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Thread: For UK people.. A superb banking app / system

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    For UK people.. A superb banking app / system

    A few months ago I signed up for the beta of Monzo.. The iOS app has been the focus up to now but my invite came through when the android app was launched and I signed up.

    Monzo - It's time for a new kind of bank

    They sent me out the garish flouro visa card and I cash load it (from another debit card). They are in process of gaining a UK bank license but until they do, thats the system of funding what is basically a prepaid visa card.

    You can in app choose how to load your balance (I think you can direct debit a UK current account) and in app can freeze your card should you miss place it.

    When you spend your outgoings are instantly in app notified, broken down into categories, daily monthly etc, spending patterns.. You have the GPS location of the billing.. Loads of nice touches like you would expect from a modern banking tool.. The REALLY good thing and why I am posting it here is there is no ATM fee worldwide and you get the interbank Fx rate.. When I compare that to any other plastic I use, with an ATM charge, poor Fx rate, etc etc it actually makes a difference.

    Thai banks do still apply the Thai bank ATM charge.. they cant defeat that.. But as the Fx rate is better than I get when I move larger lumps in via telegraphic transfer, to my Thai bank account, as long as you pull a decent amount each ATM hit, it even balances out on that. It seems so far to have many upsides and very few downsides (its contactless system has failed in a couple of places.. Possibly the fact your loading it and managing a second balance). For travel and cost saving it has to be one of the best options out there.

    Only negative is a lack of points or rewards.. I have a lot of flights to do next year, and I see the british airways visa card has a free 25k avios, 3x avios for BA flights booked etc, that potentially adds up for me. UK people dont have anything like the chase sapphire preferred, which seems to offer HUGE amounts of freebies for the annual fee. Anyway, those are cards with annual fees for perks, this is the opposite a free card / system which offers the cheapest access to travelling cash.

    Anyone UK resident with a lot of travel, or a lot of Fx expenditure.. Definately give it a look.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    A few months ago I signed up for the beta of Monzo.. The iOS app has been the focus up to now but my invite came through when the android app was launched and I signed up.

    Monzo - It's time for a new kind of bank

    They sent me out the garish flouro visa card and I cash load it (from another debit card). They are in process of gaining a UK bank license but until they do, thats the system of funding what is basically a prepaid visa card.

    You can in app choose how to load your balance (I think you can direct debit a UK current account) and in app can freeze your card should you miss place it.

    When you spend your outgoings are instantly in app notified, broken down into categories, daily monthly etc, spending patterns.. You have the GPS location of the billing.. Loads of nice touches like you would expect from a modern banking tool.. The REALLY good thing and why I am posting it here is there is no ATM fee worldwide and you get the interbank Fx rate.. When I compare that to any other plastic I use, with an ATM charge, poor Fx rate, etc etc it actually makes a difference.

    Thai banks do still apply the Thai bank ATM charge.. they cant defeat that.. But as the Fx rate is better than I get when I move larger lumps in via telegraphic transfer, to my Thai bank account, as long as you pull a decent amount each ATM hit, it even balances out on that. It seems so far to have many upsides and very few downsides (its contactless system has failed in a couple of places.. Possibly the fact your loading it and managing a second balance). For travel and cost saving it has to be one of the best options out there.

    Only negative is a lack of points or rewards.. I have a lot of flights to do next year, and I see the british airways visa card has a free 25k avios, 3x avios for BA flights booked etc, that potentially adds up for me. UK people dont have anything like the chase sapphire preferred, which seems to offer HUGE amounts of freebies for the annual fee. Anyway, those are cards with annual fees for perks, this is the opposite a free card / system which offers the cheapest access to travelling cash.

    Anyone UK resident with a lot of travel, or a lot of Fx expenditure.. Definately give it a look.
    I'd be kind of concerned with that level of data collection and what the bank intended to do with it.

    It should also be noted that Virgin Money offer a basic card that has no foreign currency conversion fees, although that is a very basic account. There is a 1.50 fee to withdraw money overseas but not for purchases.

    Personally I hate smartphone banking apps. They always have less functionality than the websites they're meant to replace and are less secure (anything kept on device is less secure). I still prefer to do internet banking through my web browser.
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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    To counter those.. Your still using a visa card (chip and pin, it lacks a mag stripe which may be an issue in asia, havent tested enough yet) so the app is like a management and control system for your spending, the app gives no access to you funds itself.

    As to how they intend to use data, they seem adamant to never want to charge fees for card use and in credit spending.. Once getting a banking license they will have current accounts and intend to make money via overdrafts and associated fees, seems everyone in the UK lives payday to payday and in overdraft by mid month.. Great for those who dont.

