Why I’m leaving Monzo (the best thing in banking)

Monzo has done an exceptional job at creating of network of brand ambassadors to help them spread the word about their new way of banking.

Like really really really goood.

There really is nothing to fault its marketing strategy. And as a marketer (sort of), that should be a compliment.

But Dom, if you think Monzo’s marketing is so great, why are you writing a post about leaving?

Let me tell you.

Actually, really quickly, let me tell you something else. I haven’t paid this site any attention for nearly 2 years now. In fact, our last post needed to be updated.

I haven’t paid any attention here because I’ve been busy. I:

  • Got a new job that was really cool
  • Left that job to go freelance and make tons of cash
  • Stopped freelancing to do super cool things like this at Mio

Said it would be really quick.

Back in the black and white days of 2018, banking was dull and boring. Let’s be honest, banking is still boring. But Monzo has changed the banking experience.

With Monzo, you can do all the great things it claims to do:

  • Set spending budgets for different types of payment
  • Get notified immediately for every payment (this is awesome by the way)
  • Use your card in any country without a load of fees (my primary reason for getting a Monzo card)
  • Start pots for saving
  • Use said pots for allocating your income to various areas (tax or VAT, if you’re self-employed)
  • Split tabs with contacts (again, really useful)
  • Various other things I never got round to doing but are still cool
  • Get asked by everybody outside of the UK, why you have a bright orange card
The bright orange Monzo card
The bright orange Monzo card

In another world, I could work for Monzo. I didn’t even have to Google those – it really is a neat idea.

So, pretty neat. Why would you ever leave?

I was so happy with my Monzo card that I decided to switch my bank account, direct debits – the whole shebang. I went FULL MONZO.

And I was kind of excited. I was ready to tweet about how great Monzo was, and how stupid I’d been by having an ordinary bank account + my Monzo card for when I traveled.

Leaving Monzo

It’s about 4 weeks into moving my bank account to Monzo – from the Co-Op – and everything is hunky dory.

Until I need to get paid. Quite important, I’m sure you’ll agree? Good. Not just me then.

Recall above, where I mentioned the pots for allocating income that’s not really yours.

I am self-employed. Therefore I pay tax once a year and VAT once a quarter. I opted not to set myself up with a business bank account because…

Well, because I didn’t need one.

I invoice from my accounting software and get paid to my personal bank account. I don’t have any employees and I didn’t need a business bank account so I didn’t get one.

MORE FOOL ME.

Now, this is totally my fault because I should have checked this out beforehand. However, with Monzo’s aforementioned superb marketing, they make it super easy to switch. And the terms and conditions just need a tick, right?

I know. You ALWAYS read the terms and conditions (rolling eye emoji).

So, I prepare my invoices for the end of the money and don’t get paid. And I cannot submit my VAT return.

Why?

Monzo does not have an integration with Xero – the accounting software I was using. This means that the bank feeds cannot be automatically fed through from my bank to my accounting software.

Now, this only means I have to become a bookkeeper. No big deal, but saved a lot of time when it was automated.

However, it also turns out that Monzo does not support money transfers via Transfer Wise. Which just so happens to be how I get paid.

So, I can’t get paid and I can’t pay my VAT.

I reached out to Monzo for help. Side note: Monzo is pretty much famed for exceptional customer service. However, when you use them it’s much the same as any bank.

“Sorry, we can’t help you on Twitter.”

“Our in app chat will get back to you right away.” – Unless it’s late, early or in the middle of the day

But, that’s besides the point. Everyone’s customer service sucks, right?

Without this becoming a massively negative post, I just wanted to share my experience having switched to Monzo.

For me, it sucked.

How to bank a cheque with Monzo

Since writing this post, I received a cheque in the post. Did you know they still existed?

I assumed that being a modern bank, this would be hassle-free. Remember, at the top of the post where I mentioned all the good bits?

Turns out, you have to post the cheque and wait 5-7 working days. Even Lloyds allow you to scan your cheque and it’s in your bank account within minutes.

Banking a cheque is not something I do often – but I did need to Google it. So I thought I’d share the process for people that use cheques and are moving to Monzo.

How to bank a cheque with Monzo
How to bank a cheque with Monzo

Monzo Conclusions

Monzo is a great concept. You can have pots and savings and overdrafts that are just fine.

Splitting tabs is useful.

Penalty free spending abroad is awesome.

Monzo gives you a bright orange card – which is cool if you think about it.

Monzo is not the bank account for you if you are self-employed. It does not play well with account software and when I asked about the roadmap, I got a shoulder shrug.

In the same boat, it is extremely hard to get paid from overseas. This is not an uncommon use case. A lot of people get paid for work via another country. A lot more people transfer money to and from families in other countries.

All in all. Great idea. Long way to go.

Dominic Kent

Dominic is the Director of Content Marketing & Communications at Mio. You can follow their blog about Slack, Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex Teams here.

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