Turning off debit card top-ups for new users

If I had an overdraft facility, I personally would not have to use card top up anymore. Until then, I have to make use of it…


I think it’s good. But should be turned off for everyone. Feels like it’s creating a tiered service. Everyone should be treated the same.


You’ve mostly been transparent to customers. Keep up the trend, set a deadline for this feature to expire and explain why to the customer base.

In the words of Apple:

“The reason to move on: courage. The courage to move on and do something new that betters all of us,”


I think that the card top ups should be turned of or if Monzo can find a way to charge what ever it costs them so people can still use it. The other option is there a third party way to add top ups that’s more cost effective.


If people need top-ups they can always use Monese, Starling, Fire, etc.


I was going to suggest the same as @alexs: the best thing would be to use Open Banking to allow pulling money from other bank accounts from within the Monzo app. Samantha mentioned this in the original post on reducing the cost of debit card top-ups, and I really think it’s the way to go:

Any update on how likely this is to feature in the app one day?


So, based on recent sign up numbers, your annual ‘provide Monzo’s customer service’, would be in the £6,400,000 region?

1 Like

We calculate these numbers based on weekly active users (inactive users don’t contact customer service or use card topups) - so about 500k actives costing around £8 each is about £4m a year in customer service salaries.

For now, we treat office rent, etc as a fixed cost - not a marginal cost. This may change as we grow and get more sophisticated.


So Monzo have about 500k active users :eyes:

Pretty good tbh if we compare with some other FinTechs with more than million overall but less than 500k active.


Weekly active. I’d be interested in those active at least monthly


Wonder how many of the inactive users still have the app installed and check the features, a lot of people are probably waiting for that moment they feel it’s time to ditch legacy. It’s a big move for most!

1 Like

That’s around 75-80% of customers, so around 600k.


Thanks for your reply - love how open you lot are :slight_smile:

Could you image a Legacy bank casually explaining their operating costs / active users at 9pm on a Tuesday?

(Also enjoy the idea of users being called ‘actives’ in the Monzo office!)


Monzo has much higher retention/engagement rates than many other fintechs. Up to 3x higher in some cases. There seems to be an unhealthy tendency at some companies to report very high headline user numbers, but have much less impressive retention numbers when you look under the hood.


That’s me basically using Emma for a week


Just turn it off for everyone - there’s no reason people can’t top up by bank transfer. I’d rather the money spent on getting more developers etc in to make the bank even better.

1 Like

It might make more sense to remove the feature for the ones who upgraded from Prepaid (this lot have current accounts and will have most likely moved they’re salaries to :monzo:) and allow top ups for the people who are testing monzo before making the big move. Was this discussed?

So are these costs a % of the overall transaction fee? I guess typical merchant card processing fees would apply - so somewhere between 1% - 4%?

(And, sorry, I guess, for all those times I ignored Chips plea because I’m lazy and it was convenient).

Also. Do you know that the app will let you top up with Monzo Apple Pay. A friend told me…

That’s what I was expecting to read, Monzo users can surely do a standing order via 1 of the many means available.

1 Like

I see there being three things here: being open and honest with the majority of users who don’t hang out in the community and who aren’t responding to the nudges in the app; secondly creating different solutions to card top-ups; and thirdly hastening the process of getting users to adopt Monzo as their main account.

To break these down: on 1) my initial thought was to write to all users (that are topping up by card) and explain the situation and suggest that you may need to terminate the service. Unlike others, I don’t think that immediately stopping the service is fair - people were promised that they can use the current account like the pre-paid, so I’d suggest a long period of notice - maybe 12 - 18 months (with maybe a countdown timer in app). This could maybe be followed by an at-cost reclaim of the Stripe fees for a limited period, then finally termination when numbers are low. This might be too long a period, but it send the right signals (I hope) and also maintains the promise made to users.

On 2), I agree with @alexs that Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) functionality would be great - but I worry it might just hide the underlying issue of why people aren’t going #fullmonzo by giving folk another way to keep their primary banking relationship elsewhere. That said, I could see it absolutely working if…

… 3) you were to pivot the Monzo app to becoming more of a platform for personal finance, no matter who actually hold the balance sheet. Using a combination of PISP and Account Information Service Provider (AISP) functionality from open banking, you could then move to a marketplace-based revenue generation model using folk’s existing current account(s) - and potentially use the app to nudge people in the direction of added extras if they migrated to a Monzo current account (instant notifications etc) which would also open up the potential for revenue from overdrafts. This feels pretty fundamental and a long-term strategic choice that you may or may not want to make… (I’m not recommending this as a course of action, just musing about what might be possible - you’ll have much more data and insight, and have given this much more thought, than someone random off the internet with clearly too much time on his hands!)

I’m sure that none of this is new to you and you’ve probably already considered whether these are feasible or not. I think the first one is probably the only one that’s feasible in the short term.

tl;dr: suggestion: put a long-term notice period on free top-ups; taper down to at-cost top-ups, then discontinue the service.