Not sure we are going to see that here. With a much higher transaction’s fee, banks in the US can afford to give cashback and other perks. In Europe these charges are so low, it’s hard for banks to offer the same.
It should never be fully baked. Monzo applies iterative software development pronciples. There will always be room for improvement and the weekly releases allow for this. Monzo’s objective is to make money work for everyone. They’ve always had their sights set on a billion customers. They don’t claim to have the perfect product right now or ever. The whole approach is do it quickly and continuously improve. Running a business with over 2m customers and 200,000 more every month is tough. They have to scale otherwise there is no Monzo as the funding will dry up and you’ll never have the features you want. It’s not a crusade at the detriment of features, it’s good business sense to grow - growth attracts capital, capital allow features
Well said. Anyone who works in IT development would understand that a product is always under development and the roadmap is long. There are always projects to work on and sometimes it feels your team is understaffed but at the same time needs to remain sustainable financially.
Absolutely, and if they did achieve the perfect product, or claimed to have finished it, there’d be little need for this forum…
I feel like a hypothetical discussion about what tech companies do or do not do dodges the point.
Saying “it should never be fully baked” isn’t mutually exclusive from “I would like Monzo to fix Joint Accounts, Plus and finish rolling out Business Accounts/bringing parity to iOS/Android before shifting attention to expansion.”
In fact, Monzo innovated and brought many features fast and early, just a few years ago, but have slowed to a crawl, falling behind competition on Joint Accounts, Business Accounts and unique benefits.
Ultimately this is neither here nor there, but there seems to be a group of Investors who are more interested in seeing the business more profitable than having a better personal bank. That’s fine, but there’s always going to be those in this community who simply want the latter.
Yes, Monzo can and will improve. Keep providing feedback on the features you would like. No one is debating that.
I’m highlighting that the expansion makes sense in order to speed up those features you’d like. Y Combinator are investing 100m for a reason. That 100m will in-part likely pay the staff to improve the joint account. It’s all a balance. I’m also highlighting that Monzo are working towards their long term strategy effectively. You can’t accuse them of being untrue to themselves in expanding. Tom has spoken about the US for years.
In one of his recent interviews on the US Tom said 95% of effort is on the UK business. I think it’s unlikely any JA plans are on ice due to the US. As far as i’m aware they have a small separate “special projects” team which is set up to define the early stages of the more expansive work. There’s likely a completely separate product manager prioritising the JA backlog and devs allocated to it. Those resources are unlikely to be pulled off JA. Monzo have been well aware they are expanding to America for some time and I would expect that they have hired for this. Hiring decisions have to be commercial. Am i going to hire another dev at £75k a year to speed up JA features by 5%? 9 women can’t have a baby in 1 month. Am i going to hire 5 devs at 75k each for a US launch, yes because the commercials make sense - if that launch succeeds they more than pay for themselves. In short, I hope to ease your concerns that JA is the sacrificial lamb for the US and show how some of the thinking might work having worked in a similar environment/FinTech.
Your last para is strawmanning. I’m not being loyal for loyal’s sake.
Agreed that’s quite interesting. Although they say “no overdraft fees” because there is no overdraft and it’s a key selling point to have none. This sounds like false representation to us but I’ve seen other US challengers market “no overdraft fees” too when there is no overdraft available (especially Chime) so it’s probably seen as acceptable to say and the meaning is understood by consumers.
In the UK that would get taken apart and moaned about by all the clever clogs (clever clog’s, clever clogses?) but in the US they’re just happy to stop getting ripped off by their legacy bank!
Maybe it means no unauthorised overdraft fee?
I wonder if the UK and USA version will ever integrate somehow?
My girlfriend is American and I spend a lot of time in America, if splitting bills with her was as easy as splitting with my UK flat mate this would be a dream come true - imagine a Transferwise-esque situation where I send my girlfriend money, it doesn’t actually cross borders, it leaves my UK Monzo, and Monzo USA credits her acc in the USD$ equivalent.
Basically bitcoin without the drama lol
I think its fine to have a different offering in different markets. If, through research, Monzo have determined a zero % overdraft will really win over US customers then fine. Doesn’t mean they have to offer parity in the UK. Just like interest on savings accounts are different all around the world. Theoretical example, if Monzo offer 1.5% on interest here and 1% in the US. Would you accept a US customers claim that both the UK and US should have 1.25%? Different markets will have different lead features.
As has been mentioned elsewhere, in the US Monzo can make more per transaction than in Europe. It’s common for US banks to offer more perks because of this increased revenue via transactions.
Monzo will compete with the market in front of them. Here they need to be better than Lloyds, for example, in the US they need to be better than Chase, for example - where Monzo’s offering lands depends on the customer and competitor landscape and not on a theoretical equality with UK customers
So an entire new market means thousands and thousands of new merchants to enrich
I read elsewhere on this forum that uk-us integration is on the roadmap
Oh lord! They will need to hire a team just for that.
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!
Access to joint accounts in 1 month. Basic offering and will be developed over time based on your feedback
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
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.
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…