The Big Monzo Plus FAQ

Hi everyone :wave:

We recently asked how you’d like us to keep you in the loop with our plans to launch a paid product. From your feedback, we learnt a lot, with a major takeaway being that we should make it clear why we’re doing this in the first place.

So, this thread should become a reference point for any and all questions you have about us doing a paid-for product. We’ll keep it updated, and clearly note where things change (as they might!). And you’re welcome to share your feedback, or ask any questions we’ve missed. So, let’s get started! :tada:

1) What are the key facts?

We’re building two more tiers of Monzo current account

Our goal is to build on what customers love about Monzo for the customers who want more out of Monzo.

So there’ll be an extra two tiers above the free Monzo current account. See below for more info.

All the features of Tier 1 will be available in Tier 2. You’ll be able to upgrade from your free Monzo current account to either account and downgrade back to your free account (within the terms of your agreement with us).

Two unique accounts with two unique offerings

The Tier 1 account is for the serious budgeters at Monzo who want to make their money work harder. In addition to some special offers and interest on your balance, we’re building the power tools these customers need to get the most out of their budgeting.

The Tier 2 account is all about giving customers a premium Monzo experience centered on banking peace of mind and traveling with more flexibility. Tier 2 will have everything in it from Tier 1, plus insurance and other premium benefits.

We don’t plan to make existing budgeting features paid-only

We’re building these new accounts to cater to different customers, so there will be some new features only accessible to paid customers. We don’t plan to make any existing budgeting features paid-only.

We’re aiming to launch in Q1 or Q2

We’re aiming to launch these new tiers in Q1 or Q2 next year. Much of this timeline is dependent on our work with partners and the integrations we’re building so some of this work is outside our control. But we’ll keep you updated.

We don’t know what we’ll call it yet

We haven’t decided this yet. We’ve asked for your suggestions here, but that was before we’d shared much info on what would be in the accounts. We’re still open to ideas!

We don’t know what it’ll cost yet

We haven’t decided this yet.

2) Why are we building this?

A paid-for product lets us create more value for you, sustainably

We believe there’s more that we can build for you; things you’ve asked us for that we haven’t been able to build previously, and things you’d find valuable. But to do those, we need a sustainable revenue model.

Typically, banks rely on lending to make money. We don’t want to make all our money from lending, and we think a subscription model is a fair way to deliver an exchange of value. If you don’t value what we’re building, you won’t have to pay for it. And this gives us the incentive to make what we do charge for really great.

We’re comfortable making some features paid-only

Many features we’re working on we couldn’t justify building without the guaranteed revenue they generate from a paid account. We like to think about these accounts as a way for Monzo to continue innovating while achieving our goal of sustainability long-term.

We don’t think this stops us from achieving our mission, in fact it helps

Our mission is still to make money work for everyone, and we believe our free account is the best current account in the UK.

And fundamentally, in order for Monzo to exist and make money work for people, it has to be sustainable. There will be customers who value what is in our new paid accounts and will be happy to pay for those features, and there will be customers who just want to keep using our free account. Both are great for Monzo. We want money to work for all of our customers, and for customers who want more from their bank, that means building the things they need.

Our paid-for accounts are for people who want even more from Monzo and are willing to pay for it. And again, we think that’s ok. They’re not meant to be for everyone.

We’ll make the middle tier available at an accessible price point. It’ll be great value for money (helping you save more you than you pay).

We explicitly don’t expect the top tier to be for everyone. It’s for the people who want to pay more for more intense or advanced functionality.

3) Paid-for vs. free features

We’re not ready to share all the features we’re building yet

We’re still ironing out exactly what we’ll be include in each tier. We’ll share an update when we have more to say.

The reasons we can’t share too much on the features right now are:

  • We’re in the middle of commercial negotiations so we don’t want to share anything publicly until we have these locked down.
  • We’re still quite early on in the development of these tiers and we don’t want to dangle features you love in front of you before we decide that we can’t build them or we can’t afford to offer them to you.

We’re deciding what to build based on some principles

:control_knobs:Core functionality - if it’s a core piece of functionality that everyone expects in a bank account, then we’ll include this in our free account. We know that ‘core’ is quite subjective, so we’ll always try to explain our rationale where we can.

