Metro, Starling and ClearBank share £280m of RBS funding


‘Starling, the leading digital bank’ - And I got jumped on the Monzo forum for saying Starling was the one getting taken seriously on a wider scale! :thinking: .


To be fair… Starling did write it :joy:

(Marcel Ruhf) #23

That makes sense though, every (somewhat recognised) company tries to project themselves as the leader within their field when it comes to PR.


The difference is Starling is definitely who investors would put their money on being long-term profitable and market leading.

Service diversification, practically invented the “Banking as a Service” kind of industry. On top of that they’re taking business offerings incredibly seriously. Adding attractive things into their marketplace (integrations with cashback things, rather than proper offerings) that add to the account. They’ve also got a great overdraft as far as I’m concerned, as if you have savings in pots it doesn’t charge interest.

So tl;dr, their product is leading if their user count isn’t.

(Marcel Ruhf) #25

We don’t know that though, do we?

Agreed - that’s something I really don’t get why Monzo isn’t doing so. They have all that infrastructure, their own card processor (something which even Starling doesn’t have), they could make lots of money by letting other banks/fintechs/etc use it.

Not really, there are the likes of solarisBank who do similar things.

Yep, that’s something that can’t be argued about.

In some respects yes, in some not. It will just depend on whom you ask. Although from a core banking standpoint, I’d agree 100% Starling is the one to beat.


I reckon WireCard will try to get a banking licence at some point in the near future, to be honest. If they could expand that to other countries and get local details they’d be doing well, too


Prepay Solutions and Prepay Technologies already have licence applications in or at the planning stage, Wirecard does not.

Advanced Payment Solutions also have a banking licence application in process, they own the Cashplus brand which is by far the most well known prepaid card in the UK. And also offers a multi currency card option. They are the ones to watch, not Wirecard who are relatively small in the prepaid world.


I disagree, its probably Post Office that’s the most well known :sweat_smile: there’s advertisements for it at every Post Office.

I reckon the Thomas Cook one is also pretty well known, for families that are middle class enough to travel to foreign countries


You are wrong, but pointless arguing about facts. One has hundreds of thousands of regular users, one has disposable cards, totally different.


I guess, although I’d never heard of Cashplus until diving into Fintech and stuff related


Not sure I agree. Starling seem to be the less likely to collapse, but Monzos seen to me to be the more likely to be massively profitable. Building a large, passionate user base is far harder than monetising a large, passionate user base. If I were a VC, I would value Monzo far higher than Starling.

I hope I’m wrong, as I think that Monzo as a company are awful for consumers in the long term, but purely from an investors point of view, I’d back Monzo.

(Note: if I were running a pension fund, I’d back Starling as I think they’re lower risk. But Monzo have a greater chance of providing a 100x return on investment)


I just don’t see it. More chance of getting 100x return on my 3p Debenhams shares

(Adrian) #33

Monzo do appear to be stuggling to monetise their product in a positive way though, and have eschewed many of the traditional ways of making money out of banking.

With the marketplace essentially stalled (I think, I don’t have a Monzo account any more - have they done anything with it since their test was canned?), if I were an investor I’d be asking Tom what, exactly, the plan is?

(Marcel Ruhf) #34

They had savings pots with Investec and I think they launched Energy Switching (so far with Octopus Energy only) to a small group of users (myself included - I think it’ll be neat once more providers are added), but nothing apart from that.


I don’t think Savings Pots will be where Monzo succeed. They made 0.15% on each one right? It had a 1000£ minimum and only 1% interest for the customer. I’d probably go to literally anywhere else :sweat_smile: if I cared about my money.

As a business too, I’d rather just give the customer 1.1% interest and keep the 0.05% for myself instead of giving it to a competitor.

So they’re going to be competing with price comparison sites? I can just use those already though :sweat_smile: I don’t need my bank to tell me Scottish Power is expensive, I know already!!


Monzo has as of yet, done nothing that will make it a profitable bank (they will make profit on paper in the not so distant future, but it doesn’t make it a long term option). Overdrafts will become more regulated as time goes by and that won’t be an income maker when more and more caps are put on them, which is only a matter of time. The banks that survive will be the ones that don’t rely on banking as its core.

If Monzo gets funding in the next round, its going to blow that on its current products, which actually are not going to offer much more than other banks as it stands.

(Dan Mullen) #37

But current accounts aren’t that profitable, it’s the back end systems that Starling are providing that will generate large revenues.

I believe the RBS grants are specifically for the purpose of providing services to SMEs.


Yes they are, but I still believe Monzo will waste that on its current products, it is already trialing a business account.

(sam) #39

Starlings seems to have well thought out network of payment systems, invoice finance etc for sme.
Monzo will just launch a current account.
I can’t see them winning the cash, presuming there is a level of innovation needed to secure it

( #40

They could well have the players who didn’t get any last time reapplying as well as however many who are just applying this time, so I’d imagine it would be more competitive. Plus I’m sure I read that the larger awards were in the first round and the second would be smaller, both in total pot size and max size of grants.

I still reckon Monzo had no intention to do any of this now, but saw that the process was being ridiculously delayed and thought “we could get in on this!” and botched something together for business accounts, and good luck to them, if Metro can get all that cash with all the negative publicity around them atm, it should be a walk in the park for Monzo to get some kind of grant.

In other news, I did think Starling were a tad hopeful in their press release/ announcement, the phone in the picture showed an account with a balance of over £26k. While maybe someone has this in their account I can’t imagine most people keeping anywhere near that in an account that doesn’t pay interest…