    All I can say so far, having got used to it, is it feels like next level banking (for your current account day to day spends).. Its so much better than barclays or lloyds (the 2 banks I have mobile apps for) or other prepaid cards (which I am issuing to all my contractors and managing in a backend for payrolls) that I would love to partner up with Monzo and give all my employees monzo cards. One aspect tho is next spring when I do a recruitment drive we are having branded visa cards made with our company logo.. Something I cant see Monzo wanting to support yet.

    Anyway, not selling it.. Just alerting anyone who travels a lot, to what seems a superb (free!!) deal with loads of added features and controls.

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Last point, and one I havent even got round to exploring is, they have full APIs.. To enable apps built on them with a ecosystem.. Will be interesting where that goes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    To counter those.. Your still using a visa card (chip and pin, it lacks a mag stripe which may be an issue in asia, havent tested enough yet) so the app is like a management and control system for your spending, the app gives no access to you funds itself.

    As to how they intend to use data, they seem adamant to never want to charge fees for card use and in credit spending.. Once getting a banking license they will have current accounts and intend to make money via overdrafts and associated fees, seems everyone in the UK lives payday to payday and in overdraft by mid month.. Great for those who dont.

    All I can say so far, having got used to it, is it feels like next level banking (for your current account day to day spends).. Its so much better than barclays or lloyds (the 2 banks I have mobile apps for) or other prepaid cards (which I am issuing to all my contractors and managing in a backend for payrolls) that I would love to partner up with Monzo and give all my employees monzo cards. One aspect tho is next spring when I do a recruitment drive we are having branded visa cards made with our company logo.. Something I cant see Monzo wanting to support yet.

    Anyway, not selling it.. Just alerting anyone who travels a lot, to what seems a superb (free!!) deal with loads of added features and controls.
    Fair enough, I didn't think you were selling it.

    I've got a card from both Citi UK and Virgin money, they both still come with mag stripes on the back in grey. However I am yet to go to a country that doesn't have EMV (Chip and Pin) on at least every ATM. Even in the US banks are slowly forcing merchants to upgrade to chip and pin. As for places like SE Asia... I avoid using my card if I dont have to and deal in cash as much as possible.

    As for living payday to payday, I know exactly what you mean and it's an epidemic that is not exclusive to the UK. Its the same in Australia. So many people going into stupid amounts of debt just to keep up with the Jonses. New car every 2-3 years, stupidly large houses (at least in Oz, everyone wants a 4x2 McMansion with games room), holidays put entirely on credit. The whole buy now, pay later culture is leading us into another recession.

    I do have to admit that some car leases are enticing. I could get a new BMW 240i and still have a lot of monthly savings. However every time I look I talk myself back into keeping my old Z4.
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    Canada - BMO to charge negative interest rates.

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    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Last point, and one I havent even got round to exploring is, they have full APIs.. To enable apps built on them with a ecosystem.. Will be interesting where that goes.
    Had a look at the T&C's the ATM limits annually are low

  9. #9
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    What are they ??

  10. #10
    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    What are they ??
    Here you go
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Yeah I did some asking on that yesterday as thats crazy low. The switch to a full banking license is due any month and once that happens those are going up.

    Your right though that as it stands those are too low to make a cash card for any length.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Geespot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Yeah I did some asking on that yesterday as thats crazy low. The switch to a full banking license is due any month and once that happens those are going up.

    Your right though that as it stands those are too low to make a cash card for any length.
    I was interested purely from the point of view of when I'm in Thailand; cash is still king doing daily stuff including drinking in bars etc. A card that gives inter bank rate and has no charges would have worked well

    On another note from a UK perspective, transfers from my Lloyds UK/Offshore Account to Kasikorn; now sending transfers is free and has significantly sped up, only takes one working day in most cases, so all good anyway

  13. #13
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Yeah I get one day Kasikorn Txs most times from a Barclays too..

    Not free tho.. My barclays is loads of fees on everything.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geespot View Post
    I was interested purely from the point of view of when I'm in Thailand; cash is still king doing daily stuff including drinking in bars etc. A card that gives inter bank rate and has no charges would have worked well
    Its actually not the free Fx etc thats its most appealing.. I have to say I have become really into the tools the app gives.. And in the UK, where you end up with kilos of change all the time with cash, I have 100% switched. All my spending tracked, all with locations, etc etc.. Categorized 'fuel' 'groceries' etc etc all done automatically, as well as by time periods.. I didnt think that would have any real appeal, but actually it does.. I am a convert.

    I was running an additional EUR debit card to be cost effective for my biz travel, into eurozone.. Well now this is giving mid bank rates.. I sort of dont need to..
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