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Monzo backtracks on its third-party marketplace, removes savings and investments

After only launching the Marketplace Beta a little over a month ago, has Monzo bitten off more than it can chew?

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Currently available to a handful of its users via a beta programme, Monzo’s third party marketplace has been live since the beginning of March, largely being kept behind heavily guarded closed doors.

The digital bank has never publicly disclosed which firms it would be working with, but AltFi was able to reveal that those who joined the beta would be trialling access to savings accounts, energy switching services and investing accounts from a variety of providers, including challenger bank OakNorth, peer-to-peer lenders RateSetter and Zopa, and energy firms Bulb and Octopus.

In an email circulated to beta testers today, Monzo has said it has now removed the savings and investments categories from the programme, as it hopes to make larger improvements to the service over the next few months.

However, the decision to remove the categories from the beta entirely has left its users rather puzzled. Even in times of large scale app redesign, it is rare to wholly remove an option from service, particularly when that service involves multiple third-party providers who will stop receiving revenue as a result. 

In a statement to users on Monzo’s forum, one of the bank’s product managers Richard Cadman commented: “The purpose of the marketplace was to understand, in a very lean way, how people want to interact with savings, energy and investments as well as get an idea of what product categories you want to see next.”

“We also got plenty of feedback that the marketplace in its current form isn’t as useful, nor as delightful an experience as people would like (plenty of feedback told us it was more in fact more alpha than beta). What’s great is that we now have a good idea of how to make it both useful and delightful, but it won’t be an overnight transformation.”

“In the meantime, we think it’s best to take the savings and investments out of the marketplace as the experience isn’t as useful or delightful as it could be! We’ve left energy in there as there’s still a few more incremental updates we can do, and a little more we can learn.”

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