📰 Would you do your banking with a tech startup? – The Guardian

(Saveen) #1

Monzo featured in The Guardian today.

Reveals Monzo’s ambitious plans to reach a billion users worldwide and that @tom visited McDonalds four times on holiday… :hamburger::fries: :wink:

Would you do your banking with a tech startup?

Having a Monzo account abroad
Card Availability Geo-limited, don't hold your breath!
Monzo.Me alternative currencies
:newspaper: Monzo 2 years on - the startup threat big banks still "don't get" - The Memo
Partnership with Nutmeg?
Transfer money between international current accounts
:newspaper: Financial Technology Start-Ups to Get a License to Bank (in the USA) - The New York Times
Foreign Currency
(Alex Sherwood) #2

Interesting, a couple of highlights, for future reference -

  • Monzo now has ~50k users :tada:
  • It’s not just a result of founder Tom Blomfield’s goal “to get to 1 billion customers”, and subsequent plans for international expansion before the company has even fully launched in the UK (Monzo is “testing US dollar and Euro cards right now

Competitor update
Multiple currencies
Current Account in other currencies
Product expansion plans?
Store / top up different currencies
Buddies/Housemates debts settling up
Waiting list question
Lock in Euro rates?
Borderless Accounts
Is it just me or is the current account underwhelming
(Ben Green) #3

I noticed this too. It’s a huge step towards world domination 1 billion users worldwide.

(Rika Raybould) #4

I worry a little about the aggressive expansion to USD and EUR regions before things are fully working in the UK but at the same time, would love to still be using Monzo but in native USD if I ever relocate to California for work.

(Ben Green) #5

I assume the American cards don’t have PIN because they still rely on magstripe and signature over there, but do have a name on the card.

(Rika Raybould) #6

Not anymore! They’re (very slowly and horribly) moving over to EMV.

Unfortunately, it’s normally implemented as EMV chip and sign or just chip with no PIN with most people skipping straight to Apple Pay/Android Pay/Samsung Pay/Microsoft Wallet EMV contactless with CDCVM where supported from what I hear from my American friends. :disappointed:


Seen Chip and Signature in UK for those with certain disabilities

(Rika Raybould) #8

Yes, it is indeed in the EMV spec for legacy reasons and for those with disabilities. It’s a pain that American issuers decided to go with it for the legacy reasons instead of just making a clean transition.

Just for curiosity, there is also PIN (enciphered or plaintext) and signature. Chip with no PIN is just no CVM required at all.


wow…would love to tweek my card to Pin and Signature :slight_smile:

(Rika Raybould) #10

I suspect that this requires a kind of signed configuration payload from the issuer/network. :cry:


yep shame we can’t just reprogram the settings on our own chip :wink:

(james_e_bell) #12

Great article - I really love the summary at the end:

“When we launched,” Blomfield says, “the first three or four thousand people, they had to physically come to our office and actually hear a presentation from me. I stood up and said ‘it’s not ready yet. This is not a bank account, it’s a beta of a bank account, it’s a pre-paid card. Don’t rely on it, always carry a back up, it may break, but as a result, you get to experience a taste of the future.’”

The pitch worked on me. I have a Mondo card in my wallet right now. Who doesn’t want a taste of the future?

Edit: Just noticed from quoting it that they call it a Mondo not Monzo card in closing comment


If you look at the image used at the top for the article, taken by the guy who wrote it, he has a rare Mondo card :credit_card:

(stuartharle) #14

Interesting, but its a bit of an advert from a Guardian journalist customer, who still probably uses their traditional bank account - it’s a bit one sided. Monzo has a long way to go and a lot of obstacles to overcome to achieve success in an overcrowded UK Neobank market - Tandem, Starling, Atom, Number 26 etc, before moving into new competitive markets and regulatory environments. Their roadmap over the next two years or so is a bit unambitious and nothing’s particularly unique and could be easily copied - for instance, freezing and unfreezing cards and making the phone buzz when a transaction is completed (can be done by existing card products by SMS now). I suspect that Tandem and Starling will be leapfrogging Monzo and Atom in the next six months.

(james_e_bell) #15

Interesting - what makes you think Tandem and Starling will be leapfrogging?

For me I am not just looking at functionality but approach - Monzo’s design and customer insight seems much tighter than the other startup banks but I am interested to hear other points of view!

(Mike Laurie) #16

This was probably the only Guardian article I’ve read where I actually wanted to read some comments.