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Challenger banks - Monzo, Starling etc. Thoughts?

Ol!ver

Well-known Member
Morning folks,

I'm having a bit of a funny few weeks where I'm moving money around and generally trying to drag my finances into the 21st century despite HSBC's best efforts. This all began when a friend put me onto Monzo which is essentially a card that you top up and then spend money from. It's all managed from an app and transactions appear instantly, including push notifications. It's all rather excellent.

And then I saw Starling.

It's the same, apart from it's a proper current account, with an account number and sort code and support for all that entails. I'm using it alongside Monzo and my HSBC Advance account right now, but I'll be moving stuff around more permanently in due course.

I know there are plenty of other options too, so I wondered whether anyone was using any of the new "disruptive, challenger" banks etc and what your thoughts are.

So, yeah. Thoughts?
 

PsyVision

Distinguished Member
I have HSBC Advanced as my main account and I'll be keeping it because of the preferential saving/mortgage rates.

I have a Monzo account and I am an investor. I'll be taking up the current account when it comes out (soon).

The Monzo iOS app is much better than Android but I like the features it gives. The exchange rates are good when abroad too. I hope they keep innovating and implement things like throwaway/one use debit cards that you can use when shopping with "those dodgy shops".

I've not seen Starling before so will take a look.
 

Ol!ver

Well-known Member
I have HSBC Advanced as my main account and I'll be keeping it because of the preferential saving/mortgage rates.

I have a Monzo account and I am an investor. I'll be taking up the current account when it comes out (soon).

The Monzo iOS app is much better than Android but I like the features it gives. The exchange rates are good when abroad too. I hope they keep innovating and implement things like throwaway/one use debit cards that you can use when shopping with "those dodgy shops".

I've not seen Starling before so will take a look.


Yeah, when Monzo's current account goes live things will get even more interesting, but given the fact I suspect they'll go to backers first and be limited in numbers at that, I didn't want to have to wait. Starling are very similar in a lot of ways, and they seem to be the biggest of the new banks. Like I say, Monzo will make that more interesting in due course.

The travel aspect does add a string to both bows when compares to the traditional banks too, but it's the immediate notifications of spending I like. Perhaps not so much for when you use the card, but for when automated payments go out, when you shop online etc. Amazon is a good example - with HSBC I buy something on my debit card and then sometime between clicking BUY and six months passing, the transaction appears. Use Monzo or Starling and a £1 transaction goes off immediately, with notification as well. As soon as the order ships, the full transaction appears and another notification pops up.

It's what banking in 2017 should be like.
 

BobBob21

Well-known Member
Have to say I've been very underwhelmed by the challenger banks to date.

My banking needs maybe are more simple than others, I don't use my debit card other than when there are large fees on using a credit card as I may as well get airmiles or cashback etc for buying my shopping/toys where as benefits of using a debit card are minimal.
 

soupdragon

Distinguished Member
Yeah, when Monzo's current account goes live things will get even more interesting, but given the fact I suspect they'll go to backers first and be limited in numbers at that, I didn't want to have to wait. Starling are very similar in a lot of ways, and they seem to be the biggest of the new banks. Like I say, Monzo will make that more interesting in due course.

The travel aspect does add a string to both bows when compares to the traditional banks too, but it's the immediate notifications of spending I like. Perhaps not so much for when you use the card, but for when automated payments go out, when you shop online etc. Amazon is a good example - with HSBC I buy something on my debit card and then sometime between clicking BUY and six months passing, the transaction appears. Use Monzo or Starling and a £1 transaction goes off immediately, with notification as well. As soon as the order ships, the full transaction appears and another notification pops up.

It's what banking in 2017 should be like.
And don't forget the security aspect of it too - if a dodgy transactions happens, you'll know about it instantly and you can then block your card straight from the app - nipped in the bud straight away :smashin:

I only joined up last month to use for a holiday travel card but quite impressed with the overall set up they have.
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
Monzo is fantastic. I've been with them since October last year. I was invited to the Current account preview event in early August and now I have my current account although still in preview but already I am loving it. I have a bout half my direct debits coming from Monzo now.

