Monzo Plus - Weekly Update 27 September 2019 📣

Monzo Plus - Weekly Update 26 September 2019 :mega:

Hello again :wave:

Firstly, I apologise for the delay getting this update to you. We had planned on posting yesterday but I was a little under the weather. Better now, so here’s your update!

Thanks for your ideas and discussion on our first update earlier in the week.

This week we had a couple of goals. Firstly, we wanted to make sure we addressed the frustration felt by existing Plus customers and ensure we had a plan for them moving forward. More on that below. Secondly, we wanted to get our first smoke test live in the app to see if there was enough guidance on customer preference to give us confidence on our direction.

:test_tube:Test, test, test.

This week we ran our first test. Though we got some great insights, testing alone isn’t a great measure of what will and won’t work for customers. We’ll take what we’ve learned from our discussion in the forum, the feature survey, and our first test to apply moving forward.

:bowing_man:‍♂Analysing the results

We’re still processing all of the results, but here’s a few learnings from the community survey. For example:

  • 54% of community members don’t have a packaged account, whereas it’s 67% for the rest of the user base
  • 20% of those of you with a packaged account have Nationwide FlexPlus, whereas it’s 12% for the rest of the user base
  • 35% of those of you with a packaged account have an Amex, whereas it’s 20% for the rest of the user base

We asked you what you expect from a Monzo Premium account and 45% of you said a mix of insurance and money management / customisation features.


In terms of what purpose you wanted a premium account to serve, all of the following got above 30% response:

  • An account that rewards you with cashback and points
  • An account that helps you get more out of Monzo
  • An account that helps you travel more easily
  • An account that helps you budget and guards against risk.


We’ll keep processing the results. And we’ll make sure to keep some of the learnings in mind as we try to build something all Monzo customers can get value out of.

:ship:Shipping more polished things

We’ve also taken on your feedback about shipping our products too early for testing. We want to get the balance right between involving you early, but also ensuring what you see meets your expectations. We’ll likely spend more time rounding the edges and adding some polish to our new iterations of Monzo Plus before you see them.

:tickets:More clarity for existing customers

As we covered on our first post earlier in the week, we’ll be giving everyone the chance to cancel their existing Monzo Plus subscription if they like. If you’re happy with your package, you can keep it until it ends without any worries.

If you want more detail on your options with your current Monzo Plus package, we’ve posted them here.

:point_right:Next week

Next week we’ll take learnings from the test, survey and forum, and turn them into an initial proposal to debate internally. We’ve pulled out the top themes from your feedback, so thanks again for sharing your ideas and preferences. We’ll use this to decide what we test next.

We’re also looking into new card and packaging designs, some of which are VERY exciting :eyes:

Talk soon!

28 Likes

A good update, thanks, hope you are feeling better!

Interesting that you are sticking with ‘test first’ approach. Do you have any business focussed deliverables internally? Anything look at ROI? Market place analytics etc? Just curious. I see Plus is a key part of the Monzo offering moving forward but wary that it’s built around functionality first just so you have something to test.

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One thing I’d ask you to keep in mind is that while users may have voted that they’d want to get more out of monzo with a premium account I’m sure they’d rather not have to pay for it.

Of course they’d expect more if they were paying.

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Thanks for the update, great to hear these are going to be more frequent than before as well!

In terms of new cards, please make sure the quality of them are better than the existing ones, that was a big mistake before, I’m sure we don’t want that debacle again :slight_smile:

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Thanks for update! What about quality of new cards? From same supplier? Or ?

Why would someone pay a premium for budgeting features when that is kinda what Monzo ethos is anyway?

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Joint accounts also need to be considered as the other packaged accounts give the benefits to both account holders in a joint account so Monzo should offer the same.

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They can’t get it right for single accounts with 1 person, nevermind a joint account with twice the complexity.

One step at a time :laughing:

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Great to see but I had to cancel my subscription as I was paying for something I wasn’t using but looking forward to seeing what happens next

If monzo offered a full money management system (think YNAB etc.) I’d pay a monthly fee for that.

I would not pay a monthly fee for a couple extra ‘money management’ features that don’t really add a significant improvement over all the money management options out there.

What monzo offers right now is pretty basic. As above :point_up: If they offered a full money management service that would be worth paying for.

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I’d also pay a reasonable amount for full-featured forecasting & reporting features.
I think budgetting features should, as they do now, feature in the core app and be available to everyone though.

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I have to agree with @RJMagoo - the one thing missing from this is that a lot of people on FlexPlus get so much value because they can run it as a joint account.

Whilst I’m no longer considering Plus after the history to date, it is good to see someone finally grabbing the bull by the horns and making some effort to regularly touch base with the community so good on you @tomdavies and team. (But if I’m gonna give you that praise, I hope to God you’re not gonna be locking down threads on a weekly basis to make new ones - surely it makes sense to keep it in one thread!).

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The idea of any features of the app at all being locked behind a paywall is somewhat troubling to me. Personally, I switched to Monzo because the app was better than any other bank’s app, and the categorisation features made it very easy to see at a glance where I was spending my money. To me, the app is what made Monzo the best choice. If it wasn’t a good app, I wouldn’t have switched. If it wasn’t a good app, no one would have switched since that’s literally the entire offering.

