The direction of Monzo

Last year I made a comment about how it seemed to me that Monzo has an unclear direction. It still seems that way.

Monzo has gutted some of the core aspects of its product. Overseas cash withdrawals were limited, and now even UK cash withdrawals are. Since many countries still don’t have card payments everywhere, the first makes Monzo substantially less attractive for travel. Even the Premium plan doesn’t have unlimited overseas withdrawals, something Starling does with its free plan.

Monzo seems to have focused its product on ‘extras’, such as the Plus/Premium plans, and admittedly has cleaned those up. But they seem to be more or less identical to what Revolut had years ago. Monzo uses a travel insurer with a better reputation (AXA), but other than that I’m failing to identify any meaningful differences. There are ‘goodies’, but I get more goodies with my free Santander account to be frank. Seeing other accounts in Monzo is a nice feature but not one that seems to really help.

Revolut has advanced its core product, such that some features (like virtual cards) are now part of its free plan, and its paid plans have more. It doesn’t seem like Monzo can compete on the ‘extras’ front.

Ostensibly, these guts to the Monzo plans were for financial reasons. But Starling is profitable while not doing any of these guts and not having any Premium plans or other such income streams, and Monzo is still making a loss (I think?)

So I don’t get it anymore. What does Monzo do so well these days that other banks don’t do? What distinguishes this bank? What’s Monzo’s strategy here, because the closest to a strategy I can make out is being a ‘financial hub’ for all your needs (credit checking, seeing your card transactions for various banks, etc) – a bit of a jack of all trades but a master of none situation, and that doesn’t seem like a strategy to me.

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You say they haven’t got a plan but then you outlined everything they’ve done and have been doing :confused:

Nobody knows what the next thing is that they’re working on and you won’t get told either. You’ll just have to wait and see.

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Limited if you don’t meet incredibly simple criteria to stop people abusing it and costing Monzo money. Seems very sensible to me.

Isn’t a bank.

Bill pots are very popular. There’s lots that Monzo gets right. It doesn’t have to be in such absolute terms that one is the winner and everyone else loses.

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I’m not going to go into a lot of that as it’s repeats of previous threads all over the forum etc. But one thing I will say, is if you are someone who is facing the UK fees, then you’re probably not “Full Monzo”, which means you’re probably not using Monzo in the way that gets you the best benefits of it.

If you’re happier with a different product, or bank, then stick with that, enjoy it and be happy.

They can compete on the front of being an actual bank though - which is 10000x more important to me than whatever you think Revolut have to offer.

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It’s a community forum, so I’m asking the community what they think Monzo’s direction is. I presume you all follow this better than I have, so some idea of where Monzo shines would be nice, based on how they’ve shipped in the past few years.

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Despite me asking when they give a hint about all the new things coming this year

I’ll eventually find someone who is rubbish at keeping secrets

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The direction is global domination.

Monzo don’t share their plans anymore so your guess is as good as ours. All we know is it’s profitability focused which is why you saw the release of premium accounts.

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Monzo bill always dominate because of Bill Pots. When they release recurring card payments from pots and/or virtual card from pots then they will be the 1st to do that :relaxed:

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Abuse to withdraw cash in the UK from your bank? Unlimited UK ATM withdrawals is something I think every free bank - basic bank accounts at legacy banks as well as digital challengers - provides. Well, except Monzo.

I think I found their decision more reasonable at the time than I do now - it’s hard to believe that a UK bank doesn’t let you withdraw unlimited amounts of cash from UK ATMs.

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They do if you use it as your main account

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Am I the only one that has unlimited UK withdrawals?

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You probably think your bank should send you an unlimited amount of free new cards too.

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I don’t see how the two are comparable, personally.

A bank should do at minimum what it’s expected to do by industry standards established by precedent. An industry standard is unlimited domestic cash withdrawals without any fees. (ATMs are usually limited for security reasons I think, but you can always withdraw at a counter.)

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Of course you don’t.

This isn’t law. A bank can do what it wants (if it clearly sets that out to the customer) and if you want to be a customer, you accept that. If those are terms you don’t agree with, go elsewhere.

No business, or bank should do this. Otherwise every business would be the same and we wouldn’t have seen half the features that fintechs have released over the years.

It seems like your main gripe are these fees because you don’t use Monzo as your main account. Then you’ve dressed it up and exaggerated it into a whole tale around “Monzo don’t know what they’re doing”.

The solution is simple.

Use your other account (that is currently your main account) or switch to Monzo.

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Probably being the important word here.

As an example, I’ll use my youngest sibling. He turns 18 next month, so the under 18 exception will no longer apply.

He lives at home with parents so has no direct debits. And his apprenticeship is just shy of the £500 minimum.

I presume he’ll be made subject to the new fees when he turns 18? He lives in a village that is predominantly cash too. I personally think the rules are unfairly tilted against folks in his position.

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So how will he max the cash limits with such a small income?

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Nobody said Monzo is breaking the law. Nobody is filing a lawsuit. Nobody made a statement saying they disagree with the legal terms they signed up to.

It’s a discussion on Monzo’s community forums about a perceived lack of direction. I believe customers can still criticise and discuss a company without having to allege wrongdoing or threaten a lawsuit. Just because I’m a customer doesn’t mean I need to drink all the company feeds me with a smile on my face.

As I said before, they do good things and less good things, and I think it’s perfectly right to discuss and criticise what I perceive to be ‘less good things’.

So, apart from giving everything for free (which would result in the direction being out of money and out of business), what would you like to see?

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Monzo’s direction in terms of product is opaque but it’s general strategic trajectory is fairly clear, as it’s a matter of necessity for the valuation. They need to:

  • start making a bet profit and then;
  • grow to several times their current size

They can’t do the second part until they’ve done the first part or they will run out of cash.

I’d expect product strategy to align with overall business strategy so we’ll likely see, in the short term, additional lending products and paid-for features before we see big improvements to the basic offering designed to stimulate growth and attract new customers.

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