What is Monzo and How Does it Work? (Review)

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Mobile banking is the better alternative to rival banks. Period.

No more need to manually track your incomings or outgoings, and then make tedious trips to physical branches. Online banking services offer intuitive money management features that you can access from your smartphone, with everything digitalized.

Other banks such as Revolut have been covered before. This review will cover Monzo. Monzo is primarily a UK bank. However, it aims to give you full control of your money wherever you are.

Sound good? Let’s take a look at what Monzo has to say.

Monzo Overview

Monzo, a UK-based bank founded in 2015, was the first to offer mobile banking via an app. They were launched in 2015 and are now the preferred bank for almost five million people.

Monzo may offer some of its services to US residents, but most of its functionalities and features are available only to British customers.

Monzo allows you to quickly make payments, set up joint accounts, and share tabs. You can also open an account for teenagers and send money abroad. You can also get business accounts that have some cool features. These are worth looking into if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur.

Monzo’s mobile banking services make it simple to track your spending and save money. Monzo allows you to create budgets and keep an eye on your savings goals. You can also take advantage of Monzo’s lower international transfers and cash withdrawals than traditional high-street banks.

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Monzo Pros & Cons

Let’s begin with the perks.

Monzo’s Pros

  • Monzo is a simple and convenient app that allows you to save, manage, and spend your money.
  • Monzo has been registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in order to offer full deposit protection and other security features.
  • To grow your savings slowly, you can earn interest!
  • Monzo lets you set up joint accounts. This is great for if you are starting a family, or if you want to share expenses.

Monzo’s Cons

  • Monzo’s savings rates aren’t too high. Monzo may offer better deals than its competitors. If saving is your priority, you might consider looking elsewhere.
  • Monzo uses Mastercard’s exchange rate. Monzo uses the Mastercard’s exchange rates. However, many other mobile banks prefer to use the interbankrate which is often much cheaper. Monzo is not the best option for international withdrawals or exchanges.
  • Monzo charges a PS1 charge for cash deposits to your Monzo account.
  • You can only withdraw a maximum amount per month from abroad. You’ll be charged 3% for any withdrawals that exceed this limit.
  • Monzo doesn’t have a desktop app.
  • Monzo does not offer credit cards.

Monzo’s Pricing

Monzo, like many banks offers both free and paid accounts. Monzo’s cost depends on which card you use and what account type you select. As you would expect, the more you pay for Monzo, the more features are available.

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Let’s have a closer look at them…

Monzo Current and Monzo Light

These accounts are Monzo’s personal and business free accounts. The following fees are important to know:

  • When you travel abroad, you can withdraw upto PS200 per month free of charge. You will be charged a 3% fee after that.
  • When you deposit money via any of the 28,000 PayPoints in the UK, a PS1 fee will be charged.

Monzo Plus

This personal account costs PS5 per month and includes:

  • Holographic cards
  • Virtual cards
  • Advanced roundups
  • Credit tracker
  • You can withdraw abroad up to PS400 without any fees
  • Multiple Monzo accounts can be viewed from the app.
  • Splitting your payments into multiple categories makes it easier to track what you are spending and where.

You can also make one deposit free of charge. A 1% interest rate is also available on your savings and balances up to PS2,000.

Note: The minimum term is three months.

The Premium Plan

This personal plan is priced at PS15 per month. You can withdraw up to 5 times per month from abroad and have a monthly limit of PS600. The Premium plan includes worldwide travel insurance, phone coverage, 1.5% interest, access to discounted airport lounges, and a premium metal card.

Please note that there is a minimum six-month term.

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The Pro Account

The business account costs only PS5 per month and includes:

  • Integrations with third party accounting software
  • Multi-user access for Ltd companies is a benefit
  • Invoices can be created, sent and tracked.
  • To save money on your taxes, you can also open tax pots
  • Get six months of Xero Access for Free!

The plan includes all Monzo essentials like a UK current account, Apple and Google Pay, free spending abroad, budgeting tools, and a fee-free UK bank account. You’ll also get a digital receipt and a business debit card to help you manage your business expenses.

