"Top up by card" poor UX

I just had the most frustrating experience. I’ve got my family using Monzo, I got an urgent message saying they don’t know how to add money. I opened my app and tried to guide them using my phone.

I had to get them to send me their screen before I realised the confusion.

Turns out the UI of the app differs on different devices. The “top up by card” is not even visible on a smaller iPhone and instead there is an obscure card icon that they were just supposed to realise was the same thing.

They contacted customer services but there was no reply so they’ve come to me. I’m noticing this as well. Replies over IM used to be instant - now they can be hours or days.

From my POV this needs to better. It needs to be clear what this icon is - also there needs to be an education piece within this section. Trying to explain to explain to old people that Monzo don’t always reply fast you need to click urgent is a whole different process.

…"no last time you added money by card…yes you gave them your card…you did…no this is not the same as bank transfer…you need to add the details as a payee to your current bank…you need to forget the old way they’ve changed it…they just have…go into your banking app and add the sort code and accounts…they are the same as any other bank…you didn’t do a bank transfer last time you added money a different way… good you’ve topped up…no listen to me you need to add them that icon might not always be there…

They’ve got so used to topping up by card for Monzo only. That icon needs to be clearer, also have a small education screen explaining the difference.


I have a feeling that this may be on purpose - or at least they won’t be too sad that this isn’t too obvious. They want to gently steer us away from topping up by card after all, as it’s quite expensive for them :slight_smile:


Hi Chris - thanks for posting and allow me to apologise for this poor experience :neutral_face:

Regarding card top-ups, this is an option that we are de- prioritising in favour of bank transfers. It’s an incredibly expensive cost for us, and doesn’t make as much sense for current accounts, which we aim to make your main bank account.

Even if we aren’t your main bank account, you can make an instant bank transfer in from another bank. Based on that we sometimes test certain experiments and UI changes to take note of the behaviour, and in some cases we are also running experiments where the option is removed entirely.

I agree that this can lead to inconsistency between one person’s app and another person’s which can cause confusion, and for that I apologise!

Unfortunately that’s a hard use case to allow for when running experiments which might change rapidly. This is not dis-similar to other apps like Facebook or Instagram who often run small scale tests of new features before making a final decision on whether to apply those features to everyone or not. Rest assured - we do have the ability to remove anyone from an experiment or test if they wish.

Regarding customer support - weekends are indeed an area where we comparitively struggle at the moment compared to weekdays and evenings. The good news is that we’ve recently been recruiting for a weekend specific role, and will have several new employees starting over the next month or two who will always be working weekends, and we’re also recruiting a team lead (squad captain) specifically for the weekend crew so that there’s consistency over the weekends in the same structure as weekday and evening workers :blush:

I hope that explains things a bit better - and we definitely take all feedback on board! :+1:t4:


Isn’t this contrary to what Monzo have said in the past? That they would charge for it of it came to it rather than removing the feature?

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I’m not sure what specific quote you may be referring to, but just to re-iterate : these are experiments that we run on small buckets of users to obtain behaviour data :slightly_smiling_face:

No final decision has been made on whether we’d keep it and charge for it, or remove it entirely for everyone. Those aren’t the only options, either. Limiting it in some way, is also an option!


Thanks, for reference I was referring to this thread.

Looking forward to see how the experiments go!

I hope this improves, I really don’t like having them come to me because Monzo aren’t answering. You don’t include a clear contact number from what I can tell…

This is fine, just make this process clear. You’ve let users develop a behaviour using the top-up method. Guide them how to switch, what the difference is, why it’s changing…don’t just put a random obscure icon there and not explain anything.

At first I was annoyed at them for not reading the screen but the issue was your UI.

Again this is fine. The UI change with the icon is awful.

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At the bottom of the main Monzo site:

Existing customers
UK Tel:
0800 802 1281
Abroad Tel:
+44 203 872 0620

also on Monzo - Frequently asked questions . I believe it’s also on the back of the card (although I haven’t got mine to hand ATM).

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It is. It’s also available from the app. Type ‘contact’ into the Help search field.


Guys, context. I know this, however from a baby boomer’s POV they went through chat and got no reply. The number should be on the help screen - clear simple not obstructed.

IM Chat


Yep. It should be. I can only guess that they’d rather communicate via in app chat. Which, as you’ve discovered, isn’t always ideal.

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Yeah it’ll be a money thing. Taking customer calls is expensive. Doesn’t mean it’s good UX.


I did actually receive an email from Monzo a few weeks back asking to switch from topping up by card to making a bank transfer instead. The email was really informative and explained the reasoning behind it. :+1:t3: Perhaps your family received the email too, as I believe it was targeted to users who top up by card? Although it’s entirely possible the email got lost in the flood of GDPR emails of late :joy:


I have also got my parents onto monzo and they top up by card, it is their only option as they do not do online banking apart from monzo, they also have no intention of starting to do online banking with their main account, I fear that it the option is pulled my parents will be pulling out of the monzo experience. Please keep it and keep it free for users.

We’re only trialling the removal with new users. Anyone who has topped up with their cards right now should still be able to do so.

As always, if there are problems we’re here to help :muscle: