I’ve recently stumbled upon Monzo and I feel like you’re honestly missing out on one of your best target audiences. I’ll tell you why!
You don’t have any accounts available to those under 18 or those who are currently a student at college/university. This is a new and modern service and you’re not really targeting young people at all. I feel like this is honestly a missed opportunity.
People like me are young, worrying about the scary adult world and willing to be the ones to try new things.
Personally, I’m just shy of turning 18 and I’ve had a bank account since I was just 11 years old. I’ve been actively using banking ever since, from my first monthly allowance from my parents, to now while I’m at further education college and make several contactless purchases throughout the day.
Monzo can be there for the new students out there and help ease them into the world of managing one’s own finances, bills as well as growing a loyal customer-base that will grow up and spread Monzo’s love to all their friends over social media.
A single student can have dozens/hundreds/even thousands of followers on social media platforms and this’d make them a fantastic way to get the word out! That’d be a lot of publicity and potential long-term customers. (Memes too! )
Not to mention Monzo’s goal of helping customers financially – who better than people who are new to all of this? Monzo’s pulse graph would be a dreeeaaammm to people who have never had to pay a single bill before. A dream.
Far-fetched thought: Imagine if Monzo one day became as ubiquitous and recognisable as Starbucks? Imagine people posting on Instagram and Tweeting about how Monzo has helped their day-to-day! I’d love to see a day in the future where the distinctive coral-colour is as well-known and as cool as having a simple green logo on your cup. Just a weird idea - don’t mind me!
Anyways, apologies for the long essay and I hope you continue being awesome!
How do you feel? Do you think that this would be a good, viable idea? Please add your feedback! I’d love to read it.
I know, and I’m not sure how I feel about this… But that’s a whole different topic. One of the biggest issues is how Student Finance England pays out making it virtually necessary to have short overdraft periods… and that’s not a habit I think we should be encouraging.
It be good if students got free overdrafts on Monzo to and i say this as a non-student.
I’d happily pay as an working adult the overdraft fees etc, and I’m quite happy for students not to and be subbed by the rest of us.
If anything, Monzo needs to be appealing for students for a key reason. So few people actually switch Bank Accounts.
I know that the people on this forum are very different, and most of us have done the full CA switch (and manual due to the lack of Switching Service right now), but were not the the typical general population (not sure the specific figure, but I swear its really high like 70%+) who don’t switch bank accounts once setup.
I’m going to sound old now, but here’s my situation. As a student, Natwest offered me the best, free travel cards, £1,500 interest free overdraft so I went with them. I then grew up, got a job and entered the work force. A few years later I took out a Mortgage - and guess who with. My bank Natwest. Natwest until Monzo came along we’re milking me of money, Overdraft Fees, Mortgage Fees, earning interest of my balance all because they were my bank account as I transitioned in life.
So by getting me in at young, my lifetime value easily paid off the perks I was given as a student. I know not entirely true with Monzo due to them not doing mortgages - but in the future they could in the Marketplace refer me to someone and make a referrals fee for example.
It would be good if Monzo repeated that model and offered similar perks to students. Perhaps a big interest free overdraft and a unlimited Foreign ATM Usage (oh god, I went there - it’s not as if a student is going to be on holiday all the time) just as some perks to get them settled into Monzo while in the student lifecycle and then hopefully out the over end when they finish, they stick around and get salary and what not paid in
Same can apply to the under-18 accounts to, bring them into Monzo as their first bank account.
I think overdrafts are a terrible idea for students because generally they are not financially aware and that free period ends. That’s when you realise you actually owe that money. (never been a student, this is my experience watching friends)
I am aware of the pros and they do probably outweigh the cons. Just a personal opinion
That depends on how much money you are given. E.g. if you have a 2 parent family both on around 25-30k I can see why you would struggle due to not “qualifying” for 100% funding. That way you have to get your parents to help fund you, especially when you privately rent in 2/3rd year seeing as they pay it in 2/3 lump sumps.
If you come from a low income household they way they pay you is beneficial. I qualified for bursaries, grants and full funding and having a lump sum in my account every time they paid out was beneficial for me as I always had enough money in my account. Never even had to consider an overdraft, still don’t have one now
As an ex-student I would agree with this in theory, but it just wouldn’t get students attention.
When I was looking for my student account my question wasn’t ‘What account with help me manage my money’ it was ‘what account will give me the largest overdraft of ‘free’ money’?
Consequently I went with the co-op and their £1500, £1700 and then £2000 (increasing each year) OD limit and didn’t pay nearly enough of it back until they said ‘We’re going to end the free overdraft in two months, bye’.
At which point I had to sell a bunch of things that I’d love to still have in order to not be stung by their interest. sigh
My story sadly isn’t the only one I know of, indeed the stereotype of student life even encourages an unhealthy attitude to finances and it’s not until reality hits a number of years (or months) after you graduate that (at least in my case) you begin to look at fees with banks as more of a helpful prod to manage your money rather than just a barrier on the pros and cons list.
Absolutely. I think that there needs to be a re-think around financial education before a fee featuring overdraft would be accepted by students.
A friend of mine had a student account with Barclays (I think) that had a pretty good system in that they offered a large overdraft for free, then decreased it each year after graduating bit by bit so there was never a huge chunk that needed re-paying (thanks Co-op).
Students are definitely a demographic whose attention needs to be captured by monzo.
In general, students will not accept an overdraft with fees/interest to pay. They want perks and ‘free’ money. And they need support because as @GalaxyMergirl says, student finance England payout loans in the most user unfriendly way… After rent has already come out when your balance was £0 or lower.
Students need that interest free cushion, but they need to be taught not to use it just because it’s there. I made the mistake of using my overdraft by Christmas in my first year, and when the credit limit increased each year, I also spent that. Now I’m saving less than I could be for nice things to buy or do because I’m stuck paying off my overdraft.
Personally, I think monzo needs to continue innovating and finding a new way to incentivise students and young people. If I knew the answer to this, I would be rich, but there has to be another way and I think monzo is best placed to figure it out.
The point about young people and social media though . Young people spreading the word on social media will be a huge boost for monzo as it becomes more widely used. I live up north and I’m also the only person I know that uses monzo despite showing countless people how much better than legacy banks it is. I only heard of them because I have a friend who moved to London. Monzo needs to spread the word through universities around the country through campus reps or something like that.
the answer must be to get hold of the “student” demographic before they go off to Uni and have to try and sort their own finances out with little guidance except for their peers , they should be guided by experiencing budgeting features and hopefully parents with some financial expertise when they are 15 or 16 or even younger
Of course it all comes down to educating young people on finances in the fist place, I think monzo university could help in that, but to do that, it has to offer its services to them and attract them initially to do use the services.
Monzo can’t control what young people’s parents teach their kids but it could offer a helping hand. It’s done a pretty good job at helping me with my budgeting so I think it has the potential to go even further. If it wants to become people’s financial control centre, it would be useful show people how they can control their financial lives effectively and efficiently or point them in the right direction.
Monzo or Starling I think do an excellent job of showing what you spend where, how often etc and do undoubtably help with budgeting if you want / need it
in fairness Monzo have tried doing this kind of approach - maybe students only like free stuff - no everybody likes free stuff - but Monzo / Starling is a business which needs to make a profit to exist - how much would the offer need to be to attract the ongoing loyalty ? - not sure loyalty to brand exists anymore with 0% balance transfers on debt etc etc , but all seems to have gone quiet recently , presumably if it was beneficial for on boarding Uni students Monzo would be continuing with it ( are they - don’t know )