Digital Banking

Monzo CEO Hopes New Accounts Can Blunt Pandemic’s Impact

New Monzo CEO TS Anil said the U.K. company, badly damaged by the pandemic, is hinging on new products to survive, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

Anil maintained that the group, while suffering through the pandemic, nevertheless had a solid foundation on which to survive, according to FT. He pointed to new services like business and premium accounts as ways Monzo would be able to weather the pandemic and still come out solvent.

The company opened over 36,000 business accounts since March and re-instituted a 5 pounds ($6.55) a month “Monzo Plus” account option, which has had higher-than-expected sign-up numbers, FT reported.

The premium accounts, according to a PYMNTS report, give customers new options to create budgets and stick to them. The feature lets users create personalized categories for spending, round up charges to send extra money to one's savings account, and split up single transactions between numerous categories for maximum accuracy. Users can also create and delete virtual cards, a way to protect users' actual card numbers while shopping online.

The company has been hit hard by the pandemic, with the drop in overseas travel causing it to lose the main source of its revenue in the transaction fees generated when one pays with a Monzo card, according to FT.

Monzo cut 120 jobs in response in order to stay afloat, PYMNTS reported. The cuts came from the bank's head office and operations teams. There were also workers who volunteered to be furloughed in March as the pandemic was beginning.

Anil was appointed to the job from his old Visa position late last year. He pointed to the company's recent 58 million-pound ($76 million) funding round last month as a reason for the group's viability, FT reported. Despite the 40 percent discount from the company's previous value, Anil said fundraising of any kind during the pandemic was cause for acclaim.

He also said he is confident in the company's cost-cutting measures since the pandemic began, according to FT. The company has closed one office overseas, although it said it would continue to invest in governance and fighting financial crime. The company has more measures up its sleeve, although Anil said he didn't think further job cuts would be involved.

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: HOW WE SHOP – SEPTEMBER 2020 

The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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