Will Monzo survive?

Monzo have had a significant amount of bad press lately, and it got me wondering if Monzo are strong enough to weather the storm.

My feeling is that Monzo will survive if their product is strong enough. Is it?

The app is fairly good, if we overlook the problems with the feed muddling up "TODAY’ and ‘YESTERDAY,’ the Settings within Settings pages, the buttons that send money or cancel Direct Debits without confirmation. It’s definitely not perfect.

What about their banking service? It’s pretty poor, actually. Bad for international transfers, bad for paying in cash, bad for paying in cheques, there’s no PayM support, there’s no mortgage offering, there’s no credit card offering, they don’t report to the main credit reference agencies.

And what about the rest of it? Customer service gets mixed reviews, their anti-fraud systems sound ropey, premium accounts were a disaster, merchant data corrections make for a truly atrocious user experience. It’s not great.

Right now, then, I don’t think Monzo’s future looks all that secure. Competition is catching up fast, and the goodwill, excitement, and general buzz around the brand will quickly disappear if Monzo’s core product is allowed to continue languishing.

What would I like to happen? I’d love to see Monzo start focusing on the basics, the unexciting stuff, tidying up all the MVP things they started but never really finished. Please, pretty please.

So, a poll: Are you happy with Monzo’s current direction?

  • Yes, keep doing what you’re doing, Monzo!
  • Unsure
  • No, the strategy needs a rethink

0 voters

Could you rework your post as a bullet pointed list? It would at least make a nice compilation of all the things that Monzo get accused of on here

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Great post!

I think that this could be concerning for Monzo. I suspect they are a bit too concentrated on new features, and that the basic banking features need some love and care.

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And that’s the key point, catching up where Monzo haven’t, and won’t, stand still

If those things matter to you then I agree that it’s a huge issue. But to a lot of people they don’t want or need those things

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Agreed, if those thing s are important then Monzo isn’t for you and you need to be with a Legacy bank.

If people are after Monzo offering their own mortgages then you are in the wrong bank as I can’t see Monzo launching those kind of products themselves.

Simply because legacy banks offer these thing doesn’t mean Monzo should.

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Sadly for me right now, I see Monzo standing still the areas I care about, and moving fast in the wrong ones (Monzo Plus, Get Paid Early, etc). This is why I fear slightly for their future.

I would like to see this kind of innovation coming to a product that was slick and polished. Instead they seem to be bolting extra features onto a half baked core product.

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They are going to launch a credit card at some stage but it’s unrealistic to expect market leading rates

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I think that has been acknowledged to a certain extent. Can’t find the post at the moment but @simonb did mention that they planned to tidy up a few things the next quarter

Get paid early has been received very positively. You might not find it useful but many of us love it. Monzo Plus… yeah, disaster from start to finish but if you don’t try something how do you know?

It’s a huge company now and we only see a tiny fraction of what’s happening on the forum. There’s nothing I can see that’s a sign of bad times coming

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Everyone is different, some people really care about those things you listed, others like me and the people I know who are on Monzo don’t care. For me having stuff like Bills Pots for example is a million times more important than paying in cheques, in that sense Monzo provides me with a a lot of important features I use on a daily basis that other banks don’t. I think Monzo is for everyone and should be for everyone but at the end of the day they have this target audience made up of mostly people who don’t really care much about most of the things you listed and as young people get older they will become part of that target audience so there will always be new people joining Monzo who want to bank in a way that is very different than legacy banking

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This is hilarious

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After being with Monzo for two months I am switching back to a high street bank. I had a joint account with my wife and decided to leave for the following reasons;

  • I have experienced support request delays, having to wait for a number of hours for a response and then passed on from person to person. From what I have read on this forum it seems to be a wide spread issue. With a legacy bank I can either go into a physical branch which is an option I miss.
  • The mess with Plus. Monzo were completely out of step with what their customers seem to want and I can’t see this changing.
  • No overdraft for joint account holders. I have only used an overdraft feature on two occasions but in my eyes its a basic feature and a safety net for unexpected payments/direct debits.
  • The Watchdog episode. It’s not so much that I’m worried about having my account frozen, its how Monzo dealt with it.
  • Providing a service in the US without polishing off their product in the UK, I think Monzo are moving too quickly.

