Turning off debit card top-ups for new users

Back in March, we shared an update about how we were experimenting with ways to reduce the cost of debit card top-ups. We were doing this because every time you use another debit card to top-up your Monzo account, it costs us money. Quite a bit, in fact - as the fees are calculated as a percentage of the top-up amount. So the more you top-up, the more expensive it is for us!

In our March update, we announced that we were putting a £100 limit on the amount you could top-up - for new users only. Old users who were used to topping up by debit card weren’t affected (though we’d still ask you to only use it in emergencies).

Since then, we’ve also been experimenting with turning the top-up feature off entirely for new users. And now we’ve made it permanent.

Topping up by debit card was the only way to add money to your account back when Monzo was just a prepaid card. Now that we’re a licensed bank offering current accounts, there are lots of other ways to add money to your Monzo account, whether that’s setting up a standing order, regularly making bank transfers, or getting your salary paid straight in!.

And with the recent features we’ve built that help you see your spending and budget better as part of the Big List, Monzo works best when you use it as your main account.

We’re confident that this change won’t negatively affect the user experience. Our experiments showed that new users don’t use Monzo less as a result, and can start getting the most out of Monzo right away.

For some more context, we also published our Q3 goals this week. And if you read those, you’ll know that we’re focussing on increasing revenue and decreasing costs. Top-up fees are one of our biggest costs at the moment. And turning off top-ups for new users will really help move the needle here and move us towards our goal to build a sustainable business.

And again: this is only a change for new Monzo users. Old users can still top-up by debit card. And all users can add money to their Monzo account by bank transfer, or going #FullMonzo by having their salaries paid in.

We don’t currently have plans to remove debit card top-ups for old users either.


Out of curiosity, what was the cutoff point for ‘new users’?


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Thanks for informing us on the decision, It’s great to know removing the feature doesn’t seem to hinder people using the service :+1:.

Out of interest, are the costs reducing over time for old users? I’d like to think as time goes on less and less people are now using it.


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I agree with this but feel it should be turned off for all users. As you have mentioned, Monzo are no longer a prepaid card and so doing a bank transfer really isn’t that difficult if you don’t want to move your salary over. Or limit it to a top up of £50 so its only used in emergencies


I’m surprised there’s no talk of turning it off for everyone. Does this mean there’s still a notable percentage that use it or that the volume is so small it’s not worth turning off?


If it’s costs Monzo a lot, why not turn it off altogether - for old users as well. I never understood, when I joined, going through the payment screen, you will tell people if they picked this option it’s expensive - just don’t offer that option then.


My guess is they may consider it when it’s usage drops to very low levels, but they don’t want to cause upset yet…

I’d happily see it go though.


People who migrated from prepaid were told there would be no difference so would be unfair to change it so soon for them after they were told that


Like others have said - Monzo trying to be nice, can cause more issues than just sometimes ripping off the band aid (how American of me).

I think it should be turned off for all users.

Although, can someone who does top up via card (or someone who just knows) explain what are the benefits to you (from a user experience point of view), than doing a bank transfer?


Hasn’t it been a while since the PP card was migrated? Although maybe that’s because I was in the tester batch last year

I’ve only used it a while back when I had Tsb as couldn’t access the account. So getting money out by top up to Monzo was only way at the time.


April is when it officially closed


Is it still possible to top up ‘new’ accounts using monzo.me?

If so, users could just visit their own link and enter their own card details…


It is yes but apparently Monzo.me isn’t used much at the moment so isn’t a worry.

I think I read that somewhere anyway

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Not all banks/building societies/credit unions send Faster Payments Scheme transfers at weekends, so if you want to transfer funds between Friday afternoon and Monday morning a card top up is quicker.

If you need to top up from an account abroad sending an SEPA Credit Transfer can take 2 or 3 days (depending on which bank and country it goes from) so using a card is quicker


Other than laziness of setting up a new payee or SO I can’t think of any. Although @anon44204028 has a good point above :smiley:

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But perhaps it will start to be if card top ups are scrapped or MSE start recommending it be used that way!


Do we know which ones don’t send over the weekend?
No issues with Nationwide for me.

I only ask these questions so @anon44204028 can woo me with SEPA talk.

BTW - What happened to your photo @anon44204028 - You’ve gone incognito across both forums!