Yep the Android app isn't quite at feature parity yet but we have been reassured that it will be by years end. With Android pay, overdrafts and the like imminent the future is exciting.

I also have a Starling account but don't use that at all. I'm a true believer in Monzo.
 

Ol!ver

Well-known Member
Monzo is fantastic. I've been with them since October last year. I was invited to the Current account preview event in early August and now I have my current account although still in preview but already I am loving it. I have a bout half my direct debits coming from Monzo now.

Yep the Android app isn't quite at feature parity yet but we have been reassured that it will be by years end. With Android pay, overdrafts and the like imminent the future is exciting.

I also have a Starling account but don't use that at all. I'm a true believer in Monzo.

I'm using Starling, Monzo and my original HSBC account for different things and it works well, although some may find it a bit convoluted.

HSBC Advance - Money paid in here by employer and acts as a holding account.
Starling - All direct debits and standing orders come out of here. I move just the right amount into it once I get paid. This way I get instant notifications of when a payment goes out where I wouldn't with the HSBC account.
Monzo - All spending. I move my budgeted money into there weekly. Means I have a proper feel for what I'm spending.

I've also started using YNAB which is basically a digital envelope system. Works well.
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
I'm using Starling, Monzo and my original HSBC account for different things and it works well, although some may find it a bit convoluted.

HSBC Advance - Money paid in here by employer and acts as a holding account.
Starling - All direct debits and standing orders come out of here. I move just the right amount into it once I get paid. This way I get instant notifications of when a payment goes out where I wouldn't with the HSBC account.
Monzo - All spending. I move my budgeted money into there weekly. Means I have a proper feel for what I'm spending.

I've also started using YNAB which is basically a digital envelope system. Works well.
Yeah I have my old Barclays account for my salary paid in. I transfer enough out of that for the DD's on that account. I'm also running my flash money from my Monzo account. It's early days yet but I will go completely with the Monzo CA. As I say about starling, i never use it. Also got a Monese account that never gets used, they charge a monthly fee.
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
in the Q&A the question was asked why investors wasn't gotten the account first and answered with they will. This is the preview and the criteria for invites was fairly random.
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Just opened Atom's 1 yr fixed saver (1.95%), putting away 1K. Registered, opened and operated via the app. SMS notification shortly after I made a payment from my main current account. Was all quick and easy. Covered by FSCS.

Have also got savings (inc ISAs) with Paragon, Aldermore and Shawbrook.
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
Just opened Atom's 1 yr fixed saver (1.95%), putting away 1K. Registered, opened and operated via the app. SMS notification shortly after I made a payment from my main current account. Was all quick and easy. Covered by FSCS.

Have also got savings (inc ISAs) with Paragon, Aldermore and Shawbrook.
Hi Krish, long time no speak! Is Atom purely about saving for you?
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
Just downloaded the app. Will give it a try
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Account info ...
effectively a 1 yr bond

App screenshot - originally given a 7 day window to fund the account, which I just did straight after opening ...
Screenshot_20170901-165201.jpg
 
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LanceR

Distinguished Member
Yep just reading that
 

krish

Distinguished Member
Did you get on ok with it Lance?

I enquired about future products on their Facebook page and got these responses
...

Thanks for your interest in Atom Bank. We hope to be a full service bank and offer all the accounts you would expect with our own twist. Please keep an eye out on our website and social media feeds for updates.
All account we offer will be opened and operated via our app. We do plan to offer Current Accounts and Credit Cards but the exact features of the products are still under development.
 

LanceR

Distinguished Member
Did you get on ok with it Lance?

I enquired about future products on their Facebook page and got these responses
...
Yeah account all set up tried with a couple of hundred quid on one of the 1 year plans.
 
D

Deleted member 92943

Guest
I've got th original Monzo card and love it.

Just used it in Orlando on my 2 week trip and it worked a treat. No currency charges and I'm paying the standard conversion rate that day. Love the instant notifications.

Currently I have a Santander current account which my wage goes into. That will continue and soon I'm also opening a joint account with my partner.

If the Monzo current accounts go public sooner rather than later then I may move my personal account to them but not totally decided.

I like using it as a savings pot for my holidays.
 

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