I first switched to Monzo because I felt they were dynamic, agile and different to high street legacy banks but in reality I don’t feel they are. For example, I thought the ability to chat with someone via the app was great, a modern feature that would help save me time and get things done with an actual human. In reality It’s easier going into a branch. Monzo seem to chop and change their minds a lot, Plus and Business accounts being some ideas that spring to mind, there is no clear direction.

I’ll miss some aspects of the app and how easy it was to have pots for different things but for my circumstances a legacy bank is better.

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Agreed. I have no need for any of those things. Monzo does everything I want it to do

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App - I still think it’s exceptional when compared to the apps from traditional banks that I have recent experience with. I don’t see any significant catching up.

More traditional banking services/products (mortgages etc) - I expect these will eventually come but I don’t think there needs to be a massive increase in the pace at which these are introduced. I’m fine with gradual introduction.

Customer service - this is the one area where i’d like to see a change of direction. In particular id like to see a well-staffed proper telephone support line that doesn’t ring out or divert to in-app chat. Unfortunately I don’t currently have confidence that I can quickly get hold of Monzo in a situation where I need rapid support. That’s a bit of a problem.

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Paying in cheques? Rarely need it. It’s not difficult to do with Monzo though.

As for PayM. I don’t know anyone who uses it?

I think they just need to keep doing what they’re doing. People will listen to their friends who use Monzo over the vested interest of a flaming pitchforks anti-Monzo group on Facebook.

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To be clear, I’m not for a second suggesting that Monzo will collapse because of the Watchdog report, or that there will be a run on the bank tomorrow.

I’m more interested in whether people think Monzo will stand out from the competition in a few years time, how the ‘legacy’ banks might have changed, and whether I’ll still be banking with Monzo 5 years from now.

In the few years the community has been here there have been constant ups and downs in the general consensus as to whether Monzo are on the right path, but there have been several huge dips in this ‘group think’ perception of Monzo’s success in that time, with some people losing confidence in the brand and many early adopters and supporters losing interest or throwing their toys out of the pram. it really epitomises the human nature of markets where the fundamentals can be the same but a swing in collective mood can cause irrational behaviour and spark greed and fear.

I think the first such moment was in summer 2017 when Monzo was down for over a day. Some people lost their sh*t and some sold their shares because they were spooked that it could fail. Monzo listened and put in their own payment processor which has for the next 2 years been very solid.

The second was in Jan 2018 when the consensus went from generally happy to suddenly turning into “Monzo is not finishing anything and Starling is better”. Again they listened to the community and did their Big List to iron out the bugs and finish things off.

Now this feels like a third wave of people losing their marbles. It seems to have been sparked by the media having a pop at Monzo for complying with the law and a general feeling that they’ve stopped listening.

I think we will look back at it and realise how dumb this ‘scare’ has been.

While all these group think fears have been taking place over the years, these people have gone from nothing to the fastest growing bank with a £2,000,000,000+ valuation.

This is not something that is going to fail because some forum power users feel that things aren’t moving in their desired direction or fast enough for them.

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Really? When has that been said?

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Tom sort of hinted at it during Investival in June

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Sometimes I think people have banked with Monzo so long that they have forgotten what it is like to bank with a legacy bank… maybe it’s just my personal experience, but pretty much every customer service interaction I had with a legacy bank was atrocious from start to finish, from cancelling my card the day before a 2 week holiday (stupidly, I didn’t have a back up card or account, but fortunately I did have a boyfriend travelling with me); from mishandling a car hire deposit authorisation and then spending a week in the highlands with no phone signal; to attempting to do very simple things like change my address. I have no doubt that Monzo will survive. It’s not perfect, but has it helped me save money? Absolutely. Do I still recommend it to everyone I meet? Absolutely.

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I’m full monzo and I’d like to see regular saver accounts, monzo credit card (0.5% cashback) and euro account (I could close my starling account), I don’t need to pay cash or cheques, every person has different needs