Card shipping

If you live in the UK, your Monzo card will be shipped free of charge. International delivery is charged at PS30.

Monzo Sign Up

You will need to:

  • Be a UK resident
  • Do not be older than 16
  • Monzo does not have physical branches. To sign up, you will need to download the Monzo App to your Android and iOS devices.
  • Be prepared with your ID and proof of address
  • Please provide your email address, telephone number, and date/time of birth.

You will be asked to upload a 5-second video of yourself delivering a message. This will verify your voice quality and help identify you. These are antifraud protection measures that will help protect your account from hackers.

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Monzo App

We’ve mentioned that you can access all Monzo’s banking services through its mobile app. This allows you to bank on the move via your tablet or smartphone. Monzo does not offer a desktop version, which is a departure from other competitors. You will need a tablet or smartphone to use the Monzo app.

It is simple to install and use the Monzo application. At the time of writing, it has a remarkable 4.8-star rating in the Google Playstore and a 4.9 rating within the App Store for iOS. This speaks volumes about the app’s quality and user-friendliness.

Monzo makes payments

Monzo card and app can be used to send and receive payments.

You can create a secure, personal link via the app and send it to your intended recipient via text or email. This link can be opened by the recipient, who will simply enter their details and receive payment in a matter of minutes.

Monzo works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can set up standing orders and direct debits to keep your bills in order. Monzo will even notify you when your next month’s bill is expected to be higher than normal so you don’t get any financial surprises.

Monzo Physical Cards

Monzo current accounts come with a debit-card. You can choose from hot coral, blue or white. Monzo’s Plus plans include a holographic card – how fun is that? !

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Premium Monzo customers receive a metal card that weighs 16g and is 3x heavier than Monzo’s plastic debit card. For extra rigidity, the metal card is made from a single sheet stainless steel and makes a satisfying “clink”. Logos and details can be precision engraved. The metal card can also be used as a contactless alternative to its plastic counterpart.

Your physical cards can be used to withdraw or spend money anywhere in the world. The best part is that you don’t have to pay any fees for using your MasterCard abroad.

Monzo Virtual Cards

Monzo’s virtual card holders are limited to Premium and Plus account-holders. You can shop online with your virtual card without having to use the same card details. Your bank accounts will not be compromised if a website that you have used to shop is compromised.

You can have up to five virtual cards per account with the Plus account. The best part is that you can get to work in minutes. Premium and Plus account holders can create virtual cards within the Monzo app.

Monzo Security

Monzo was regulated as a UK bank in 2017. Your money is now protected by the financial services compensation system (FSCS) up to PS85,000

This fund is independent and was established by the government to protect capital. You won’t lose your money if Monzo or any other bank in the scheme goes bankrupt.

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You also get the following security features:

  • You will receive instant notifications when a payment has been made.
  • Online payments must be approved. You can protect your account using Touch ID, Face ID or fingerprint.
  • Monzo does not use passwords to protect against phishing or poor password practices. Instead, it generates magic links which are sent to your email. With just one click, you can log in to your app.
  • You can unblock and block your card at any time you like

Monzo has a four-fold higher success rate in preventing card fraud than other UK banks, and three times more success at stopping identity theft.

Monzo Customer Support

It is important to note the brand voice when assessing Monzo’s customer support. Monzo strives to understand its customers, so expect them to speak their language and keep technical information as straightforward as possible.

Monzo offers an online help centre. You will find many resources here, including information on how to handle an emergency, managing your account, making mobile payment, budgeting, creating pots, budgeting, getting an Overdraft and more.

Monzo also has an active online forum that allows users to ask questions and raise concerns. You can also read the forums to get a better idea of the product. If you are interested in signing up for a Monzo Account, be sure to go!

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Monzo’s support team can be reached via in-app chat or by phone if you have any further questions. Chat is available 24 hours a day for urgent issues. Monzo is available for chat between 7 and 8 pm.

Monzo Features

Below are some key features of Monzo.

