Upgrading : Community Feedback

(Simon B) #1

Hey all! So in the ongoing thread that I’d made regarding Upgrading, it’s become clear that the replies there have turned into a mix of people relating their experiences, some providing feedback, some issues that are essentially customer support queries, and the usual general banter that we all enjoy :wink:

However, this latest post stuck out and so I’d really like us to use this quote as a starting point to kick off a new discussion that will hopefully prove to be super helpful to us all. I’d really like to gather everyone’s thoughts on upgrading and if there’s any reason why people may not want to do it. It’s quite murky territory and we’ve recently identified that we can improve communications in this area.

For example - the term “current account” has been identified to perhaps be somewhat corporate and/or intimidating to some people, and so “change” shouldn’t be the focus, but improvement - ie, this isn’t something completely brand new and different, but it’s the same Monzo that you know and love, just with additional features and benefits!

This quote sticks out because there’s actually nothing stopping anyone using the “upgraded” Monzo in exactly the same way! Once we’ve been able to roll out debit card top-ups (which is being worked on!) then if your specific actions as users don’t change, then for all intents and purposes your Monzo account is the same, but better! (instant bank transfers, better acceptance).

The reason why I love this community is because everyone who posts here, or at least the vast majority, are people that love and recommend Monzo to their friends and family. I’d really like to find out what resistance there may have been (if any) when you’ve all started to have conversations about, or explain to your loved ones what upgrading means, what the differences are, etc.

  • Have you found resistance if the term “current account” has been used?
  • Has there been any expectation that the upgraded Monzo would require a change in user behaviour?
  • Have you had to explain to people why this is a good thing?
  • If people are reluctant, what reason have they given as to why?

Ultimately the conversations that you all have during this time are the key to us streamlining and improving this process! :grinning:

Upgrade (Migration) Updates
Number of Monzo Users
(Herp Derp) #2

Clearly people don’t get it no matter how many times it has been posted on here so for those that don’t you may as well just call it an enhanced prepaid card and then leave it at that…

(Jack) #3

I think some people view the pre paid as non bank like and a little like a store gift card (no strings attached). The word current account scares them off a little since they already have one and relates to traditional banking.
Personally everyone I know who has Monzo is looking forward to the upgrade. And I think it’s been clear that the features are the same as the pre paid and more. This may be because I read all my emails and also the Monzo blog, but I wonder how many customers actually do and knew this current account was on the horizon. Maybe this could be better communicated with an app pop up (like the ATM fee changes) before the notification to upgrade has been pushed out just so people know what to expect before clicking.
Maybe word it as an account upgrade or next gen account, which has added features of a traditional current account. Although I also see that wording it like this may add to my first sentence above. I guess it’s a balance!

@simonb Tagged you in this as I could see you liked it, but I’ve since made some adjustments :slight_smile: .

(Geoff Pascoe) #4

I think the biggest issue is telling people that they can use the account in the exact same way, only for them to discover that there’s no debit card top ups. Having to open another (probably crappy) bank app to transfer money in makes it much less useful for those wanting to use Monzo as a prepaid-ish card. Saying it’s coming soon doesn’t really help when people have been told other features were coming soon for months (particularly on Android). And saying it’s exactly the same as the prepaid except for the lack of debit card topups seems a little disingenuous when the debit card top up is, in my opinion and the opinion of my friends, the main feature that makes it feel like a prepaid card. I think much resistance will go once topups are back.

Other than that, I honestly think it has a lot to do with the UK banking system. For example, in Australia, I was never offered an overdraft by a bank, and nobody ever really spoke about using them. In the UK, overdrafts seem to be the norm, many people I’ve spoken to here regularly use them, and banks like to charge large fees for them. Also, opening a bank account at many UK banks seems to take an age, and this isn’t just non-British me - my Scottish girlfriend took nearly an hour to open an account a couple of weeks ago. These are just two examples of why opening a bank account seems to be much more of a big deal here, which I think makes the prospect of a current account seem more daunting than it needs to. I don’t think there’s a logical reason - prepaid just sounds less daunting. Long term, hopefully banks like Monzo will reduce this stigma, but I’m not sure what Monzo could do in the short term. TL;DR: lots of problems not caused by Monzo, no solutions proposed :wink:


Simply, a lot of people don’t want a sort code and account as in a new bank. My dad and a friend closed it as soon as they got the notification.

Offer them all the reasons in the world, people still won’t change. Same for things like broadband, energy. Its wierd, but it’s life.


And of course better protection of your money.

Like you said corporate word current account doesn’t help. Most people have preconceived ideas and experiences with legacy banks.k found this to be the main hurdle whenever I had a chat about Monzo CA with my colleagues and friends. One comment stood out for me that apparently it was good as prepaid because their main current account would stay organised and with Monzo they could control daily spending. When I explained that it would be same answer is pretty dumb imo oh don’t want another current account.
Top up feature debate doesn’t help but hopefully will get sorted.

