Two new fees on the Monzo current account

Fees are being introduced for some account holders who request replacement debit cards, and withdraw lots of cash.

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That’s some terrible framing of the messaging. If you use you get paid directly in to your account, there’s no fees. If you use it as a supplementary bank account, only then do you get charged for accessing your cash.

They should do a better job of making things clearer (the hand-wringing over the right limits is totally superfluous) and make it really clear how to move your banking to Monzo.

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Really Interesting. It seems they believe they have a serious problem with people still using monzo as a spending account than a ‘bank’, they just can’t shake their early days.

It’s really important that you don’t have any restrictions on your access to cash if you’re using Monzo more as a bank than as a spending account

What’s also interesting is it seems like they essentially are saying they don’t want 20% of their customer base anymore

Right now, around 20% of customers make up more than 80% of our cash machine costs. This means that most of our cash withdrawal costs come from a small minority of customers.

Since when is 20% (about 800k customers?) a small minority?

The entire thing reads like an attempt to push put these bad customers that they’re not interested in.

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I’d be interested to see how many of the people that withdraw cash abroad so often use the card in the UK at all, or is it just a way to get money transferred abroad?

These limits apply in the U.K. as well it’s not just about people using it abroad

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This fee structure definitely gives me “app with a banking licence” vibes instead of being a bank.

20% does seem like a lot to be affected but I wonder if that’s more the direct debit requirement, i.e. people who use Monzo for everything except bills.

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I don’t think that’s ever been a secret that they see themselves as a technology company with a banking licence.

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This seems bizarre. You are exempt from the cash withdrawal fee over £250/month if you pay in over £500/month. Surely to withdraw large amounts you’d have to pay in equally large amounts, so anybody that’s withdrawing unreasonably large amounts of cash will be exempt?

Am I missing something? Or do monzo have a lot of people withdrawing more than £250 but less than £500 each month?

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Oh I know, it’s just a shame that they aren’t really making use of the banking licence. I think even they said they would have been better staying as an e-money institution for now.

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and an active direct debit.

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I’ve been mulling this over a bit more because there is something about their post that shows once again that free banking is a myth because there is always someone that pays. Only in this case they don’t want their customers to pay (because that would look bad) they want another bank to pay.

They explicitly say that if you are not using Monzo as your main bank and want to withdraw more cash than their limit then they want your other bank to pay that fee.

So what they are asking is that you remove this fee from their own costs and put it on a bank that also pays ATM fees but who in their mind they can justify charging the fee to because in their definition this other bank it is your main bank.

So we’ve gone from free banking, to banking with fees… but paid by other banks.

Yes, I’ve perhaps twisted the message somewhat, but I’m increasingly of the opinion that we need to start looking at how banks cover their costs and who should be paying that.

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Ah, good catch. I guess that’s why they had that requirement and not just a minimum pay-in.

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I’m going to chime in here, because the the thread at the other place is moving far too quickly to keep up with, so is prohibiting any real meaningful engagement right now.

I went into that article expecting this to be another change I wouldn’t like, much like the changes to chat. But I actually don’t mind what they’re doing here.

To me, this is akin to the various tiers of accounts other banks, where if you meet the minimum monthly pay in, and meet other criteria, you get better rewards, limits, and fees.

I think this is what Monzo is trying to do here, by segregating those who use it as a bank, and those who still treat it like a spending card, because far too many still treat it as such, and judging from the financial comparison thread on here, it’s something they need to change with some urgency, or at least balance the costs of those customers better, and this is one to do it, that feels fair to me.

It essentially becomes if you use Monzo as a pre-paid spending card, you have lower limits and more fees. Limits and fees that don’t exist if you use them as your bank. And I’m generally OK with that. It’s not dissimilar for what other banks do with their various classes of accounts.

The only real issue I’m having here is the direct debit requirement, because not everyone is going to have them, but will still be relying on Monzo as their main account:

  • you live in a household where a single person manages all the direct debits for that household
  • the companies you buy services from offer alternative and more attractive options for direct debits, such as recurring card payments, one off ad-hoc payments, faster payments transfers etc…

Currently the only household bill I have left that still bills me via direct debit is my ISP. They’ve switched their business account to Monzo Business recently, and are now exploring alternate options to pay bills that are much more efficient both for them, and for us as customers.

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Except that’s not true. The vast majority of banks will provide a bank account without fees where you can deposit as much as you like (and wherever you like) and withdraw as much as you like and treat that account like a spending card.

What you describe is more like Monzo Plus where you pay a fee and get those additional rewards etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with a bank charging for their services or with what Monzo is doing here. My real concern is how other banks are doing this for free… but that’s for a different thread :slight_smile:

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Absolutely. But other banks don’t have the baggage that comes with being a pre-paid debit card first. In hind sight I think that approach was wrong, and these changes only emphasise that, to me.

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I agree. Starling might be the exception there in terms of a new bank because they clearly saw the need for other revenue streams in order to match the free banking for personal customers that other banks offer.

For Monzo the way they wanted to do things was always going to lead to a need to keep costs incurred due to customer behaviour as low as possible, and this is just another example of that.

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They don’t like or want poor people.

Maybe a slight over-exaggeration but honestly that’s the kind of people this affects. That said I don’t mind the change, but it goes completely against monzos banking for everyone theme they used to lean heavily on.

There going in a new and specific direction I think but are trying to hold onto some old image while also trying to get rid of some of that old image. Maybe they fired everyone in the marketing department recently?

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They don’t want the 20% that use it as a cash card as it’s losing then money. Then I’d say another 40-50% are cards sitting in drawers, either for holiday spending or people that don’t use it anymore.
It doesn’t paint a good picture of monzos customer base.

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:blonde_man: Because you’re a Monzo Plus customer neither of them affect you at the moment, but we’re letting you know because they could if you decided to cancel Monzo Plus.

:page_facing_up: We’ve also made two small changes to our Monzo Plus Terms and Conditions:

From today, you can get one more free replacement Monzo Plus card in the UK per year, which makes two in total.

From 31st October 2020 we’ll no longer replace lost cards for free if you’ve used your free replacement card allowance. (We still replace cards which have been stolen, frauded or expired for free.)

I use my Monzo account as a “spending” account, but I won’t be impacted as I’ve rarely withdrawn cash, and never needed a replacement card (it’s in my Google Pay anyway, so even if I lost it it wouldn’t impact me heavily).

I’m broadly in favour of this change. It makes sense to discourage people who request many multiple replacement cards (which apparently happens according to the monzo topic?!) and those who are cash exclusive, as they are not making Monzo money.

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