Pots and Budgets

Monzo helps you organize your money. The ‘Salary Sorter” separates your income into different categories such as spending, savings and bills. This allows you to see exactly where your money is going and how much income you have each month.

You can also set up separate savings pots where money is siphoned off to your savings goals and bills. Monzo’s fixed 12-month pot can be launched with a minimum PS500 investment. You can earn as much as 0.27% (AER fixed) interest on your money. Monzo also offers easy access to savings if that’s what you prefer. Monzo’s easy-access savings account allows you to get your money as soon as the next work day.

You can also choose to have your spare change automatically rounded up to the nearest Pound and the difference sent to your savings pots to help you kickstart your savings. Handy, right?

Joint Accounts

Monzo’s joint accounts are worth looking into if you and your partner share expenses. You have full control over your spending and savings.

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Notice: All the money-management tools that are available to personal accounts users for joint accounts are available for joint accounts.

Business Features

Monzo’s Business Pro account unlocks a variety of business features. If you are a Limited company, you can send and create invoices and register multiple users from the app. This feature is great for businesses who share or delegate bank-related tasks.

The same account can also be integrated with accounting software such as Xero and FreeAgent. Monzo’s “pot” system allows you to put money aside for taxes.

Instant Notifications

Monzo instantly notifies you when you spend money. Budgets can be set for any purpose, including shopping with friends, grocery shopping, and going out. You’ll be notified if you spend too quickly to meet your budget. You can choose to disable these notifications if you do not wish to receive them.

16-17 Accounts

You can still open a UK current account even if you are not yet 18 years old. A contactless card will be provided to allow you to make payments. Monzo’s budgeting and saving features are available to this account. However, it does not allow you to purchase illegal items for children under 18. Gambling is one example. Also, you can’t make an overdraft.

Overdrafts and loans

You can open a Monzo Overdraft for short-term borrowing. Overdrafts are subject to a PS1,000 limit. The rate for overdrafts is 19%, 29% or 39% EAR. You can check your Monzo app to see the Monzo rate. The rate is determined by your credit score. Monzo does not charge additional overdraft fees.

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There are many loan options available with flexible repayments, same-day funds and other benefits. These loans are free of fees if they are repaid early. Monzo offers loans upto PS3000 at a representative APR 26.6%

Extras

Monzo account holders can expect to receive the following additional features in addition to the ones already mentioned:

Splitting bills: Create shared tabs to easily split your bills. This functionality tracks who owes whom, whether you are eating out or going on a daytrip. You have the option to split the tab and settle the bills at the beginning or end of the night.

Travelling: You can spend money in any currency abroad without paying any fees. Only the MasterCard exchange rate will be charged to you. Monzo comes with travel reports, which will show you how much you have spent abroad. Premium accounts include worldwide family travel insurance that covers cancellations up to PS5,000.

Are you ready to get started with Monzo?

We’ve now covered all you need to know about Monzo. It’s time to make your decision.

Is MOnzo the right app for mobile banking? Let’s review some key points:

Monzo is not the right option for you if you aren’t a UK resident. Monzo may be able to operate internationally in the future. However, we cannot wait.

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Monzo may not be the best option if you are looking for travel money. Monzo offers a variety of great features, including travel reports and extra travel insurance. However, the Mastercard exchange rates are not the best for travelers. There is a limit on the amount of withdrawals you can make abroad. After that, you will be charged a 3% fee for each ATM withdrawal.

Monzo offers some flexibility in its loans, overdrafts and savings pots. However, the interest you earn isn’t very impressive.

Overall, however, Monzo is an excellent app for managing your finances, budgeting and saving. It’s especially useful if you are under 18 or have a joint account. Monzo’s many saving options are very intuitive and can be used to manage cash flow and meet your savings goals, both for personal and business purposes.

We think Monzo is a great digital bank, with all its handy features, including bill sharing, deposit prediction, and automatic spare money rounding.

Let us know if you decide to open a Monzo account. Are you thinking of Starling Bank or Monzo? We’d love to know your thoughts and compare your online banking experience to traditional banks. We look forward to hearing from you!

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