How do you handle your banking? Do you like to take a trip down to the bank to tend to financial matters or are you the type that likes to get things done as quick as possible, opting for online banking and apps while you’re on the move? If you are the latter, then perhaps a digital banking platform is the right choice for you. In fact, these banking platforms are fast becoming the bank of choice for everyone.

If you spend a bit of time on the Monzo website, you will notice that they call themselves the “bank of the future”, but are they really? What exactly is Monzo? Is it safe? And how does it compare to other banking apps available out there?

The stats show that Monzo app users have actually spent over £20m in over 130 countries since its launch back in 2015.

In recent years, mobile payment systems have been on the rise. Just think of smart banking solutions such as Android Pay and Apple Pay. Now, while these apps are very well supported, there are smart bankers who prefer to have a physical card in hand and that’s where Monzo becomes a great option.

Monzo is a 100% digital bank that operates in the UK. When the app emerged in 2015, it was only available as a mobile app and a pre-paid debit card, but since then (or 2017 to be exact), things have changed. Now Monzo can offer it’s customers a current account too. So when the question is asked as to whether Monzo is the bank of the future or not, there’s real reasons to think that it is.

What exactly is Monzo?

One of the biggest benefits of having a Monzo account is that you can go anywhere with it – there are no fees or charges when you use your card and app abroad, unlike other cards and bank accounts. If you withdraw less than £200 from an ATM while you’re away from home, you won’t be charged to do so by Monzo. However, it must be noted that any withdrawals exceeding £200 will have a 3% charge attached. And it also does not mean that the ATM operator won’t charge fees of its own – so always be aware of that!

Before we get ahead of ourselves with the benefits, let’s consider what the app is about. First and foremost, this particular smart banking app is designed for the smartphone user and it totally eliminates the need to ever visit a bank or order a cheque book again. For most of us we already manage most of our lives on our smartphones, so why not our banking too?

How does it work?

When you register on the app, you will receive a MasterCard debit card. The prepaid card that the digital bank offered before is now no longer available. Now debit cards can be funded with EFT payment and of course, salary transfers. This bank does everything a regular bank can do, and more. Users are provided with normal bank accounts, sort codes and of course, your debit orders can be set up to come off your Monzo account.

Once you have received your card, you can control it via the app. This is a nifty feature because you can keep up to date with your bank account in real time. You will receive instant notifications when transactions are processed and if your card is lost or stolen, you can simply log into the app and suspend the card while you order a new one.

Monzo is good for budgeting

Monzo is great for those who are on a budget. Many users have benefited from the budgeting feature which is designed to break up spending data into categories, so that you can see where you are spending your money and which areas of spending could use some attention. There are 12 categories that Monzo breaks your spending into as follows:

Is Monzo safe?

Is Monzo safe? This is something that many first-timers and newbies to smartphone banking will be wanting to know. If you are worried about safety, you’re well within your right. Banking disasters and data breaches happen all the time, but the good news is that Monzo offers its clients protection for loss of up to a staggering £85,000. As well as this, Monzo has full Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) protection which ensures this. To ensure that you have accurate information regarding security, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the app’s terms and conditions which can be read here.

For parents looking for a digital banking app that is safe for their kids, Monzo is the answer. The app allows 16-year-olds to register, but will automatically block the account from spending money on activities and items that are shady or illegal to those who are under the legal age of 18 years of age. Now that’s a great added safety feature!

How do I get a Monzo account?

If you are 16 years or older and a UK resident, you can quickly and easily register for the service online or via the app (download the app via your smartphone’s app store). When registering, you will receive an account number and sort code. Your MasterCard will be sent to you. For couples budgeting together, Monzo also allows joint accounts, as long as both parties have separate Monzo accounts of their own.

What are the fees and limits to expect?

Here’s what you need to know about the fees and limitations of the app and account:

Overdraft

There is an overdraft facility that can be turned on or off via the app. There is fee of 50p for every day that you are overdrawn by more than £20. However the app will never charge you more than £15 per 31-day period.

Withdrawal limits

In the UK, the daily ATM withdrawal limit is £400 while the monthly withdrawal limit is £5,500. With a Monzo card you will still have to adhere to these limitations.

Is Monzo for you?

If you travel frequently or want a bank that offers low fees, great budgeting and safety options, an instant overdraft facility and absolutely no credit check, then yes, Monzo is for you. Is Monzo the bank of the future? Well we believe that it certainly has what it takes to become one!