the ice hockey metaphor is Jonas H’s, I believe

I work at a bank and I can tell you the pace that Monzo are moving at is a hell of a lot quicker. What they’ve done in the 4/5 years they been around is amazing, what they do in the next 4/5 years will be even better I’m sure!

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Tom has publicly admitted they screwed Plus up. Fair critique but I don’t feel it should be over generalised to Monzo’s entire approach.

In fact I appreciate the CEO coming out and holding his hands up.

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I work in banks (tech) too and have worked in scale-up as well and concur. This stuff really isn’t easy

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