Monzo's Tone of Voice

I just saw this on the website and wanted to see what you thought of it - Monzo – Tone of Voice

I do understand what Monzo is going for with the use of emoji and the use of “normal” words, but I think it was one of the reasons I never fully trusted this bank. They made me feel like they weren’t very professional and that if faced with an actual issue, they might not have the expertise to help, despite knowing that they clearly have the expertise (I know this is contradictory, but it’s kind of like a feel vs fact sort of scenario - I know as a fact that they have the expertise but I feel like I can’t totally trust them). Emojis just strike me as being childish and not very serious which isn’t something I want from a bank.

In terms of the “normal” words, a lot of the time it comes across as if they are trying to be friends with you for some reason but this isn’t what I want from a bank. I want something professional that formal words help with.

I know some people will like the less formal language but for me, it reduces the level of trust I have in Monzo.

What do you make of Monzo’s tone of voice?


You need to make it accessible to as many as possible.

Why does professional have to mean using a longer word than you’d use normally?

The tone of voice is one of the things I like most about Monzo


I would agree with making it accessible, but most of the language that other banks use (and Monzo says not to use) is still accessible. For me, it’s as if Monzo is trying to fix a problem that doesn’t really exist.


To you it is accessible but other people have different needs

Do you find the language Monzo uses to be unclear or confusing?


I find it clear, but unprofessional which isn’t what I want from a bank.

Do you have an issue with the language other banks use?

Sorry about that!


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I don’t tend to read it. It’s too long winded, stuffy and boring. Not that Monzo’s is exciting but at least you can skim read it quickly

I can see how if someone has a fixed idea of what is professional and how banks should communicate then the difference could be off putting. But it’s clear from sign up the style Monzo takes


I would disagree. Most of the banks I have seen are quite basic wording and straight to the point. Even the terms and conditions of the accounts I have looked at are straight forward and at the same time, professional.

The banks that use formal, rather than human language, have a habit of screwing you over at every opportunity. One of the things that’s set Monzo apart is that they speak to you like your peers - who you can trust - and they treat you with the same care that a person, not a corporation, would.


I guess this is just a difference of opinion.

My bank isn’t my peer. It isn’t a friend. It is a professional organisation that I trust to hold my money.

And every organisation, including Monzo, can screw you over, even with it’s friendly language.



You can’t please all of the people all of the time


Right, the language Monzo uses is just one of a series of signals that they give that they’re different and you can actually trust them.


In my viewpoint, Monzo seems to think that professional and formal writing can’t be clear. This is clearly wrong. It’s as if they think you can either be unclear, but formal, or clear and unformal but this isn’t how writing works and other banks have demonstrated it.

For me, the split that actually exists in banking is clear and professional, or clear and unprofessional. Sadly, Monzo falls into the latter.

Yes, Monzo is different, but not in a good way. They are different in a way that makes them unprofessional, leading to me not trusting them.

I have seen other people say the exact same thing as me, especially with the emojis.


It sounds like you’ve misunderstood, formal writing can obviously be clear but it can’t always be easily understood by people who aren’t familiar with professional terminology. Instead Monzo make an effort to make their writing and by extension, banking, as accessible as possible.

I’m sorry to hear that you don’t think they’re professional. It seems strange to go to the effort of debating this in their forum, rather than just using another bank.


Especially those who don’t speak English as their main language, those with learning disabilities and those whose reading and writing level is lower than average


And I think you’ve misunderstood. Formal doesn’t have to mean professional terminology.

How is it strange to discuss something to do with Monzo on a Monzo forum?


Possibly, but I will say it again, formal doesn’t mean technical so I don’t think this is a problem with other banks.


It’s funny, I feel totally the opposite. I have no problem with Monzo’s tone of voice. But other financial institutions I’ve dealt with in the past, when they’ve gone for the excessively formal and detailed communications - I don’t trust them! I find myself thinking, if they’re hitting me with this wall of text and terminology, what are they trying to hide from me? Are they trying to bamboozle me with expertise to trick me into doing (or not doing) something that would be advantageous to them but detrimental to me? Oh, wait, this is a sneaky way of saying I’m going to incur new charges, isn’t it?

Better to be simple, straightforward. Easier to parse. “We’re going to apply some new charges to your account.” Upfront, easily understood, I prefer that.


Maybe there is a better balance they can make because at the moment, the childish emojis and unprofessional language will be losing them customers (e.g. me).

And I have to say, on occasion, the basic language used by Monzo has been quite vague and has led me to not really understand what they are meant to be saying. It is clearly an issue if using basic and informal language is leading to unclear statements.