Oct 20, 2020

Monzo launches its newest bank account: Monzo Premium

Monzo Premium
digital bank
Bank account
William Girling
2 min
Leading UK neobank Monzo has announced the official launch of its latest bank account option: Monzo Premium
Leading UK neobank Monzo has announced the official launch of its latest bank account option: Monzo Premium...

Leading UK neobank Monzo has announced the official launch of its latest bank account option: Monzo Premium.

The company, which placed sixth in our Top 10 digital banks list, is demonstrating, despite some initial downturns in March, a steadfast dedication to product development and exploring monetisation opportunities within its customer base. 

Dubbing Premium “banking that makes a statement”, Monzo’s new offering is available to those between the ages of 18 and 69. Featuring a £15 per month bank maintenance fee (with a six-month minimum term), the account offers the following exclusive features:

  • A white steel card
  • 1.50%/1.49% AER/Gross on account balance up to £2k (inclusive of savings pots)
  • Phone insurance for devices worth up to £2k, as well as any accessories under £300 in value
  • Worldwide family travel insurance (underwritten by AXA)
  • £600 of fee-free every cash withdrawals every 30 days when travelling abroad

In addition, customers will receive discounted airport lounge features, consolidated summaries of financial activity from other bank accounts, credit score tracking, transaction monitoring capabilities and much more.

Innovating modern bank accounts

Arriving relatively swiftly after the launch of Monzo Plus, the company is continuing to explore new, tech-advanced methods of giving users control and visibility over their money. 

With traditional banks similarly aware of innovation’s importance to retaining customers in the new post-COVID dynamic, the sector is likely to witness still further developments from Monzo and its competitors. 

It should be noted that, although persisting travel restrictions could limit the appeal of Premium’s travel insurance and enhanced fee-free withdrawal aspects, some commentators believe that establishing strong digital payments strategies early could pay dividends in the ‘new normal’.

Apparently developed over a two-year period, Mike Hudack, Chief Product Officer, told Yahoo! that the moment was “right” to launch the new product, particularly in light of Plus’ positive reception (50,000 sign-ups in its initiative month).

“Our focus is on building things that people love and are sustainable,” he stated. “Obviously, we want to build a business that lasts for centuries, that is also incredibly important to me.”

Image credit: Monzo

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Jun 10, 2021

Marqeta’s IPO shines a light on fintech fees

2 min
Shares of payment processing company Marqeta closed up 13% after its market debut Wednesday on the Nasdaq

Marqeta, a fintech company, raised $1.2 billion with an initial public offering that priced high and exceeded expectations. The company priced its shares at $27, above the expected range of $20 to $24, and giving it a market valuation near $15 billion. Marqeta stock jumped 13%, closing at 30.52 on the stock market today.

This IPO adds to a number of recent fintech listings from companies such as the online lender SoFi and the no-fee brokerage Robinhood.

Founded in 2010 and based in Oakland, California, Marqeta sells payment technology that’s designed to detect potential fraud and ensure that money is properly routed. The company also creates customised branded debit cards and prepaid cards for corporate customers that include the delivery group DoorDash and Swedish fintech Klarna, as well as Square.

A large amount of Marqeta’s revenue comes from interchange fees, which is the transaction fee that merchants pay whenever a customer uses a credit/debit card to make a purchase. Due to the Durbin Amendment in the 2010 Dodd Frank Act, banks that have under $10bn in assets receive higher interchange fees than larger lenders from the transactions. 

This has allowed fintech start-ups, such as Marqeta and Chime, which is a personal finance app in the US, to take advantage of this by partnering with small banks and taking a cut of the fees. 

An increase in profits

Marqeta’s business has drastically increased during the pandemic as people in lockdown have turned to digital financial services such as Square’s Cash App and ecommerce companies such as DoorDash. The company more than doubled net revenues to $290m last year while narrowing losses to $48m. Business from Square made up 73% of Marqeta’s net revenue in the first quarter, which was an increase from the previous year. Marqeta’s agreements with Square last until 2024, according to the company.

Ian Johnson, SVP, Managing Director, Europe, Marqeta: “As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, more people are relying on digital payments to move through each day. Companies throughout Europe are looking for ways to offer better payment solutions for their customers. Marqeta is proud to be a publicly traded company and looks forward to bringing an even greater focus to scaling our products and delivering modern card issuing that launches cards quickly and provides greater flexibility than traditional card programmes. We’re pleased to support European businesses with ambition and purpose who use our platform to help write the future of payments.” 

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