My thoughts on Monzo — a new kind of Bank (well sort of)

First off — this is not a plug. I have been using Monzo for a few months now and wanted to give my thoughts on how my family has used it. I have not been paid to write this article and Monzo if you reading this, you know my card details :)

I actually managed to get hold of one of the first Mondo Beta Cards. Yes it was called Mondo before they decided to rebrand with a new name with something that made me immediately think of Sesame Street (I love Sesame Street).

The setup for me was via the Iphone App. Ridiculously easy and took me a minute tops. It then asked me to top up my card with £100 to receive the card which I did. The money was transferred from my current account within seconds. I now had £100 on an iphone app and it told me my card was on its way.

THE CARD ARRIVED

My shiny new bright Orange card arrived. I think the colour was a great move from the designers and I get quite a few comments on it. It came loaded with my £100 so I decided to try it. So off I went to one of our local supermarkets and bought myself something with it via contactless. Ping — within seconds I get a notification of the purchase and the balance was instantaneously updated. I really like this feature and also that I don’t have to remember a password to see the balance, I just click on the App.

I also received my Pin number for the card which obviously I forgot straight away. I contacted the support through the app and asked for a Pin reminder. They texted it to me within seconds. I really dislike those new Pin letters you get from the banks so this really impressed me. It was also there on my phone whenever I forgot it again in my text messages. I have used the support a couple of times and those guys are really responsive.

HOW WE USED THE MONZO CARD AS A FAMILY

I have to admit that my wife loves this card. We are pretty good at budgeting but this makes it so much easier. We started to load our monthly food and living budget onto the card so that we could keep a track of this (well my wife could). It made it really easy to plan the budget and it also meant that the money was out of our current account and already budgeted for. It also gives you a breakdown of the categories of expenditure which is pretty cool. I just found this easier to use than the various tools that track your expenditure in hindsight. It is much easier to budget with pre-loading in my opinion and I have also started recommending it to clients because of this.

SOME CONSIDERATIONS

At the moment I think you can only have only one card per user/phone. It would be really useful to have the ability to have multiple cards per household so that as a family we could pre-load money into various pots (i.e. savings, food, lifestyle). It is also a Mastercard at this point so you get the message at the ATM every time of “you may be charged for this transaction”. You don’t get charged and I think they have just received registration to become a bank.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS

It is quite early in the life of Monzo and I am quite excited by it. I really hope they don’t lose their focus on how easy it is to use. I think it is a great way to set a budget as a family and stick to it and looking forward to seeing what they have in store with future improvements, there is definitely scope for integrations with financial planning.