Monzo Plus: a fresh start with some fresh faces 👇

Hello, I’m Tom :wave:

For a number of reasons, things just haven’t gone the way they should have with Monzo Plus so far this year. And ultimately it’s you, our early adopters, who felt that frustration the most. Thanks for hanging in there and sharing your feedback along the way.

We’re going back to basics and starting from the beginning. While we are fortunate to see our customer base growing faster than ever, it’s important we take steps now to ensure we’re moving towards becoming a sustainable business. One of our biggest opportunities for this is a paid subscription that unlocks more value for our customers and gives us steady revenue in return.

So forget what you know about Monzo Plus, or what we’ve told you. Everything is on the table.

:new: New team, new product, new name?

Last week @Sheri shared an update on how we’re rethinking Monzo Plus thanks to your feedback. Since then, we’ve decided to go one step further and start from the very beginning.

We’ve added some fresh eyes to this project by cycling in some other Monzo team members to approach this challenge.

:wave: Say hello to your team:

  • :man_teacher: Product Manager: Rich Cadman
  • :raising_hand_man:Product Marketer: @tomdavies (:wave:)
  • :woman_health_worker:User Researcher: Naomi
  • :woman_technologist: Designer: Vuokko
  • :woman_scientist:Data Scientist: Francine
  • :business_suit_levitating:Business Analysts: Alicia and Sam
  • :iphone: iOS Engineer: Dylan
  • :iphone: Android Engineer: Brad
  • :construction_worker_man: Backend Engineers: Tim and Constantijn (Tech Lead)

This team will be working :100:% on a paid subscription offering and won’t be splitting their time across any other Monzo initiatives. This is the biggest priority for Monzo over the next few months and we’re committed to getting it right.

Why a new team? Though things didn’t go according to plan, we tried our very best to build something that you would value and be proud of. Some of the team needed a fresh challenge, so it was a natural time to freshen things up. Everyone will be finding other impactful areas in the business to work on.

A smaller, more nimble team can focus hard on the problem until we really need to grow. With that focus, and the fresh perspective we’re bringing in, it’s our best chance of achieving success.

:thinking: What about old Monzo Plus stuff?

We’ll be the first to say that Monzo Plus isn’t the best it could be. And as we work hard to make sure we get it right this time, we want to make sure you aren’t stuck with an offering that doesn’t work for you. If you have an existing subscription and want to cancel, you can at any time by contacting customer support in the app.

This also means we won’t be sending out any swag or holding metal card draws like we had hoped to initially. If you’ve chosen our Supporter bundle, we’ll be automatically refunding the amount you’ve paid in fees plus some interest because you’re missing out on some of the features we offered. I know this is frustrating, but it was a tough decision we had to make so our small team can focus on delivering a paid offering you can really be proud of. We hope you understand.

If you have a Supporter bundle, there’s nothing you need to do. We’ll be following up with all Monzo Plus customers via email with more details in the next week or so.

:bell: Regular updates to our community

We realise that we didn’t work close enough with you over the last few months to make sure you were involved in what was going on. Thank you for being vocal about your thoughts on our direction.

So here’s our plan for making sure you’re involved. Please let me know in a reply if you have other recommendations:

  • :spiral_calendar: Weekly updates - likely on a Thursday, with what we have done throughout the week. We might not always have concrete plans to share, but in those instances we’ll run other stuff by you, hold Q&As with different team members to see what they’re working on, or just let you know what we’ve got planned for the weekend. Rain, hail or shine, you’ll be hearing from us. This is the same stuff we’ll be sharing internally with other teams at Monzo, so you’ll be seeing what everyone sees.

  • :white_circle: Radical transparency, without over-promising - we guarantee to overshare with you, where it makes sense. Below you’ll see our first test, but we’ve redacted some details so we don’t impact the results. There may be some times where we talk about testing certain features in a paid subscription (jetpacks, free haircuts, Monzo card made of pure gold) but keep in mind that for a variety of reasons these can change and might not make it in.

  • :ear: We promise to hear you out, in the context of our 3,000,000 customers - we’ve realised that as our customer base changes, sometimes the most important features for our community aren’t necessarily the most important for our broader customer base. So as much as we love (and encourage) your ideas, we hope you understand that sometimes we need to prioritise features that a majority of our customers will value. We’ll be clear and upfront when this is the case, but this shouldn’t dissuade you from being vocal about the things you really believe should be considered. Our hope is that we can get this balance right together.

:woman_shrugging: Soo… what now?

Excellent question. I’m glad you asked.

We’ve made some great progress in understanding mental models around paid subscriptions. So much so, that we’ve got two things going out soon that we need your help with:

  1. Survey: help us understand how you prioritise different features over each other by completing this short survey.

  2. Smoke test: we’ll tell our customers they’re about to be shown something that doesn’t exist yet to get their feedback. It looks a little like this below, but we’ve removed some of the package details. Head into the app and you might find it. Keep in mind we’re very much testing this stuff out. Any price, feature, design, colour, or flow you see isn’t something we plan on including or excluding from a paid subscription. So ignore those specifics for now.