The biggest downside to Monzo right now is the lack of interest. That’s the (literal) price you pay for being a Monzo customer. The idea of then being charged to use the feature which brings people to Monzo in the first place feels a little insulting and money grabbing.

Additionally, if any features are behind a subscription/paywall, then that opens the door to competitors offering the same features for free. Why would I pay Monzo money when I could use something like YNAB and keep accounts at other banks which pay interest?

Currently, Monzo plus definitely feels like it’s for Monzo, not for customers. Obviously everything needs to be mutually beneficial, but it doesn’t feel that way right now and I think that’s going to hurt more than it helps in the long run.

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Can I briefly complain about the series labels used in your charts? :stuck_out_tongue:

image

This is as useful as a chocolate teapot when you truncate long labels and they all have the same prefix!

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The full labels are just below the table…?

image

Edit: You’re welcome

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I’m aware, but it’s still a pain! You have to look at the graph to visualise the amount, then look down to work out what the choice was supposed to be :stuck_out_tongue:

Tempting, but expensive…

I came here to say this too. As far as I’m aware, the new nav only ever had one thread until it was launched and it was the most productive and engaged part of the community for a long time. The fact that Plus conversations keep getting split into different threads just feels like the team are trying to bury certain lines of questioning/feedback. :tired_face:

Also, I still think the format of the questionnaire was biased. The whole thing was built around the premise that we’re asking for a premium package/bundle. I can see this data being used in a few weeks time, under a new thread titled “We’ve listened to your feedback, so we’ve created premium bundles!” :neutral_face:

I thought we were getting a fresh start this time, as in, discussing the possibilities of what Monzo Plus could be? Why is the marketplace that people keep asking for still being shunned as a concept? It’s why I and many others got excited in the first place… :thinking:

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Hello @tomdavies, thanks for the update. I have a few comments:

Here’s my serious worry; the new Monzo Plus becomes a land-grab for a bunch of very useful features, all becoming stashed behind a paywall. Many many people in the old thread voiced the same concerns (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16)). While I’m thankful that you seem to have dropped any mention of “premium support” from this post, the fact that budgeting remains here is troubling.

You’ve asked people if they want better control over their finances in many of the questions:

  • Customization (Ex. custom categories…)
  • More visibility (Ex ability to connect credit cards)
  • Features that help you manage your money better (weekly summary, ability to spend from pots)
  • A Monzo account with improved money management features…
  • A premium account that helps you budget…

Well, guess what, of course people want better control of their finances! But that doesn’t mean that this should be behind a paywall, nor that those people really endorse having those features behind a paywall. They just want the features!

Not so long ago your CEO @tom wrote the following about the Monzo Mission

Finally, there’s ‘for everyone’. In part, this is about the scale of our ambition: the next generation of banks will serve a billion people. But it’s also about inclusion and our social mission.

So right now we’re building the best bank account we possibly can. One that gives you instant control over your money, helps you budget better, and doesn’t hit you with unfair fees when you spend money abroad or exceed your overdraft limit.

And that’s something that should be available to everyone. Too many people struggle to get access to banking services because they’ve been in debt, or they’ve just arrived in the country, or they’ve had a tough time in life. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to take control of their financial life, without exorbitant fees or the stress of dealing with complex faceless systems.

To build a business that can achieve these goals, we need to turn a profit. But we won’t take every chance to make money; we only want to benefit when our customers do too.

The fact is that better money management impacts the poorest the most. If you put proper budgeting tools, better financial management, and other related features behind a paywall, you violate the company’s own stated code of providing these to all Monzo’s customers.

To put these features within Monzo Plus would feel to many like they were being hoarded, perhaps only to rescue a twice defeated product line, and directly against the tenets of the company mission. Please do not.

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Thanks Tom and team for the update - and good to see a significant (1,000+) number of respondents. I do still worry about the bias that your survey may have prompted though, with slightly vague options - please do consider embracing external research agencies in this. Money spent up front now may pay dividends in 6 months!

To peoples points around paying for extra features; I share some of the same concerns - but I think it is fair to charge a fee for features that cost significant time / space to develop, or add a significant value to the individual. A fully fledged budgeting tool would be that in my view. I pay annually for YNAB, if you could match that, I’d pay for that with Monzo for sure. But I think the important point is separating the features between ‘basic expectation of a modern bank’ vs ‘significant added value’.

Anyway, appreciate the updates here - would be great to get more clarity on the refund situation, as it’s still not clear or seemingly consistent what’s happening there.

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Premium users must feel that they are beeing special for their bank. It might cost even 49.99£ but it should include stuff like: 24/7 1 minute chat response time, 24/7 phone consultant. It should not only be help in case of issues but it should allow to call and ask to make money transfer - what could be usefull being offline or driving.
I am really not interested in buying third party insurances and services I can buy directly, even with X% off. Last time I used luggage on airport it costem me one time 20£.
Metal card, or/and maybe NFC payment ring?
Much higher limits how much you can withdraw from cash machine? Free withdraws abroad
Hardware token as second factor to make money transfer from app?
Additional card connected to pots? Maybe as premium user you could allow to get “free” card connected to any of pots if requested

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