What features in a Monzo app would you be willing to pay for?

So the weekly update today had a theme suggesting Monzo’s interest in exploring Paid For App Functionality.

I thought it would be worth a separate discussion, since that post will get locked next week anyway, about Premium Feature sets.

What Premium app functionality (not specific goods or services) would you be willing to pay extra for?

What would you not be willing to pay for?

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Monzo is a bank. Not a software developer. They should make money from financial services, not software.

I have no problem in general with paying for software, but it would not sit right with me paying a bank for software features.

I would not be willing to pay for any software features from Monzo.

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None

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I’d be extremely disappointed if Monzo developed that sort of model where basic budgeting functionality etc moved to behind a paywall!

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There’s none I can think of

Be good if they could give greater clarity of exactly what features they mean

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I’d pay (of a sort) for loans, credit cards and overdrafts. I’m also prepared to give a percentage of my interest from my savings accounts, providing I can see them in app.

Nothing else.

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What would you think to Basic Budgeting vs Advanced Budgeting features?

If the current budgeting were the free model, and Advanced being, ability to forecast, debt snowball calculator type things, and generally other more ‘powerful’ budget tools that help you save more than you spend on the tool?

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I’ve seen other banks with features like…

  • Virtual Cards. (a dutch bank)
  • Increased Pot Limits (N26)

(I’ll add others If I can find other examples)

Would any of those spark interest?

It would really depend on what was being proposed.
Just as long as nothing that is currently available for free would then suddenly be a chargeable feature.

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None that are currently provided for free.

Honestly, it feels a little like the AAA games industry at the moment. That nagging feeling that your experience is being intentionally hobbled to extract money from you.

With below-inflation savings rates, banking is expensive enough as it is.

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I would not pay for additional software features from any bank.

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What he said :arrow_up:

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Interesting thread, thanks. I think it’d be better not to do this at all, for these reasons:

  • It’s certainly not making money work for everyone - the lowest paid would get second tier banking
  • Once some features are behind a paywall, there will be a very strong incentive for all new features to be plus features
  • How will this work with other account types like joint and business? That’s going to get very confusing and cause ill feeling
  • It distracts them from building a true financial hub (open banking, integrations, marketplace and financial hub)
  • It’s a me-too move which makes them less like a bank and more like a prepaid card app - I think this positioning is very important for them for trust and getting salaries paid in - they want to be compared to Barclays or HSBC, not Emma

So I strongly feel they should draw a line in the sand and say banking is for everyone and they don’t charge for it (since they actually make money from it when people use them as a bank).

There are so many products they can make money on - e.g. savings, loans, credit cards, virtual cards, mortgages, payments, business accounts. Those are much harder to build which is why selling software features for small subs is superficially attractive, but personally I think financial products fit better with their long term goals and mission.

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Seems most people are pretty aligned here…

Instead of these sorts of features, Monzo should just go back and finish off the basics to make it a more complete bank. This way, they will be able to be compared fairly to other banks and finally get people who are willing to trust it as their main bank. When this relationship is established then traditional financial services products will be enough to make good profit. There isn’t really a new product to be made here, just a total re-design of how it’s put together and the interaction with users.

Rushing through any old stuff with a view of charging people for it smacks of desperation and doesn’t seem traditionally Monzo in feel.

The sorts of things proposed as chargeable software items are available from businesses where this is their only service and do it pretty damn well… this will be so tough to compete with.

If there’s such a need to charge people for something then just do what every other bank does. It won’t suit most people here because they were led on by utterances of a marketplace, but it works for most other banks so just create a package or two to rival them and flog those to the people who like that sort of thing.

The way Monzo implemented savings pots really made me think that they’d nailed this. I thought that was the start of a bloody good marketplace… then it just stopped right there. Such a shame. Maybe this sort of integration just isn’t available right now with the sorts of providers they intended to chase, but trying to flog minor features just seems a bit naff.

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Is anyone prepared to pay them for anything, whether now or a year ago? Seems like having a very good but totally free service is pretty much what everyone was always after regardless of the effect on the bottom line. Understandable, after most customers are just that, but maybe not sustainable. The grousing about having to pay (!) for Plus started even before anyone took up the offer and seems to still fuel the criticism of people even if they never took it up

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In answer to the question, I would maybe pay for contents insurance, but probably not any budgeting feature

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Personally would not like to see elements of banking revolution thrown behind a pay wall. This includes items like Virtual Cards, elements relating to open banking, automation or payment initiation and any type of spending analytics/summary. Doing this would remove the reason why I actual enjoy having Monzo as my main account.

What I am willing to pay a small amount for is access to multiple products in one place that aren’t part of a current account; i.e. Savings, Credit card, insurance products, multiple currancies, switching recommendations etc. For me this doesn’t actually need to be as part of a premium account but equally I don’t see wht it couldn’t be, which I why I signed up for Plus in the first place.

Edit: Probably worth mentioning that I do think that it’s a good idea for Monzo to reduce the cost of whatever offering they choose to go with where customers follow behaviours that improve unit economics. Whether that’s through interest or reduced fees doesn’t really matter.

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I’d pay for non essential extras that had value e.g. insurance. I wouldn’t pay for core app features like budgeting, pots, etc. I’d probably switch back to Starling if they adopted this type of business model, I don’t want a freemium app for a bank.

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Blockquote

Absolutely not.

Those features should be offered free to everyone. They should be marketing it saying “look at all these amazing and powerful tools we provide you with for free but to get the most out of them you should use Monzo as your main account so we can give you a full view if your financial life”, then use our money like every other bank does and make money off it.

No bank in the world makes their biggest profits off premium services. They are often loss leaders. They male money off our deposits and by offering lending.

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Monzo aims to scale to a billion people. To beat the competition in markets across the globe they’re going to need to deliver a true financial hub that enables people to get real control over their entire financial lives. Any feature which works towards that aim that ends up hived off behind a paywall will hurt them in the long term, through reduced growth compared with any competition who don’t charge. And the competition can, will, and frequently do copy ruthlessly. Splitting features in this way will also complicate the product.

As @kennygrant said, there are a lot of other ways for a bank to make money. Monzo just have to build out a full set of offerings - be they on balance sheet or through another provider. There are no shortcuts.

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