Where the smart money is

Published November 12, 2019

Coin collection

This is the time of year when people start talking about the C word - that festive period where you will either be wondering how much cash you might receive as a gift, or pondering how much it might be wise to spend on eggnog, or maybe even thinking about how you can revamp your finances for the new year.

I’ve thought about money and finances a lot this year and it’s been an interesting, frustrating and sometimes rewarding process. One of the key finds was Monzo. Monzo have been around for about four years now and already have racked up over 3 million users, which is supremely impressive.

They’ve completed rethought the process of banking, from almost immediate account set up, to ease of transferring money, to allocating saving and spending pots to stay in control. They offer advice and neat ideas to help save money including the fabulous round-up idea of sifting off the additional pennies from any purchase you buy into a savings account.

They’re still new and evolving and growing, I’ve only had the app installed a few months and it’s already undergone a couple of significant changes. But that’s partly one of the great things about it. I recently read The Money Revolution by Anne Boden (founder of similarly upcoming banking app Starling) and the one thing that really stuck with me from it was the idea that some of the older, more respected, names just don’t have the ability to change.

Many of the older, established financial institutions simply don’t have technology that is advanced enough to keep up with the latest developments. Indeed, much of their infrastructure has roots going back three decades or more. Data capability is the domain of a new breed of fintechs, which have had the luxury of building their services from scratch with all the latest tech thinking.

It’s a similar story to why Tesla revolutionised the electric vehicle world and the established names took a little while longer to catch up.

Monzo have that going for them - they are new, they are young, and they have the ability to adapt. They’re aiming at the right people and they’re trying to make looking after the money you earn as easy as possible. If you’re looking for a change of bank, or an additional account, to manage your money, I can’t recommend them enough. But even if you’re not yet convinced, keep an eye on the fintech space because it’s going to be fascinating to watch it develop.

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