:memo: The Plan

Our general plan is to test early, and test often. This might be running tests in the app or using other methods like user testing or surveying. Our goal is to make this paid subscription crystal clear for you to understand, valuable for our customers, and sustainable for us as a business.

We’re taking our first steps based on what’s most irreversible. So, right now, we’re focusing less on the exact cards, the exact name, the exact features, or even the number of plans we have. That’s because we think we can change these later. We care more about the direction (such as who is this for and what are the first one or two features) and building a really exceptional product and experience. That’s because it’s harder to recover if we get those wrong.

We’ll make sure to share our plans as they develop. In the meantime, share your ideas in our survey or let your creativity run will with your your thoughts below :point_down:

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This sounds like a great idea.
It takes a lot to admit you didn’t get it quite right, so bravo.

Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with

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Hey @tomdavies - Great update. Let’s hope 3rd (or 4th?) times the charm! :smile:

Have you decided whether the “pick ‘n’ mix” model, or the “bundles” model is going to be the route you are opting for yet?

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This should’ve been done from the very start, but great you’ve decided to go back to the drawing board.

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Great update,

I’m sure it will go down well that the project has had a complete reboot and is starting fresh.

Looking forward to the weekly updates from the team, as I’d really like to see a successful monzo plus model.

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Hey Tom! Thanks for the update, sounds like exactly what the project needs and I’m glad it’s going back to the basics, this is exactly what needed to happen! :slight_smile:

Quick question, the site monzo.com/plus is still active and I assume people are still able to sign up in app, will these be disabled soon?

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I noticed all options to join plus in my app disappear recently

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Fair :slight_smile: I’m still on the early bird so can’t see, however the website is still live as far as I can see!

Great to hear,

I hope the old team don’t feel bad.

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Can I say, looking at the survey I’ve just filled out, it looks more and more likely you’re thinking of hiding budgeting features such as credit card integration or custom categories, behind the Plus ‘paywall’.
Please don’t do this. Add value, don’t remove value from the current app.
I also saw a priority support option in the survey, this is a huge no. All support options should be available to all customers with no priority. Don’t lose your ideals.

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@tomdavies

Why go through all this bother to offer something that will never be as good as the idea of a marketplace where an individual can go in and get whatever they want?

Make Monzo Plus a section of the app where you can purchase add ons plain and simple :man_shrugging:

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I completely agree. Things which would cost Monzo extra, such as Insurance deals or lounge access, or even virtual disposable cards can be put behind Plus features, but it would be a disappointing move indeed if Monzo started putting purely software features behind a paywall.

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I think the selling of the “supporter” type bundles is tacky personally. Any marketing materials should be given away at events or run online give-always on a one-off basis.

Monzo is just a bank, and the exposure Monzo has had now means it’s getting more regular banking customers onboarding, and if they’re anything like some people I know who have recently signed up, they just don’t care about this sort of thing and cannot understand why anyone would pay for it. And I completely agree with them.

I would, however, like to see a marketplace type structure. One product at a time available.

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That was the feeling i got from it also… worrying to say the least.

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Completely agree. You should never have to pay to get support.

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Worrying to see the references to “Improved money management” in the survey. I would implore Monzo to go back to the Marketplace model - for example, offer travel insurance from a variety of providers (perhaps with different cover levels) and take a Monzo cut from the price. This model seems to work well with the Savings Pots!

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Hello Tom.

I want you to seriously answer something for me. Isn’t Monzo Plus just a solution looking for a problem? Isn’t this product just aping what legacy other banks do, rather than innovating? You’ve had to scrap the previous project, which is rather embarrassing. Why restart from the beginning without examining the premise in the first place?

The idea of a random bundle of things that you pay for undermines the value of each of those things. If you have a product to offer - like a metal card - then offer people that product, for a price. Don’t bundle it with a load of stuff that they don’t want. And things like bundled travel insurance undermine the marketplace side of the business, confusing the product offerings in general and confusing the consumer.

Just because the old, legacy banks do this doesn’t mean that Monzo should.

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I’m currently paying for the early bird with travel insurance. Luckily the interest is covering part of it but I’m slightly annoyed I never got an email when bundles got launched.

Hopefully 3rd time lucky

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Thanks @tomdavies :hot_coral_heart:

Gang, it’s worth remembering we’re restarting and getting the pulse of the people who fill out these surveys and that:

Just because it’s mentioned, it doesn’t mean it will be a thing

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I understand that, but you’ve also got to understand that even mentioning things like monetising premium support is worrying. To put it in the survey means Monzo have considered it…

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