I signed up on Starling’s mailing list in the very early days, but decided to stick with monzo who seemed much more communicative/open, more dynamic in terms of technology.
However I admit that last week I finally decided to give starling a go too. Almost entirely due to the fact that starling offers Apple Pay right now, with immediate notifications, whilst Monzo does not. Had monzo had apple pay I doubt I’d have looked at starling.
Overall so far:
Starling’s sign up was if anything easier than monzo. The actual application was similar, but the ability to immediately use one’s account via Apple pay, with in-app adding of the virtual card even before physical arrives was very impressive, and for me a first
Starling’s transaction locatino data seems more geared around the registered business address of a company rather than the location of purchase. Both are valid locations and arguably both should be shown, but I certainly like to see WHERE I was, which monzo does mostly get right. Starling does not.
The monzo card stands out starling’s (from the picture) merely looks professional. Hard to say which approach is best, but as a new entrant I think standing out will win more custom & questions. I also think the starling logo looks sleek, monzo
no balance timeline on starling, just a simple list. monzo wins here
I noticed starling offers overdrafts straight away (fortunately not something I need right now)
I think what’s more interesting is what the ‘big banks’ do. Last year I switched RBS-> Barclays as RBS was so very stale and going nowhere. Barclays have actually been improving CS, and capability but still don’t offer all that monzo does in terms of real time notifications and simplicity of interaction in the app. They do though of course offer a full service (including web ui, apple pay etc), so right now my ‘main’ account remains with them
I decided to try Starling simply for Apple Pay. The lack of Apple Pay is one of the things stopping me transitioning to Monzo as my main bank, limited pot functionality/lack of multiple accounts being the other.
Trying to avoid being subjective (easier said than done), after c 3 weeks of Starling V’s Monzo I thought I’d share my personal experience (on an iPhone). For reference I’m not an overdraft customer:
Daily spend in notifications
Spending graph thing
Notes and receipts on transactions
DD/bank transfer payments in spending
Transaction type (Apple Pay, contactless, etc)
Statements (coming soon to Monzo!)
Top ups inc Apple Pay (Monzo does have this!)
For me, ultimately it comes down to are Apple Pay and in-app Top Ups worth the other user-experience elements. I’ve decided not! I found the lack of inclusion of bank transfers in the spending breakdown within Starling very frustrated. It did also highlight how frustrating the lack of in-app top-ups with Monza is.
Being subjective, I’d agree with others that Starling feels more ‘professional’ and more like a ‘real’ bank; however Monzo feels much more transparent and community driven (customer-led!?) but thats a personal view.
Are top-ups in Monzo being rolled out gradually or something? I’ve been topping up my current account by debit card and Apple pay for a while now. Go to Account, then to Top up, and then choose from three options – bank transfer, debit card or Apple.
The interesting thing for me when reading this is that some customers really rate Monzo because of in-app top-ups, including the use of Apple Pay for doing it, when comparing with other products on the market.
However, elsewhere on the forum, Monzo have said that this is a source of losses for them.
So, for the time being, top-ups (including using Apple Pay) are back but with the caveat that Monzo would prefer us to only use them in emergencies, as per their blog post. Clearly, though, there are some customers who consider it as an noteworthy feature, and may have no intention of using it only in emergencies but as their primary means of putting money into their Monzo accounts.
I’m interested to see how this will play out. Personally (I emphasize this is only my view), as long as there are customers who see topping-up via the app/with Apply Pay as a core feature and USP, I think it’s inevitable Monzo will end up having to charge a fee for that feature. Would that change the Monzo vs. Competitor dynamics?