Updated: Jan 23
Firstly this is not sponsored or in any way related to Monzo, this is my opinion.
The banking app Monzo exploded the year I went to university, I was so excited to get a golden ticket invite from a friend of mine that I signed up straight away.
In following few years I have used Monzo in many different ways to help monitor my saving and spending.
Monzo started life as prepaid Mastercard that you could top up via an app and use worldwide to make free withdrawals. After receiving FCA (Financial conduct authority) backing in 2017 it transformed into the App-based bank it is today. Monzo now offers personal, joint and even business accounts and considers itself the bank for the 21st century.
How does Monzo Work?
Monzo like most regular banks offers personal, joint and business accounts.
It allows you to receive your salary, set up direct debits and standing orders, transfer to friends and family, withdraw money and spend money on its debit card much the same as high street bank account app's do.
The difference with Monzo is the ability to manage your money alongside just holding it in a bank account. Monzo allows you to create saving pots and round-up purchases made on your debit card to the nearest pound and deposit the difference into savings.
If you regularly lose your debit card Monzo allows you to freeze your card and request a new one be sent to you. If you then find your card you can unfreeze your card and continue to use the card as normal.
Customer service for Monzo is via the app and is a chat function rather than having to call the bank or visit a branch.
Monzo has no physical branches.
Is Monzo Safe?
Any eligible money in your Monzo account is fully protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). As such Monzo is as safe as most high street banks.
Monzo has a large range of features including:
Salary Sorter: Sort your monthly pay into 'money to spend', 'money to save' and 'money for bills'.
Saving Pots: Almost like mini accounts for different purchases such as car maintenance, money towards a holiday or for a home deposit.
Real-time spending notifications: Monzo instantly lets you know when you spend money. This allows you to see what's leaving your account in real-time.
Overdraft: Monzo offers arranged overdrafts at various rates depending on your credit rating
Apple Pay and Google Pay: Pay with your Mozo card via Apple and Android devices. This is not limited to £30 like contactless spending
Monzo for 16-17-year-olds?
Monzo now operates an account for 16 and 17 years old. This isn’t a typical children's bank account – it’s the same one people over 18 can open. The only major difference Monzo have blocked spending for some things which are illegal if you’re under 18, like gambling.
With the 16-18 account you will get:
a contactless debit card. Your Monzo card will also work with Apple Pay and Google Pay too.
a full UK current account with an account number and sort code, so you can send and receive money, and set up Direct Debits and standing orders
16 and 17 years old's won’t be able to get an overdraft, but Monzo won’t charge you if you spend more than you’ve got and accidentally go overdrawn.
Pro's and Con's of Monzo
Has a banking license (deposit guarantee, direct debits and standing orders)
Smoothest app and user experience
Great customer service experience
Only available to UK residents
Can't receive international payments (no IBAN number)
How I have used Monzo and what I like about Monzo
I have not completely converted to Monzo and my salary still goes into my regular high street bank account. I use Monzo to regulate my spending and short term saving goals. I generally do this in two ways:
Transfer all my 'spending money' to Mozo and categories every purchase. This allows me to monitor every purchase I make and understand how much I spend on certain things like eating out or fuel.
Using pots to curb my spending: If I know I am going away for a weekend or shopping with my Mum I put all the money I can afford to spend in a pot and once that is gone it's gone!!
If find Monzo really user friendly and super simple to use the app to reach your saving goals.
How do I apply for a Monzo account?
UK residents aged 16 or over can apply for a Monzo bank account through the app, available to download at both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You’ll need to provide your personal details and verify your identity by taking a video of yourself and a picture of your ID, but no proof of address will be required.
You can now also open a joint account with Monzo, as long as you both have a regular Monzo account already. You will both receive a new separate joint account card.
Signing up for an account does not involve a full credit check and therefore won’t affect your credit score.