Breaking: Monzo sails past 4m customers, but growth rate slows

By Oliver Smith on Wednesday 4 March 2020

Digital Banking

The end of hyper-growth?

Breaking: Monzo sails past 4m customers, but growth rate slows
Image source: Monzo.

Digital bank Monzo has now reached a whopping 4m UK customers, but the figures suggest its growth rate has slowed.

With 4m customers and growing numbers of primary accounts, Monzo now counts just over 1 in every 16 people in the UK as a customer.

The bank told AltFi that it’s currently signing up 40,000 customers a week, with the average customer having 24 friends also using Monzo.

But the 4m customer milestone comes five and a half months, or 169 days, after Monzo reached its last milestone of 3m customers.

That means Monzo actually saw a slowdown in customer growth, as the previous jump from 2m to 3m customers took just four months, or 119 days.

Interestingly the rate of spending via Monzo appears to be increasing disproportionately, with the total spent on Monzo cards reaching a cumulative total of £33.7bn—a £15bn jump since the bank last announced the figure in September 2019.

Monzo says its hot coral bank cards have now been tapped, swiped and Chip & PIN’ed over 1.3bn times.

But exactly why it took Monzo longer to sign up its last million customers is unclear, there are two short-term possibilities however:

1. Marketing

Monzo’s previous million customers flew in at a record pace and came after the bank ran a high-profile TV marketing campaign, something which it hasn’t since repeated. In the meantime, Monzo also stepped down its paid Golden Ticket scheme, which previously offered cash to customers for referrals.

2. Increased competition

Starling Bank has been running high-profile TV and billboard marketing campaigns over the last six months, while Monese and Revolut have both been in the spotlight for varying reasons. N26 is withdrawing from the UK, but any uptick in customers would have only been felt in the last fortnight or so.

In the longer term, ultimately digital banking challengers, and especially ones like Monzo that are UK-centric, will struggle to maintain their explosive growth rates of the past.

Early adopters are already carrying a colourful bank card (or two), meaning digital challengers like Monzo, Revolut and Starling Bank are now trying to lure in a far pickier mainstream customer base.

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