To Monzo, with love

Dear Monzo,

I have been a customer of yours since 2016. As a member with an ID in the 3,000’s I’m proud to have supported you since the start. I think it’s easy to forget that you’re different to a legacy bank. You have become part of my day day-to-day life, allowing me to set aside my old NatWest account. I have become accustomed to messaging your Customer Support team via the app and receiving a swift, friendly and non-corporate response. I enjoy waiting to see which emoji will be included in my instant spending notifications and I have grown to love the simple iPhone app interface.

While it was easy to forget that you’re different to a legacy bank, I was recently reminded that you are different. I’m going through a lot of life changes at the moment and my girlfriend and I are moving into a new house together next week. We of course needed a joint account. I know joint accounts are a hot topic at the moment, so I won’t go there. Knowing my not particularly tech-savvy girlfriend wouldn’t want to go with an online-only bank we opted to set up an account with Lloyds. Don’t worry, I’m working on her.

As my girlfriend and I walked into the Lloyds bank to attend the mandatory appointment to open an account, we were led down a long grey corridor into a small, stuffy room. There was one window covered in bars and a tower computer running what looked like Windows XP. Using an antiquated piece of software the member of staff started the account creation process, typing loudly on their cheap plastic keyboard. It got my thinking about you, Monzo, and how easy it was to create an account, update my personal details and get help. There I was in 2018, sat in a bank opening an account as if it was still 2001. This wasn’t a good experience. Why have I had to attend the bank to complete a form I could have done via my phone? Why do they need my whole life history just to set up a current account? Why are they offering me a multitude of paid-for products when I have already stated clearly what I’m looking for? Why has this room not been decorated in 10 years? Why are they still using piece of software designed in 1986?

It’s the small things that matter, and that’s why you’re better than a legacy bank. You care about user experience, and that matters. Please don’t change.

With love,


Great write up and could not agree more!

I have a reminder set for later today to finally close my Lloyd’s account and use :monzo: as my main CA.

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Once CASS arrives I’ll be with you dude!

Amazing to think a better customer journey can be offered over a screen than in some of the legacy branches we see

Definitely. I was surprised that when asked which bank I was currently with they had never heard of Monzo. It’s worrying that the traditional banks still do business this way. Unless anything changes soon I can see online-only banks becoming the norm. Not just Monzo, but Starling, Atom, etc. will become the mainstream option for banking and the large corporate financial institution that don’t speak to users the way users want to be spoken to will cease to exist. We’re looking years ahead, but I think for legacy banks the mentality should be adapt or die.


Or mergers and acquisitions.

What if the first to be acquired of Monzo and Starling is given the resources and marketing to take the other’s target audience?

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You can open a Lloyds account online…

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I tried.

“Computer says no.”

“Please visit us in branch.”

Close browser window and move on with my life, other banks actually want to help


Unfortunately you can’t. As @SeMond says, you can get so far and it tells you to visit a branch. Given that a lot of branches across a lot of high street banks have closed and rarely open on Saturday it also need to book in at least a week or two before you want to speak to someone.


I managed to open my Lloyd’s account online but as I have just found out, to close the account they would need to send a big closure pack out in the post (5-10 days) or visit the branch!

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Tip for next time :wink: : Open your joint account with Barclays. They didn’t need an appointment. We could do it online, and just needed to drop passports for ID verification, which took 5 minutes including waiting time (could’ve sent a certified copy through the mail, but going there was easier).

(That was a few years ago, though, so things may have changed :wink:


It’s definitely possible, and you can also do it by phone.

I’m not saying Monzo’s account opening flow isn’t slicker than most high street banks, and the fact that you were unable to complete the account opening online is obviously bad - but there was clearly something the computer didn’t like that needed a human to override.

We don’t yet really know how Monzo would handle something similar. To provide an anecdote, I gave one of my friends a golden ticket - unfortunately the automated ID verification system wouldn’t recognise her passport. Subsequently she gave up trying to open the account.

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“We don’t yet really know how Monzo would handle something similar. To provide an anecdote, I gave one of my friends a golden ticket - unfortunately the automated ID verification system wouldn’t recognise her passport. Subsequently she gave up trying to open the account.”

I had a friend with a similar problem - turns out she was wearing her glasses :slight_smile:


I would if my girlfriend wasn’t so committed to Lloyds. :unamused:


Great letter.

To be fair, Lloyds’s MO used to be to simply add paid–for services, such as PPI, without asking. Now they have to pay back in excess of £18bn for that practice, so they need to sell you shit to help that along. At least they asked you though.

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I tried to open an account online with Lloyds, was told to go into a branch, and they didn’t know what they were doing either :weary: wasted a month of my time! Love your post and 100% agree with it.


Similar issues with TSB. A friend tried to open an account online but they demanded he go into a branch so they could copy his ID. He went, they copied his passport. Later TSB chase up his ID, he explained he has given it, so they say to go back to that branch. The branch say they must have lost it. He decides to try a different branch and they make an appointment for him on a different day at a third branch. Eventually he ends up getting his account, but it was hell and what he thought would be a 5 minute application online turned out to be weeks of back and forth to another town on the bus.


Have Lloyds and TSB become this bad since they were one bank or have they always been like this?


So this is what news articles are referring to when they say Monzo has garnered a near cult-like status with its members… :thinking:


If they don’t like change, they’ll like irrelevance even less :wink:

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I opened a current account online with TSB a few years ago with no problems. It was no more difficult than Monzo.