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.