Monzo, Where to next?


(Tristan) #1

As an investor I would be interested in hearing from other investors on the short to long term goals you think monzo should aim for?

I’ve been following monzo for at least year and have started to pick up on what monzo does well as opposed to things I wish it did, or wish it did better, here are my thoughts, I would be interested in hearing yours.


Monzo - 2019 - Will it Thrive or Fail?
Monzo - 2019 - Will it Thrive or Fail?
(Tristan) #2

Monzo’s central pitch is that it’s not like an ordinary bank, and that it aims to be a financial hub or market that directs users to hopefully helpful products and services from insurance to money transfers to gas/electric, and hopefully have this all accessible from the Monzo’s app.

The thing is all the other banks are vertically integrated for a reason… It’s profitable. That’s why you have Santander mortgages, savings, insurance, loans, ISA’s etc… and more or less the same at Barclays at least when it comes to retail banking offers.

My concern is that to act as a financial hub they’re literally at the mercy of third party integration, where either you make an API available for other businesses to build their offers for monzo’s to resell or the other way around where you use their API to integrate their offers in the monzo’s app, this can be slow and difficult process that may take years to see any meaningful traction and it’s definitely less profitable to resell someone else’s offer than providing your own, but in the long run it can be much more scalable and potentially more profitable.

Only this financial marketplace integration effort takes time, lots of it, and time is money. I think this is why they are starting to make direct financial services and offers e.g. monzo loans, available to try and slow down the rate of capital bleed and show some sort of profit, which is difficult because Monzo’s needs more customers (profitability will only occur at scale) to do that but requires more investment to support the growth and more operational capital to sustain it, hence the recent crowdfunding.

Tom Bloomfield mentioned they want to focus on building this marketplace but I think it’s a mistake not to have Monzo have its own offers as well.

Monzo needs to offer everything from loans to pet insurance.

I also think it’s a shame that monzo is so closely mentioned as a app only bank suited to millennials… There’s a lot of traditional banking customers that prefer to do their banking online, rather than trying to squint at a phone. Yes, banking notifications are great on your phone, but most people I know use a web browser to look at their finances, not a phone or tablet. Monzo’s online functionality is terribly limited, it can’t be too difficult to offer the same functionality on a web browser.

Monzo’s customer service is great, but people’s access to banking and finances is so critical that most friends interested, immediately switch off when they learn there’s no call centre, sometimes people just want human reassurance, instead of text messages, monzo need to provide that.

In short I think monzo needs to focus on its long term goals of acting like a financial marketplace, but in the interim it needs to be a bit more like a standard retail and business bank and even be a little boring, a bit less risky, and be an appealling Banking solution for everyone and not just niche millennials in London that are never to far from their phones, who’s biggest trick so far is splitting the coffee bill. They must widen their appeal.


(Only available in amateur ) #3

I think if you just look at the forum that assumption is not correct


#4

Monzo obviously want to be profitable in 2019 and start making money. For me as a customer, 2019 is Monzo’s year for refinement, improving their existing features and then moving into other features e.g cheque imaging which will round off the current account and make them 100% equal to high street banks


(Tony) #5

Dear God, no.


(Edward) #6

As a niche millennial never far from my phone, I’d much rather use Monzo on an actual computer. I use it in spite of it being app-only, not because of it.


(Tristan) #7

I really don’t mean that in any derogatory manner, I’m a millennial myself and am never far from my phone. I simply argue that if they wish to achieve their stated goal of a billion customers it’s got to have much wider appeal, and be more accessible.


#8

Not directly they don’t. Their model is to be your financial hub, so rather than offer these services they’ll partner with other companies, similar to how the savings accounts work


(Tristan) #9

I agree there shouldn’t be any traditional banking service that Monzo can’t provide that a legacy bank can.


(Tristan) #10

Does it have to be a binary option, either directly provide loans or partner to resell other offers. Where they can provide a compelling competitive service they should, there’s no reason they can’t do both.


#11

Sure no reason why they can’t but not providing their own savings accounts suggest that they wont be providing many services directly themselves


(Only available in amateur ) #12

You’re entire argument seems to be ‘why aren’t Monzo being exactly the same as every other bank’. How would that make Monzo worth using?


#13

I would like to see monzo start online banking (not just the emergency site). I know the app is of course the main focus but I always worry that if I was to loose my phone or it was broken, I would have extremely limited access to my account until I was able to get another phone. @edzieba has a point, I’m sure a lot of people would rather use online banking a lot of the time, but it would also add another layer of reassurance that my account would always be accessible in any event.

Also, vertical cards :stuck_out_tongue: I went there!


#14

I just want Monzo to flesh out what they have currently released.

Better (or no) pulse.
Better pots.
Better payments.
Better layout of app.
Better IFTTT options.
Better website.
Better methods of paying cash in (hint, hint, moan, moan).


(Tristan) #15

When I need a mortgage, my first thought won’t be Monzo?

A Business loan, or business account? Nope.
A ISA? No.
A joint account. No.
Junior account for my kids. No.
Finance for a car. No.
SIP pension. No
Building insurance. No
Life assurance. No

Why because all monzo do is make a great app, good customer service and push notifications, loads of other small features and no currency exchange fees. Which is all nice, but does not fufill most people’s general financial requirements.

Now as an investor I’m expecting a return on my investment not really in it for the feel good factor, so that requires a profitable company, you get there by offering products and services that people want at a competitive price.

Im not saying why isn’t monzo like every other bank, because that would be terrible, I’m asking why are they not planning to directly offer these services in addition to their financial market/hub plans, a financial hub is not really a hub if it just offers loans and savings.


(Nathan) #16

I also would love some refinements and thankfully some are already under way:

  • Pots (layout, custom images, more savings/lisa options)

  • Payee Screen (multiple accounts linked and better layout)

  • Remove pulse and make summary actually useful


(Only available in amateur ) #17

Why can’t you get a joint account? They’ve been available for months
Business accounts are coming this year.
Children’s accounts might be part of this family account
They have full permissions to manage most kinds of ISAs
Insurance will be through integrations which will get some revenue for Monzo

Mortgage I haven’t seen plans for but would require a huge amount of capital up front


(Tristan) #18

Agreed, my question is why? I’m trying to understand the reasoning behind this. Direct offers are way more profitable. That’s why Tesco’s offer groceries from third parties and their own brand version as well, because it’s profitable.


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #20

I think the answer is capital requirements and Bank of England requirements for tier 1 capital - the more “risk” the bank takes on the more capital they would have to hold in reserve - the latest funding round is mere pocket change in all honesty , they only have so much funding for running the company, and then a small loan book for the same reason , to then open up more risk is something I think they would need to seriously consider at this stage of their development- along with costs of a european licence in Ireland , together with the USA application and funds get spread quite thinly without taking the risk of mortgages etc etc

much as I would like to see Monzo expand their income streams more rapidly they are doing just fine at the moment :slight_smile:


( related to Monzo CEO, Investor in Monzo ) #21

I believe Tier 1 capital levels are different for different Banks ( logically different risks ?? ) don’t know what Monzo tier 1 capital requirements are - can’t remember seeing it anywhere