Personally I am happy with CA and using it as my main account now all the direct debits and standing orders behaving as supposed. Can’t wait to features evolve because things are really basic at the moment.

(Simon B) #7

This is really interesting. We are definitely aware of this as a blocker, but I find it interesting, because, at least in my experience, when recommending Monzo to a new person, “you can top up it with another debit card” isn’t a sentence I’ve ever said. People are generally already sold on the concept before this.

It’s definitely convenient, but in the long term we’d hope it’s not really necessary as your funds will “live” in your Monzo account in the first place.


It will still be of use. Here are two possibilities:
a) topping up Friday night from a bank, building soc or credit union that does not send FPS at evenings or weekends when you need your money before Monday
b) topping up from a foreign card when you want the money same day rather than by SEPA which takes a few days

(Harry) #9

In my experience, whenever I’ve recommended someone to Monzo it’s either been use Monzo as a way of managing their money better or for the benefits of using the card aboard.

A lot of my friends on the prepaid app will be disheartened to see that they cannot (at present) top up using their main bank account and I can see it being a blocker. For me, doing a transfer at the moment isn’t so bad but I will be happy when the top up feature is back.

I would have thought that lots of Monzo users will get paid into their legacy banks and transfer their weekly/monthly budgets, just as they do with the prepaid product, having the top up feature their straightaway would certainly encourage more people to switch (in my opinion…)

I would like to think that lots of your customers will move to Monzo as their main account but I don’t see that happening for a long time to come for many people, Monzo hopefully will be the new norm one day but I think we are a bit too far away from that right now.

(Geoff Pascoe) #10

Fair, but you’re probably not recommending it to people as a pre-paid card :wink: For people signing up to a new current account it’s probably not an issue, but for those that are told they can use it exactly like the pre-paid card, having got used to using it, it is. Personally, I haven’t used my Monzo account since ‘upgrading’, and this is a large part of the reason.

Again, that’s not really the thing you were asking about here though? You were asking about why people wouldn’t want to ‘upgrade’ when the current account can be used like the prepaid card.

(Hugh) #11

The greatest issue with the top ups it is that it is a very easy mechanism to convert stolen cards into cash or high value goods. I wouldn’t be surprised to seem it go away for good in the long term…


then users will turn to other offerings like Starling and Fire where such a user friendly option exists

(Peter Roberts) #13

My experience recently is that people aren’t even aware you can have more than one current account. Inspired by Monzo and trying to get the best experience I can - I currently have about eight I’m assessing. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to has been extremely surprised that this is even possible

(Jason) #14

One of the reasons my friend is holding off on upgrading isn’t the fact that it’s a new bank but because they have had issues with online fraud. I know when you report it you get the money back but they really like topping the card up and making the purchase, they feel more secure and in control if anything were to happen.

If virtual cards were added with limits or maybe you have to authorise the payments made on that card they would be happy.

Another reason I loved the top up card vs CA is because I have a Personal Assistant who helps me since I have Muscular Dystrophy. So if I needed them to pop out to the shops I could give them my card and feel safe knowing there is only £10 in the account and it can’t be miss-used

(Hugh) #15

I really doubt it would continue to exist if the scale is as bad as it has been implied to me. Banks have a responsibility to protect users against fraud and it would not be good to get a reputation in the industry as a fraud facilitator. Somewhere someone mentioned that a legacy bank had said they automatically rejected Monzo top ups as they saw huge fraud with them…

(Simon B) #16

This is one of the situations where our soon-to-be-released “Pots” feature will solve the problem :grinning:

You could keep the majority of your funds in a Pot and then only transfer what you need into the “main” balance, as you can’t spend from what’s in a pot.

(Jason) #17

That would be awesome. Will there be an option to transfer funds from a certain pot for direct debits to make sure they won’t be declined? Just in case you forget one is due to go out


I had seen 4 versions of your app prior to the upgrade, Android Prepaid Beta and Android Preview, iOS Prepaid Beta and iOS Preview, and an Overdraft option (button or text) appeared in at least one of them but the new post upgrade Android app certainly does not appear to include any overdraft option. Is this coming?

Personally with a overdraft at my legacy bank I could not utilise the new Monzo account without any overdraft facility.

(Simon B) #19

Yes, overdrafts are in staff testing at the moment :grinning:

Applying for Overdrafts
(Simon B) #20

Not in the initial release of the feature, but it’s something that will evolve over time to allow for different needs and use-cases.

Right now - money goes into a Pot and it’s safe. You can deposit to a Pot or withdraw to it. In the future, you could potentially have a pot just for your direct debits, tied to virtual details (ie separate to what’s in your “spending balance” that is connected to the debit card), or be able to allocate a pot to a third party company, like if you had a Savings pot, and we had a partnership with a savings provider. Cool stuff like that :grinning:

But as is our way, we’ll release the MVP (minimum viable product) as soon as we can, then iterate over time based on feedback! We’re really excited to launch this :grinning: