Still alive?

Heya,

I am wondering considering all the personnel reductions that happened at Monzo is the US team still up and running? And when can we expect some news?

Thanks

Fabian

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I think the headcount reduction in the USA was all in Las Vegas - which were actually part of the UK operation, not the USA operation. But yes, it has all gone quiet. Personally I expect the USA expansion to be canned by the new CEO. And yes, I know he was the US CEO before becoming overall CEO.

Yeah, I am sure they could do that. Would be a huge long term mistake in my opinion though.

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Monzo US is still being updated, and the patch notes said they were still working on some stuff they weren’t ready to talk about.

(sorry to intervene, but I have added a ‘l’ to the title as it was driving me nuts seeing “Stil alive?”)

This was a triumph.
I’m making a note here:
HUGE SUCCESS.
It’s hard to overstate
My satisfaction.

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If they’re smart they’ll at least give the US a proper try before giving up, especially since they’ve already started the process of securing their own bank license in the US. It’s a somewhat crowded market, and they’re a latecomer, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hope for them.

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Possibly. But I see them as N26 were in the UK. Put your toes in the water, realise what a totally different market it is, then retreat.

In this case, though, a market with greater earning potential. There are far more people in the US, a paradigm shift is currently happening regarding app-first/online banking as more people shift away from banking in person during the pandemic (easier to sell people on branchless banking), and unlike in the UK, nothing is changing regarding the market itself. Also, earning money off of interchange fees is somewhat more workable here- the cap here is 21 cents plus .05% per transaction, which is more than the EU interchange cap for anything below $130 or so. If you can incentivize spending in small amounts you can achieve an effective interchange of 3% or more.

And speaking of N26, they’re actually also in the US and doing relatively well with a broadly similar feature set to Monzo US (I mean, but with Spaces instead of Pots, and they have “Perks” which are discounts if you use your N26 card to pay for certain services, but they don’t discount anything I frequently use). If Monzo US can beat them to a full banking license to start offering a fuller feature set like they have in the UK and more integrated trans-Atlantic banking then they can gain a solid foothold here.

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US is a crowded market but not that crowded with banks like Monzo. There are probably only a handful that can compete with Monzo’s simplicity and features. As @jamar0303 mentioned, N26 is in the US and seems to be doing well. If Monzo does pull out of the US, N26 will probably be bank I switch to.

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In my case, I can’t say that I’d do the same. N26 has one major failing for me, and that’s the foreign cash withdrawal fee. $2+2% fee to use a non-Allpoint ATM is excessive compared to a lot of locally-based challenger banks. You get two free, but only domestically. Most of my work travel pre-pandemic was international (and specifically to Asia), so that’s going to eat into my budget more than I’d like.

SoFi, on the other hand, is a relatively full-featured banking/investing platform and doesn’t charge extra to use international ATMs outside of Allpoint.

Also, they have photo deposit (cheque imaging) and they offer chequebooks. The first being important because airlines in the US like to pay by cheque as compensation for certain things like damaged bags.