Monzo Plus: Thoughts on Design

So Monzo Plus is here. And I thought it’d be good to have a thread to discuss design! And, by which, I mean a much more expansive use of the word - this isn’t visual design, but how the whole app hangs together.

Let me start by being honest: I’ve been not quite sure about Plus. I think that some of the features show promise even if they are currently under-baked (open banking, looking at you), but more than that, I think some of the design choices are a bit off. I think it fundamentally feels a bit too much like a bolt on, that’s not integrated with the core Monzo experience. Let me explain:

The Monzo Plus Tab

I see the attraction of the Monzo Plus tab, but it feels wrong to me.

The top bit of the tap is about ‘getting started’. But I’ve got started now - and I’m not sure of the utility - it’s just in the way.

The bottom part (the list of features) feels confused. The way that it works differs according to features so, for example, you can:

  • tap on the “Holographic card” and just get some info that you tap to dismiss
  • tap “Offers” to access features that aren’t available in any other part of the app
  • find links to other parts of the app (including the very confusing “advanced roundups” one - which just takes me to my roundup pot without any other explanation or how to enable that features).

So I think the Plus tab is a fail. It’s a nice idea, but another card in the carousel (like “Things you can do with Monzo” might have been a better option to help users discover functionality. If there’s going to be a tab, it feels like there needs to be some tighter design language and consistency in approach.

Monzo is an account not a card!

Speaking of the card carousel, I think this is where the real problem lies - and exposes some inconsistencies in the design approach and language.

For me, the biggest issue is with the representation of the Monzo current account in the app. The account is represented by the card. And this reinforces the idea that one card = one account. (And may even subconsciously reinforce the idea in users’ minds that Monzo is just a spending card, but I digress).

Why is this a problem? For two reasons:

  • It means that virtual cards have been hidden at the bottom of the accounts list. Really they should be the same level as the hierarchy as a physical card - there’s just a different way of spending money in the same account. So one account = 2 (or more cards). The current design seems to be struggling with that.

  • It also means that really useful information about the account is hidden, because the physical representation of the card takes priority. For connected cards, you get the sort code and account number on the card in Monzo - both really useful things. For the Monzo account, you get a partly obfuscated card number that is literally of no use. (And is also illogical given that Plus doesn’t have card numbers on the front any more).

There are some other smaller issues that I won’t dwell on (like the custom category creator - it looks beautiful, but I’m not convinced of the utility of having just one scrolling line for icons - there’s space below to see many more) - instead, let’s consider how Monzo might fix these.

A possible solution?

I think an elegant solution might be to just change the hierarchy of the ‘cards’ in the app. What does this mean?

Firstly, the Monzo ‘card’ should represent the account as a whole. Let users choose and image or colour for it (including hot coral and Revolut Plus). Put the sort code and account number on it for commonality with connected accounts. That’s your master feed, showing transactions for all cards as well as bank transfers, direct debits, cash deposits etc.

Then sub-cards (like we have currently on Pots) for each card - be it physical or virtual. That makes it easier to see spend. If you can hook Pots and virtual cards together all the better (if it’s too difficult otherwise, use the same trick for bills pots: pay from main account then immediately transfer from the pot).

Kill your darling! That means removing the Plus tab. Integrate the design elements so it’s not a bolt on - Google Sheets export to settings, virtual cards to the accounts / pots screen; offers maybe a card on the carousel…

What we have at the moment is a good first start (and kudos to the team). But I think it needs iterating - and might open up some exciting design avenues.


I fully agree with this, but I’m wondering if the ‘bolted-on’ look is intentional as Plus is effectively bolted-on to the Current Account.

Making it look this way makes it more obvious as to what you will lose if you do cancel it I guess?

Still preferred the integrated look and feel that you mention as I’m not planning on cancelling Plus anytime soon, just trying to think why they might have done it that way in the first place.


I agree with most of what you say, except in relation to the plus tab.

I like having a single interface pane to find and access all the features I’m paying for. I know where to find them. It’s also easily the best designed tab in the app, and the good UI elements from it need to be rolled out to the rest of the app.

I worry that if they ditch the plus tab and integrate the features you’re paying extra for throughout the app it’ll make for a confusing and frustrating experience. And if I can’t easily locate and use the features I’m paying it diminishes the value and I’d be less likely to pay for it. Removing the plus tab could work, so long as there is another unified way somewhere in the app that’s easy to get to and makes sense that displays all of the features I’m paying for, with shortcuts to where I can access and use those features.


