Will Monzo offer cheque books?


Why the long face?


POLL: Where do you currently bank? And will you switch?
(Richard Bairwell) #26

Do cheques technically still need to have the magnetic numbers at the bottom or as long as they are in the machine readable font they are “okay”? If so, Monzo could just stick a “Fill in your details in this form and then print this PDF of a cheque” (but they’ll still have the logistics of “handling cheques” though which I guess they want to avoid).

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(Bruce) #27

Fair enough, so just businesses hanging on, and will likely be phased out circa 1999, oh wait :slightly_smiling_face: … In that case it would be annoying… I do however think these are very very edge cases and therefore can’t imagine a challenger bank investing in the infrastructure to support. Hopefully the equine world and Majestic play catchup quickly :slight_smile:

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(Richard Owen) #28

I’m no fan of cheques. I really wish we didn’t need them. But those are definitely not edge cases. They are real UK markets/industries. They won’t be the only ones, and they probably won’t die out in the next 10 years either.

I have some more examples:

  1. My kids are involved in after-school activities. e.g. Swimming, music. Each provider expects fees paid by cheque. I’ve spoken to them about accepting bank xfers or online payments and they typically respond with one of these lines:
    a) "We are run by volunteers and we don’t have the time to explore that option"
    b) "We tried bank xfers in 2013 but we have 500 members and many people messed up the payment reference"
    c) "We’ve used cheques for the last 17 years and it just works"
    d) "We’d have to pay fees to accept online payments"
    e) "We are not technical enough to administer stuff like that"
    f) “We’ll probably do that one day in the future - but not this year”

  2. I am a coach for a junior football club and any expense claims get paid to me by cheque because the treasurer is old-school and just refuses to change.

  3. My kids school uses Parent Pay for dinner money and some other fees, but if an external organisation provides a service (school photographs, residential trips, etc) then we are often expected to pay with a cheque. There are also some mornings when your kid says “Dad, erm, today is the deadline for paying for the school trip”. Not enough time to arrange a postal order or make a bank xfer, so a cheque is the quickest solution before leaving for work.

  4. I occasionally send my nephew birthday money by cheque. It is quite special when a 7 year old opens a card and out falls a £10 cheque with their name on. It would be a shame if he saw instead, “Happy Birthday nephew, I’ve transferred £10 to your account. x”. Kids needs to learn about the value of money and money management. Until he manages it himself, it’s easier for me and for his parents to teach this using traditional tangible methods.

So, that’s just my set of use cases. I work in the payments industry, yet I can’t escape cheques.

When I get my salary paid into my Monzo CA, I’ll just have to retain my old First Direct account and make bank xfers to it when I have to pay for something by cheque.


(Bruce) #29

Fair enough and I am clearly against it simply because I haven’t been hit by these issues. They are all fair points and thanks for the detail. Hopefully :monzo: take this on board and help tackle the issues.

I’d stick to my view that implementing cheques is likely cost prohibitive and dilute the product and the view that this is a challenger bank changing the industry, not always complying.

But when my kids start experiencing these issues I may change my view :wink:


(Jolin) #30

Note that your second point shouldn’t be a problem with Monzo, as you can pay cheques into your account.

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(Richard Owen) #31

Hi Bruce - yes until I had kids I rarely used cheques. Maybe every child born should come installed with an EMV chip :thinking:

I’m sure you are right with your second point about it being cost prohibitive at this stage for Monzo. Although one of their bold claims they make at their meet-up events is that they want to be able to reach 1 billion customers. My thoughts are that in order to do that they’ll need to target demographics beyond students and techies. That might include cheque users. I could be wrong though.



Sounds like a good plan! You should start a challenger birth provider that offers this among other options …

Seriously, though (not particularly relevant, but), I just read your post (the one with the use cases, not the one with the EMV chips) with much interest.

Having grown up in a country were cheques were phased out in the 90s (I believe) I am bewildered that these are still a thing. I have never written a cheque in my life (never even had a cheque book - although based on your experience that might change with my son starting school soon. I better get a cheque book …).

I still remember the bewilderment I experienced when I was handed my first cheque about 10 years ago shortly after arriving on this island: “What on earth is this? What do I do with this?” Seriously, I am not making this up, I was in my early 20s at that time and I had no idea what a cheque is. I thought someone wanted to fool me… After making enquiries, I went to the local bank branch to try and cash it, only to be told that it couldn’t be cashed but only be paid into a bank account. But I didn’t have a UK bank account at that time (just arrived in the UK, no proof of address - no bank account), so I had that one in a drawer at home for a few months until I had myself sorted out enough to open a bank account and pay it in. I was half expecting this to be a mis-timed April’s fools until the money actually appeared in my statement. :smiley:

I was curious about the actual processing behind cheques, so descended into a bit of a rabbit hole to figure out all the details, and the deeper I went, the deeper became my conviction that using cheques is so … ridiculous in this day and age.

