My View on the cards I have used so far…
Given the state of this area in fintech, a lot of banks are trying to rapidly innovate their services to retain their customers. As It has become increasingly disappointing banking with major banking institutions.
For instance, Barclays is worth over £16 Billion but what do you get from a bank that uses your money to trade on the markets? a 0.01 percent return?? might aswell go to the casino and bet on red or black As you would get better return on your money. But also why do I have to waste my time and go to a bank to deposit a check? don’t they know I am busy? why can’t I management my account properly on my phone?
As these major organisations take forever to change systems because of so much red tape! Mondo / Monese / Revolt (not a bank) / Atom (Still waiting to try) / Starling(Still waiting to try) will easily move across this sector gaining traction with people that want, not only to have a bank account but also have great experiences with customer service! mixed with ease of use. Which in my opinion the big banks are failing to notice!
Just got its banking licence (Limited) and can protect up to 50K when the current account is launched. Mondo positions itself as a “mobile first” bank. It will be offering a current account with a contactless debit card and a mobile banking app. The mobile app’s standout features are intelligent notifications, instant balance updates and financial management. For banking ops, it decided to build its own platform (This is by far one of the best things to do in my opinion as their technology and the R&D is lightyears ahead). The technology used is mainly open source: Linux, Apache Cassandra distributed database (used by the likes of Apple and Twitter), Google’s Go (golang) programming language at the back-end and PostgreSQL relational database. The system is hosted at two data centres in the UK on Mondo’s own hardware.
The fact that Mondo are this transparent is the reason why they convert so many users. they are eliminating the veil that covers banking and telling its users to not only test the app, but see how it is created!
Having trusted Mondo with my money for the past 11 months all I can say is…I can’t wait to move my bank over! I even invested in the crowdcube round. everything was fantastic, customer service, the community, the feedback and even using it abroad. I have used mondo in Africa / Greece / USA / Saudi Arabia and Sri lanka. This is an account for the 21st century built in the 21st century.
Bit of a shroud to this as the tech stack is not available but “Monese’s underlying technology enables the company to provide customers with a U.K. current account regardless of their citizenship. This will revolutionise banking for immigrants and expats as ‘residency restrictions’ imposed by traditional high street banks are one of the single greatest barriers to accessing the banking system when they arrive in a new country,” explains Koppel(Founder).
Regarding Monese….Hmm, they started by saying Monese is currently free to use for all transactions except international money transfers.
for example, when you use your Monese contactless Visa debit card, credit your account via bank transfer, use ATM balance checks and make real-time transfers between Monese accounts.
But sadly Monese has done a U-turn on its expected fees policy.
And started charging a monthly fee of £4.95 as of 1st April 2016 for all banking features other than currency exchange (0.5% on top of the mid-market exchange rate, which is up to 8x cheaper than the high street banks).
Having Used it for 4 months they are good, great service too but I cant get over the U-turn on what was promised when I signed up and for that Monese is 2nd choice. But everything else is pretty solid so deserves its place.
Revolut is the new app and multi-currency prepaid card that’s great for saving in the money transfer market and cutting the cost of hidden banking fees.
It’s so easy and convenient to use:
- ATM usage — FREE to withdraw up to £500 / €650 / $700 (or equivalent) a month, after which there’s a 2% fee applied to further ATM withdrawals until the end of the month. For example, if you withdraw £550 in one month, this would only cost you £1. Note, this fee only applies to ATM withdrawals — you can still spend as much as you want with your RevolutCard
- USD debit card top-ups — 3% fee per USD top-up via debit card, so it may be cheaper to top up via bank transfer — spending, sending and exchanging USD is still FREE
- Illiquid currencies — Revolut will provide their best rate rather than the interbank rate for illiquid currencies difficult to trade, eg Thai Baht and Russian Ruble — all of which will be clearly shown on the app
- no fees when transferring money
- ability to convert currency at any time
- best available exchange rates
“Revolut is your personal money cloud cutting your hidden banking fees to zero. It allows you to exchange currencies at interbank rates, send money through social networks and spend with a multi-currency card that is accepted anywhere. All this is done at the touch of a button in a beautiful mobile application.” — Revolut.com
Having family that lives in the states this was one of the most important areas I wanted to impact. Now I can send money to my Mother and siblings instantly (My Little brother and sister now ask for a lot more money, more often… but it’s fine that’s what a big brother does.) If Revolut where to pivot to banking for migrants worldwide it could be onto something….watch this space maybe??
I have had dealings with the iOS developer previously who developed the app, without being biased… the app is designed fantastically well, the reason for me that Revolut is number 3 Is because its only for sending money internationally and the customer service is just below Monese. but a pro is that I don’t have to use moneygram or Western union any more.
Plus another reason (totally biased) is the fact that the crowd funding round was only for those who had more than 10 contacts…bad form! Users remember and if Mondo expands to the US… I would probably sign my family up for Mondo instead. But don’t get me wrong Revolut is Solid and I still like it.
Still waiting to try Atom and Starling’s offering…
Let me know your thoughts and if you have had great experiences with any or all:)