Monzo – Smartphone Mastercard Prepaid Debit Card Banking App?
Monzo describes itself as “the bank of the future”. It’s built for smartphones and lets you take full advantage of online banking. Here’s our Monzo review.
What Is Monzo?
Monzo is a banking app that offers instant spending notifications, receipt adding, budget management, and more. There are no setup or usage fees and there are zero charges for spending money aboard.
The app is currently available for free from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. The app has been downloaded thousands of times, although it’s still officially in beta.
Monzo wants to solve one crucial problem in the world of banking:
“In a world where you can use an app on your phone to order food or a taxi, it’s ridiculous that your bank still takes days to update your balance when you make a card payment. We’re building the bank of the future, available now.”
Overall, Monzo wants to build a bank that’s as smart as your phone. Conventional banking apps are stuck in the past. Monzo wants to help embrace the future. Let’s take a closer look at Monzo’s features.
How Does Monzo Work?
Monzo consists of two parts: a contactless prepaid Mastercard and a banking app. You preload that Mastercard with cash, then check the app for real-time spending notifications. You can preload your Mastercard (called the “Monzo Card”) using your current debit card or a bank transfer.
Some of the advantages of Monzo include zero fees, even when using your card abroad, and instant transfers to other Monzo users (also free of charge). You can even withdraw cash from foreign ATMs while avoiding bank fees.
The company also emphasizes 24/7 world-class support. If you’re frustrated by customer service at your current bank, then Monzo may be a refreshing change.
Some of the features and benefits of Monzo include:
- Get instant notifications every time you make a payment
- See how much you’re spending
- Freeze your Monzo card instantly if you lose it, then “defrost” it when you find your card
- Receive intelligent insights into your spending habits
- Send money instantly to other Monzo users
- Top up your Monzo Card with another debit card or by bank transfer
- Use your card abroad as you would at home; there are no fees and you pay the wholesale MasterCard exchange rate
- No fees or charges in the UK or abroad
In the future, Monzo plans to add new features like budgeting targets, transaction searches, and the ability to receive payments through Monzo.me.
Right now, many people enjoy benefits like the ability to see your transactions in real-time – including a map of where that transaction took place, the specific amount you spent at each location, and the ability to search those transactions at a later date.
Travelers also appreciate the real-time notifications you receive immediately after using your card. For example, if you’ve had a big night out at the pub and want to see how much you’ve spent, you receive a notification instantly after paying with your Monzo Card.
With a conventional bank, you’d have to wait three days to see how much you spent, or however long it takes for the bank to post the transaction to its ledger.
Who Created Monzo?
Monzo was launched in February 2015. In April 2017, the company received its full UK banking license from the FCA and PRA. Today, they’re working hard to roll out their free current account later this year.
The company is located in East London “five minutes walk from Old Street”. Monzo consists of a team of 80 people.
How does Monzo plan to make money if they’re not charging any fees or profiting from foreign exchange rate transactions?
According to the Telegraph, Monzo plans to make money through its fully-fledged current account, which is scheduled to launch later this year. Specifically, the company will make money through overdrafts and other banking services.
Ultimately, Monzo is a prepaid card that comes with many advantages over conventional cards. There are no fees, for example, and lower exchange rate charges. You can withdraw cash while avoiding ATM fees. You can preload your card using your mobile device or a conventional debit card.
You can receive notifications about your transactions in real-time. They appear as notifications on your smartphone. Then, you can look back through your transactions and see their exact location, purchase amount, and other data.
Monzo is popular among travelers. Right now, it’s only available in the UK. It’s also still in beta – although it’s free for anyone to download from the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store.
Stay tuned for more information about Monzo as the card continues to grow in popularity!