But note that Mastercard gives you a better exchange rate than Visa. Barclaycard is cheaper if you want to withdraw cash and pay it off at the end of the month because they don’t charge interest, but you are better using a debit card such as Monzo, Starling, or Metro Bank (Euro area only) for that.
Amex is my main spending card, they don’t offer bank accounts.
I also have Tandem for places that don’t take Amex, and for foreign purchases. They also don’t offer bank accounts.
I also have Nationwide Select, previously for UK non-Amex purchases, but I don’t use it so much now, and Santander Zero, previously for foreign purchases, I now only use it if they have rewards cashback for a retailer I’m using anyway.
I keep hearing about “the marketplace” and how it will be the answer for many things that Monzo itself plan to not provide.
I’m just wondering if I’m missing something here. Isn’t there already a marketplace? It’s just called the market - where you can go to any number of comparison sites and financial advice sites, see what’s available and take your pick.
What’s special about Monzo’s marketplace? I imagine that the providers will all be vetted and that they’re all best friends and have similar values but beyond that will it actually be anything more than a subset of the actual market?
I get that Monzo have priorities and/or may not want to offer a credit card. But I’m highly doubtful that the marketplace is likely fill the gap that those of us wanting one have. We already have the real market for that. And while I’ve got a few decent credit cards which offer good rewards the whole point of wanting a Monzo alternative is to get their special sauce.
I think the intention is to be able to sign up from your Monzo app without having to visit any other sites. So you like the look of a savings or credit product then you can sign up in app. All interactions with them will also be in the Monzo app. That’s the end goal as far as I understand
Monzo already have your financial data. So, for example, when switching energy, they’ll know what you currently spend and can recommend a cheaper supplier. When switching credit card, they’ll know if you’re in the market to transfer a balance too.
Remember providing a current account (or a credit card) isn’t really the goal, Monzo just sees the current account as the best tool to enable Monzo to become the financial control centre in your life.
But you’re right, it won’t be a Marketplace which just annually churns people onto the cheapest deals. Tom has warned of that kind of CompareTheMarket race to the bottom already. Those people who switch regularly are generally subsidised by people who don’t switch. So firms will also share some values with Monzo. A bit like Bulb, though what this Marketplace will eventually look like is anyone’s guess.
But that only works to an extent. They may see that I’m paying Ovo £200 a month but they have no idea how big my house is, what tariff I’m on or what my actual energy usage is.
Financial sites may provide a race to the bottom but they’re very effective for getting the best value as a consumer. Do some people get worse deals and end up subsidising others? Of course, but ultimately people have to do what’s best for them.
Monzo may provide a frictionless marketplace, and I’ll definitely be there to have a look, but ultimately getting the best value usually involves putting the work in. I can think of countless services which provide a lazy option in exchange for taking a cut. There’s obviously a market for this but I’m generally not a fan.
So you tell Monzo. You only have to do that once. Just like any other marketplace. Then once it has helped you switch it’ll know your tariff for next time. And in the days of open banking and smart meters, Monzo may even be able to tell you if you’ve left the heating on when you go on holiday.
Are they effective though? How do you know Ovo hasn’t paid to be plonked at the top of the listings, skewing the results. Currently all the comparison sites do deals with certain companies behind the scenes. At least Monzo is transparent by default so you’ll know why or why not a particular company makes the grade.
Have you ever seen Tom explain Monzo in person? He does a far better job at evangelising his vision than anyone else. In this Q&A he touches on the Marketplace at 26 minutes and again around 48 minutes. He talks about the race to the bottom, and he even talks about wanting to take away the burden of ordinary folk “putting the work in”.
Yeah that makes sense when you say it! It just doesn’t sound any different to other sites in terms of being seamless.
Well if they’re at the top they’re the cheapest and although price isn’t the only factor that I’d consider I’m not really concerned if they’ve paid to be at the top. And I’m probably a minority but I’d use multiple comparisons.
I watched about ten mins (cheers!). He is very good, and I do like thought and consideration that goes into Monzo. But I guess for me at the end of the day it is banking and the bottom line kind of is $$$. LIke the guy who asks the question about Santander cashback. Yes, it might be loss making for Santander but that really isn’t my problem.
I get the wanting to help ordinary folk and that is great. But I guess I don’t fall into that category!
Edit: I guess my mum is one of the ordinary folks and I personally wouldn’t leave it to Monzo to help her. I’d be doing it myself.