I have been a Monzo customer since February 2017, shortly before they officially became a bank. I initially joined Monzo partly to understand what the hype was all about (several people in my office were brandishing these bright orange cards). And partly to benefit from their low foreign exchange fees when going abroad.
Monzo’s pace of development appears to have slowed in recent months. However, a recent experience reminded me of why I love banking with Monzo, and why I will never go back to one of the incumbent banks.
See your card details in-app
So let me start with something that happened yesterday. I had driven to Henley-on-Thames and had just parked in a private car park when I realised I had left my wallet at home. Gladly, the car park advertised cashless parking payments and indicated that I just needed to download an app to pay. I downloaded the app and panicked upon seeing that Apple Pay was not a payment method they supported. Then I recalled that Monzo allows you to see your card details within their app. So I was able to retrieve my long card number and expiry date and pay for my parking. This small useful feature saved the day and meant it wasn’t a completely wasted trip but an enjoyable day out.
Bank Statements as a PDF
I recently applied for a mortgage and, of course, my mortgage lender wanted to see a variety of documents before approving my application. Amongst these were my last 3 months of bank statements. I expected getting hold of these would be a pain in the arse because my Monzo bank account was registered to my parents’ address. I assumed Monzo would have to mail my statements to my parents, only for my Mum to then forward them on, and then I thought I’d have to scan them all in. Luckily, Monzo allows you to easily download your letter-headed bank statements as PDF versions within the app which saved a lot of time and energy here!
Hassle-free bank transfers
One of the banks I used in the past was Natwest and one thing that I used to really hate was that I would need to have their stupid card reader thing to hand to set up a new payee before making a bank transfer to someone. Still today, many of the big banks and building societies like Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Nationwide require either a card reader or similar physical device. This is not the case for Monzo- it is quick and easy to wire someone you haven’t paid before. Authentication is done simply upon entering the 4 security digits of your card. Paying someone who also banks with Monzo is easier. Indeed, since my girlfriend and I both bank with Monzo I frequently receive requests to split payments for grocery shops, takeaways, etc.
There are many apps these days that help you to save passively, Chip and MoneyBox to name just a couple. Monzo has a couple of features built into their app that facilitate putting money to one side without any thought:
Transaction round ups
Monzo has the concept of pots that allow you to ring-fence your savings from your current account bank balance. You have the option of enabling one of these pots to have transaction rounds automatically deposited into it. These pots can set up as easy-access cash ISAs meaning you get interest on your pot savings too. Please note that if you do this then any withdrawals to your account balance take 24hours.
Upon being paid your salary, you can choose to automatically break up your salary into one or more pots by specific amounts. I personally don’t use this salary sorter feature (more details on how it works here). I might start to in future.