Turning off debit card top-ups for new users

The whole shtick of monzo though is faster, better and simpler banking than anything legacy.

Just because it’s a cost doesn’t mean it’s bad - and frankly before I fully switched I used the apple pay top up consistently (although I didn’t use my card that frequently pre-switch).

It’s part of what (to me) made monzo a decent challenger to a bank - it just worked easily.

Like with any operation, all their activities will have costs. To me it sounds like this is a feature a significant portion of the user base enjoy, and maybe even prompted them to join Monzo.

And if you take the sum of all the parts, if you keep changing process with little things here and there that add friction… Then you’ve got the solid makings of a legacy bank!


I asked this earlier (in different words).

The oracle that is @anon44204028 weighed in on things I wouldn’t even consider.

I think we’re sensitive about avoiding the “bait-and-switch” allegations that dogged the foreign ATM fee question.


150,000 users is roughly 15-20% of customers. This can’t just be turned off.

Maybe give people the option to opt out of the feature?

Or obscure it more. Move it from the top up screen first up the settings page?

Whittle the numbers down, then reach out to each customer individually?

1 Like

…and understandably so.

But that doesn’t negate the fact that the decision to limit your foreign ATM withdrawal costs was the right thing to pursue, in the same way that your pursuit of reducing top-up fees is the right thing to pursue in lieu of sustainability.

I guess it depends whether you’re happy bearing the cost of this for eternity? If the answer to that is “no” – then there is always going to be some level of unhappiness when you eventually remove (or limit) it.


Based off Tom’s numbers, £1bn / 150,000 users = £6,666 a year each (not accurate I know but interesting).

especially as one of the arguments given to encourage pre paid users to upgrade was to say they can use the current account exactly as they did the pre paid


Removing card topups has two effects:

  1. it means people planning more in advance to preempt when they are going to need to topup, if they can no longer do it instantly with a card and may have to wait a couple of days for a transfer to arrive (from certain financial institutions and from certain countries) particularly when money is needed at the weekend

  2. having to accept they may no longer be able to top up outside their banking operating hours and may need to retain a higher balance in their account to avoid issues

So it really is possibly to scrap card topups!

But the question is, is it better to retain a choice for customers? Just like providing an ability to pay with Fitbit, Garmin or Samsung watches, there may not be a large demand! So, what it they cover costs? How much would have to be charged to do so?

Would say a 3% fee enable the continued provision of this feature or service? Or are there other ongoing costs on top of the per transaction costs?


If people said a 3% fee was bait and switch before, how would introducing a 3% fee for card top ups stop the same accusation this time?


I think its slightly different. If you need to withdraw cash abroad there’s not really an alternative to paying the fee. But when you need to top up your Monzo account you would have choice. Free bank transfer or pay a fee for convenience of debit card top up.


Interest on pots savings would be an incentive to do this


Removing it could have the opposite effect though, maybe it will push people who are using Monzo to go full as their current bank isn’t allowing them the flexibility they need. I guess some research needs to be carried out.

I.E maybe Monzo are making it too easy for them not to bother with a full switch?


I remember that time the fees were introduced… there was a huge outcry on the forum with lots of people complaining about it :disappointed_relieved: so maybe if it was removed it would take half a year, or longer (it’s still being mentioned as a reason why Monzo is worse than other options :weary:) for the outrage to die down.

Just like before- it could possibly push people to use other banks out of convenience. There’ll be a lot of complaining for sure but I guess people will just have to get used to it eventually? So Monzo will have to decide if this cost is worth saving or they’d rather not piss off a group of people using this function regularly.

Absolutely. Half of the reason why I always used Apple Pay top ups was because it took about 20 seconds.

If I had to do it in my legacy bank… Login to the app. Use a 2FA authenticator code to log in. Find the payee and details. Do another 2FA thing.

And at some point I changed phones and locked myself out of my banks app. I’ve still not sorted that yet as I’ve run out of patience with their phone lines…

I would rather see Monzo make the app/bank the most compelling bank in the market so people will choose to go #FullMonzo. But it seems the gaps about people not putting all their eggs in a Hot Coral basket?


Add a fee but give it to charity (potentially one nominated by the Monzo community)

This is part of the problem… Older banks have a terrible app, making it a huge inconvenience half the time (to do a bank transfer).

I can transfer from Starling to Monzo is about as much time as I can top up with Apple Pay.

Same for Nationwide, and the same for First Direct.

If more banking apps made it as user friendly to do a bank transfer, half the battle would be won.


I’ve used monzo.me for the past year to collect football subs for the 7-a-side game I put on every week. I desperately want the feature to stick around and would potentially even be willing to pay a small fee to be able continue to

That’s about right.

A 0.5% fee would more-or-less cover the cost of card topups. So topping up £100 would cost 50p.


I think that would be perfectly reasonable to be imposed on existing users…


If costs would be covered, why then not add it back for everybody and it can be another feature old banks don’t have?