U.K. Digital Bank Monzo Eyes Expansion, Tests SMB Accounts

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Monzo, a digital bank out of London, wants to expand past just mobile-based personal banking customers to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).  

“This week, we’re excited to announce that we’re launching a small test of business accounts to 100 sole traders and limited companies!” the company said in a blog post on Monday (Feb. 11).

Tom Blomfield, the CEO of Monzo, asked customers in a tweet: “What one thing would you add to @monzo in 2019 to make it (more) awesome?”

The overwhelming response, the company said, was businesses accounts. Many said that opening a business account was unnecessarily difficult and complicated.

“You find it nearly impossible to open an account and way too difficult to understand all the different fees you pay. You didn’t start your business to spend your nights and weekends worrying about financial admin and expenses. You use so much software, so many different tools and systems that it’s hard to keep up,” the company said. “The list goes on and on, but after speaking to over 200 of you, one thing is clear: your business is unique, and so are your needs.”

Monzo is starting small in order to make sure it has the procedures and protections in place to handle the logistical operations of running business accounts. The bank said it’s going to figure out what it needs to feature and what it needs to prioritize during the test period.

Monzo applied for the Alternative Remedies Package, according to reports, which was $900 million put aside by the Royal Bank of Scotland from the British government post financial crisis. The money was designated for FinTechs and smaller banking institutions to manage RBS’s customer base.

A portion of the money will let some business customers switch to Monzo under a program called the Incentivized Switching Scheme, which would give customers a “switching” bonus. Monzo is also applying for the Capability and Innovation Fund, which would aid it in its small business ventures.

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