Can I probe you a bit on this? Are you talking visual design (I agree it looks nice)? I think my concern is in the inconsistency of how the various elements in it work (I’m using ‘design’ in the broader sense of ‘how everything hangs together’).

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So I left a reply on the original plus group. I was a plus never in the failed attempt earlier in the year. Found it a complete waste of time. This one seems to offer nothing meaningful either against what u can get free elsewhere. It’s such a shame because I used to be a big advocate for Monzo but I won’t be staying I’m afraid.

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Definitely think the category creation needs improving.

Scrolling through one line for the icons is maddening and pointless when you could see a huge grid below to pick from easily.

I would also like far more colours please given how many possible categories I can create.


Yes I’m talking in visual design. The UI elements make for some really pleasing eye candy.

I’m also fan of card style UI elements too, as they demonstrate hierarchy to the content, which is both more pleasing to look at as you scroll down the list of features, and makes it easier to decipher between separate items in the list and which area is tappable.
The back button is one key element here that feels modern and looks nicer too, compared to the rest of the app.

The accounts overview pane uses a similar aesthetic, but every element is individual rather than grouped, which is just as nice, but inconsistent. The transaction feed lacks this UI completely, which is where that layout would work best. The payments tab separates and groups section in a similar way, but it’s all a single flat layer, which is another inconsistency.

Monzo seem to take a different approach to UI design in every tab, and I would like to see them unify that and stick to a single layout design app-wise. I think the plus tab is the nicest one they’ve made that also respects real estate, and so I would like to see them apply that layout to the rest of the app. It feels like a natural evolution to the accounts overview interface, but more compact, modern, and with better contrast between the foreground and background.


I agree with pretty much everything (Except offers in the carousel, please don’t clutter that up!)

The current state - it becomes a mishmash of how Monzo treat various bits of info - and generally exacerbates the problem of finding info quickly in the App. There’s so many times I search help for the feature I want for a direct link to the part of the app with the settings in, because of that problem.

The Carousel

Is now a confusing mix of different levels of Data:

  • Main Account
    • Pots (or rather Sub Account Data)
  • Joint Accounts
    • Their Pots
  • External Accounts [repeat]

This scroll is super long and then doesn’t show the full info of my actual main account - as you say Virtual Cards are missing - which as a #FullMonzo user, the virtual card on my Main Monzo account will holds a higher value/status to me, than my 3rd connected account.

Which brings me to:

Accessing Card Details - for both the main and Virtual cards - this is a confusing workflow, and for some reason now separate for both. Why can’t I see my CVV number of my Main Card?

Why is the flow to get to my vCard details as long as it is?

Solution: Give V-cards a Place in the carousel, and let that place be customisable in the list like Pot Order is.

Potential Future Problem: If Pay from Pot ever comes, I can see a world where you can see your VCard in this way, and have the pot hovering infront of it (like on a main account Pot, you see your pot behind). There will be some interesting account structure things to deal with when dealing with the heirarchy of accounts>

Custom Categories

The creation criteria is a really slow process - I suggested this before, but do an Emoji-keyboard style layout. Maybe even use lineal versions of emoji. But easy search and categorisation is great there.

Allow Custom Colours too - give me a colour picker, if I’m going to have up to 50 categories, I’ll probably want to play with colour schemes better.

The category picking screen is also sub optimal; If 50 categories is the theoretical max, plus the 13 existing, that means on a large phone screen, where I can see 16 at a time, I’m going to have to scroll 4 full pages of icons to find the category, so this I think needs some tweaking.

The point is, both these processes add a bit of friction - and categorising stuff should be as simple as possible.

Sub Categories would help here - allows better grouping from a searching point of view, and also allows more precise categorisation.

Or alternatively smaller icons, text search, etc.

On the same theme - unless I am looking in completely the wrong place - the only way you can create categories is in a transaction page - my point being “management” of my finances, and the structure of stuff like this, I would do at a bigger picture level, and not piece-meal with each transaction.

I think personally this needs to be accessbile elsewhere too… which brings me to…

Budgets / Spending Summary.

Hasn’t really had any love in Plus, which is a shame. The thing that custom categories is really missing, is proper pairing with a solid budgeting foundation - and I don’t think the Monzo solution fits the mark.

Again I find the flow to get to spending summary cumbersome. In this section of the app is where I imagine management of all data related stuff would sit. Category Management would ideally live in here, and be a bit more feature rich.

Budgets can include custom categories, which is great, but there isn’t much by the way of insightful data to go with it - which I would really like to see in this feature set billed as “advanced budgeting”.