:muscle: Power user features - if there’s a feature that only a minority of our customer base really care about it, and it costs us time or money to build and maintain, then we’ll likely include these in a paid account. Without that revenue, it’s not something we’d be able to prioritise.

For (an entirely illustrative) example, say we built a planning tool to let you really dig into your future salaries, savings, pensions, etc. - that’s not necessarily something that everyone would use. But we could justify working on it if people were willing to pay for it.

:money_with_wings: Additional cost - for things like insurance, it’s not something we can offer for free. If it costs us to provide the service, we think it’s fair and transparent to charge for it.

We don’t plan to move existing features into paid tiers.

If we consider changing this, we’ll tell you first and explain why.


We’re going to share updates on the things we’re building, as we build them, in dedicated threads here on the community. You’ll hear from the squads behind those features, and it’d be super helpful for us if you could help us keep those on topic.

Thanks!

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Hello @BritishLibrary - here’s the update I mentioned in the last thread. Let me know what questions you have!

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+

:man_shrugging:

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What is it you disagree with here?

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Those seem like conflicting statements.

I wrote more about my concern here -

Following on from that -

You’re building valuable features that some people won’t be able to pay for.

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Plus for joint accounts?

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Well, this is what I was worried about - I think my first ever post relating to the new iteration of Monzo Plus expressed concern about budgeting features being something that might be paywalled - and also explains all the non-comittal answers in previous Plus updates. For what it’s worth, coming out and saying this is your plan is a much better thing to do that constantly obfuscating and avoiding it, as you did previously, so credit for that at least.

But that said. I am prepared for disappointment. Spending money to save money is a difficult hill to tackle, and I am unconvinced that paying for power tools will result in me being able to save more than I pay. But I shall yet reserve judgment until you’re able to share further details about what the features involve.

tl;dr, disappointed, if not entirely surprised; but will keep watching for now and judge later.

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Thanks @tomdavies for posting this - it’s incredibly helpful and good to see in one place.

I’ve documented my anxieties about paywalling features before, so I won’t repeat them here. But I would like to pitch for you to include something like this though, in one tier or other:

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Me neither but it wont be the right product for everyone. There are 3.5 million customers and it would be impossible to create a product that suits all

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There is a big difference between making money work for everyone, and making all features free for everyone. I think it’s unfair to conflate the two. Without becoming a sustainable business, we won’t be able to achieve our mission full-stop.

There are a few ways we can do that. We can lend more, like other banks do. We can charge all of our customers for our current account, like is popular throughout Europe. Or we can build features that return real value to customers who want to pay for them, at a fair price. We believe the latter is the best way to achieve our mission.

Ultimately, if we don’t provide enough value, people won’t buy it, and we’ll have change our strategy.

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That’s true, and partly why I’m drawing the line at expressing concern but reserving judgment until we see what the product is.

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You can also build a premium service without paywalling features, which Revolut has proved is possible.

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Can’t wait for credit card integration with transaction lists and built in budgeting with the Monzo app becomes a paid-only feature!

I would assume would take some of the things the Emma app has built and bring them into Monzo.

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One thing that’s been on my mind is about changes to the premium packages over time.

Do you have a strategy about potentially piloting advanced features in a Premium package then potentially mainstreaming them in core Monzo in the future? Or, if competitors develop similar features for free or at a lower price point, adjusting your offering accordingly?

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That’s true. We’ve chosen a different strategy, and are using this an opportunity to build things that we couldn’t justify building before.

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Look forward to see what comes of the paid accounts, hint would like Cashback / rewards from retailers :smiley:

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What retailers would you love to see?

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I feel the budgeting power tools mentioned in Tier 1 should be free for all, I mean once they are developed surely they are self sufficient calculators and don’t need much work or expense?

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It’s a bit concerning that you’re even leaving the door open to this.

I can sort of understand the logic behind esoteric features being only worth developing if you can charge for them. But seemingly still being open to the idea of moving existing features to paid tiers in the future doesn’t fall into that same framework imo.

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Oh umm now I’m on the spot, maybe things like;

Supermarkets;
Asda
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl
(1 would be ok)

General;
Argos
Wilko

Food;
Just eat
Dominos
Papa johns
Etc

I’ve literally reeled off a few but Cashback would be a great added extra which of course id throw money at :moneybag: :wink:

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