Digital banking darling Monzo will enter the business banking market.
Having until now been laser-focused on its consumer current account, the digital bank confirmed in a blog post today that it will be launching a business account within the next few years.
The exact timeline for the launch depends largely on whether Monzo is able to win substantial awards from the £700m RBS fund, the Alternative Remedies Package. Most importantly, Monzo will be aiming for a slice of the Capability and Innovation Fund, the pool set aside for banks and fintechs wishing to develop or improve their SME business banking products.
The bank has said it will begin building its business accounts straight away if it is able to win awards. It hopes to use the funds to hire new people, who will research, design, build, test and launch the new accounts. While research has already begun, Monzo admits that it isn’t yet sure ‘what business accounts will look like’, or exactly when they’ll launch.
If the bank fails to win awards from the RBS fund, it is unlikely to turn its full attention to business accounts for a few years.
Starling in particular has prioritised winning awards from the RBS fund as a means of building on its offering, which is already some way advanced. Only last week, the bank announced the expansion of its business-facing marketplace, as well as a partnership with leading accounting software Xero.
Monzo’s style has always been that of a perfectionist; it is slower to roll out products than its peers, and continuously tinkers with live products in search of improvements. We’ve seen various tweaks to its flagship current accounts this year, including a gambling block and an IFTTT integration.
The bank has, true to form, invited its would-be business customers to offer feedback on what the business accounts ought to look like. But they'll have to wait some time for their collective vision to be realised.