Ultimately this is all irrelevant to this discussion of course…


(Kevyn) #33

I’m a teacher and a number of cheques I still get (well the school does via me) is large. We have online ParentPay but for your reasons it’s sometimes extremely easier for parents to quickly write a cheque. We don’t have in school terminals. I also pay for things in school by cheque as I leave it there so it is easily available and convenient.


(Marta) #34

Well… You basically dream about all parents (or other involved parties) to have Monzo. Monzo to Monzo payments are easier than cheques. You’d get a ton of ka-ching sounds and all payments collected, simple! :wink:


(Oliver Ford) #35

But Monzo has expressed disinterest in banking for businesses, and the school certainly doesn’t want money from parents passing through teachers’ bank accounts.


(Marta) #36

I probably should have made myself clearer, apologies :sweat_smile:. What Monzo built functionality wise is what I think @Chapuys could be content with as a solution. If parent/teacher financial deals were as easy as Monzo to Monzo payments are, cheques would be useless (who wants to carry paper around if payment can be instant).

I’m definitely not starting ‘but why not Monzo for small businesses/charities/other’ topic again. :blush:



Not meaning to dig up old threads here.

We just had school photos day which then comes the payment for them.

My options for payment are:

  1. Write all my card details onto this single page form and hand it to a teacher whom then ‘hopefully’ remembers to put it into the correct place wherever this may be at school.

  2. Write a cheque.

Also, I get around 4 cheques a year to cash in myself, and First Great Western (GWR) issue cheques when you get a refund for your ‘no-ticket-on-the-train fine’.

These fines are inevitable when you live near the coast and have crappy touch screen ticket terminals that end up just not working. If you argue with them that the machine was broken all the station security staff swarm around you because you’re a ‘problem’ and causing a disturbance. Much easier to pay the fine, fill in the form, and cash the cheque when it turns up 9 months later (Yes it really takes them 9 months to issue a damn refund).


(Tony Hoyle) #38

Or ask the school’s details and use a faster payment (I’m surprised they don’t tell you this without asking as it’s how most bills are paid now).

I wouldn’t give my card details to a school. The chances they’re PCI compliant are basically zero (especially if they’re expecting you to write them down!)

Receiving cheques from large companies will continue to be a problem… I’m due another one from BG and I still haven’t had the opportunity to do anything with the last one yet… Hopefully in a couple of weeks when cheques start clearing in under 24 hours some of them will abandon the practice (it’s basically to keep money in their account as long as possible to gain interest).

I’ll probably open a basic account with someone else to dump them in when cheque imaging starts (depending on which banks implement it from launch - barclays is looking good).



I agree, cheques are still an important part and common way of paying. I grew up in a country where cheques are literally used for everything, I quite literally wrote one our for 0.99 because I had no cash and their terminal wasn’t working.
Whilst in the UK I haven’t written any I certainly have received my fair share of them, and there have been times where I wished I had a chequebook. It would be great for Monzo to have them as an option.

Monzo is trying to be a sustainable and competitive bank, the products they do or don’t offer shouldn’t, at least in my opinion, be based on what challenger banks are offering but rather on what will bring them the largest number of customers. Having cheques, is as important to me as having a bank statement, it wouldn’t feel like a REAL bank without either of those things.



Having cheques may bring them a large number of customers, as would having branches, or giving away a free pen and a balloon. But that is not the route Monzo are taking…thank goodness


(Tony Hoyle) #41

You can’t please all of the people all of the time.

And (in business) nor should you try.

Today has been a particularly striking example of that principle :stuck_out_tongue:



Having branches is also increadibly more costly than offering cheques. It’s not really comparable.

But I too rejoice to know that Monzo isn’t relying on pointless freebies to attract customers. However the difference is that cheques aren’t gimmicks, I see them as a core service/feature a bank needs to offer. You clearly don’t.



Yes today was a prime example of it however the community has had a say in the matter and option 3 won overwhelmingly.
Maybe the importance, or lack thereof, of cheques is another matter the community could get a say on?


POLL: Should Monzo issue chequebooks?

This could be easily and cost-effectively fixed with a solution such as iZettle. (Get free transactions with this link https://www.izettle.com/i/9BSLVQ )

I suspect that would be easier for parents and could improve speed of collection of payments.

If the community is given a say on everything, we’ll end up with a traditional bank. I’d rather go with TomBlom’s vision.