Overall, I think there is a fair amount of polish that’s gone into the app - but I think some of the function hasn’t been considered as well as it needs to be.

I compare what Monzo does in the realm of Budgeting to YNAB - another paid service I use - and they could honeslty look to them for inspiration of getting the function nailed down well.


Really insightful - thanks for sharing those thoughts.

This struck me as the key point and something that I’d struggled to articulate properly:

I wonder if you would just bond a pot with a virtual card - so there is just one card in the carousel that represents both? So the hierarchy would be:

  • Monzo account
    • Physical card (filter on main account?)
    • Virtual card (filter on main account?)
    • Pot 1
    • Pot 2 / virtual card bonded combination.

I probably need to think about this a bit more - the master account makes sense and is desirable to me (but needs to be decoupled from the physical card). I wonder if filters for transactions from individual cards are the way to go, with controls for those cards on those filters…

Hmm, thinking time (later).


I think that would be the most sensible future state.

As of right now the Primary Account == Primary Card, that either leads to a place where everything is an offshoot of the main card, where as I think the ideal place is that everything is an offshoot of the main account. But you’d also then need a better demarkation between Personal Account and Joint.

I guess if the pot linking does become a possibility - then potentially either the Pot or the VCard needs to be able to be both “Child” to the account, and sometimes “Parent” to what ever way round you link them. So I guess items need to be interchangable in their heirarchy.

Though I guess all of that will lead to questions of how do you prioritise and order the way they are shown.


IMO and I keep saying it, Joint accounts should be split off the same way in which Business and US accounts are! They’re a different account!

If they ever do this then I’ll get one but my overview page and carousel are long enough anyway, don’t need joint in there too


@Peter_G Thanks for your detailed feedback! You’ve raised some really great points and I’ll make sure to share them with the team.

We added the Plus tab to make sure you can find all of your features, but we’re definitely exploring other ways we could solve this in the future.

As an aside, I was a little confused while reading this topic, because internally we use “carousel” to refer to a different UI element :sweat_smile: (the messages which sometimes appear just above the feed).

Also, it’s fun to see a discussion about how virtual cards could fit into the app. It’s a tricky one :slight_smile:


I was struggling with what to call the swipy card thing at the top of the screen! What do you call it internally? :joy:

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Good question! I think quite a few of us are still calling it “new nav”… :sweat_smile:


I know that there are issues with having Virtual Cards pay out of a specific pot but when they get over that hurdle then I would like them to just merge the concept of pots and virtual cards. Instead of having to create a virtual card one should just be created when making a pot and then you should have an option of limiting it just to the balance in the pot or allow it to draw from main balance.


Technically the name for that UI component would be “home cards” :grimacing:


I’m not sure if this is the right thread, but this is the one that seems to focus on the design of Plus, and this is such a small detail I’ve noticed it wouldn’t be worth creating a separate thread.

I’m not sure if anyone else has picked up on this. But the green gradient hue background for plus in app is similar to the way the Monzo logo on the plus card reflects light. It has a sort of green gradient shimmer to it that’s reminiscent of the gradient background in the app. I’m not sure if that was intentional. But it’s a nice touch to the UI.

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I’ve not read the comments / thread.

I’ve gone for Monzo Plus to support the business and the vision. I think there should be a monthly charge for all users. It’s worth it.

Anyway. The new card. Love the simplicity and the way the info is on the back. Can’t we have this in coral pink though. I love the coral and it’s a talking point for the brand overall. It’s enough for the details to be on the back.

Keep up the good work.


I like the features of it and if you use some of the perks/discounts it probably works out cheaper that getting them individually. I do agree with the Idea that the card isn’t the account, and should be able to be changed to one of the gradients you get for the virtual cards, or even a photo. While we are talking about the card design I get why they went with the blue it’s a pretty safe choice, but hot coral is the brands colour! When they were on the front of WIRED a few months back it was all hot coral! I think the foil MONZO in the corner is enough to show it’s a plus card. Although maybe it doesn’t matter what the physical card looks like, I use ApplePay 95% of the time. It would be interesting to know what others think on this.

From a logistics point of view, Monzo then have to order/store/allocate those different colours. “Oh that’s not the colour I ordered” “I don’t like it, can I have that instead?” More hassle. More headaches.

As for photos, I can’t believe you want this as an option and then mention branding!

Photos on cards of the customers choosing looks horrific in 99% of cases. This should be avoided at all costs.

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