Revolut and Monzo are two of the biggest names among “challenger banks”, but there are some big differences in the services they provide.
In recent years, traditional banks have been losing customers to smaller, newer and slicker start ups. Years of miserable savings, poor customer service, and clunky online interfaces have seen many people turning to apps like Revolut and Monzo.
Popular with young people especially, this new wave of banking apps offer features like fee-free spending abroad, smart tools to keep tabs on spending, and instant interaction with your account – allowing you to view transactions in real time or cancel your debit card in an instant.
Here we cover the two biggest rivals in this new banking landscape.
Revolut and Monzo at a glance
|What is it?||Revolut is a complete alternative to high-street banking. It offers a prepaid card, a currency and cryptocurrency exchange, and P2P payments.||Monzo is more simple, offering a UK current account. It has highly rated customer support and involves its community in app updates.|
|Pros of each||
|Cons of each||
|What is unique about it?||Revolut is the only digital banking solution that offers the whole suite of features listed above. Revolut also offers interesting security features such as location based security. This means your transaction won’t go through unless it’s close enough to your phone.
Like all of these apps, updates and new features are being added constantly. Revolut’s recent fundraising saw it raise $250m, which will in part be used to double its workforce. So expect new features soon.
|Monzo’s key feature is the way it tracks your spending. You can view a live breakdown of your outgoings, where you’re spending money and on what.
New features are added piece by piece. Monzo keeps its community up to date with a public roadmap. Users can interact with the Monzo team via the app or the Monzo blog. Next up is an overdraft facility, as well as more savings options.
|What are the main costs?||
|How do I get the card?||Download the app for iOS (rated 4/5) or Android (rated 4.2/5)||Download the app for iOS (rated 4/5) or Android (rated 4.2/5)|
|How safe is it?||While covered by the FCA, Revolut is not protected by the FSCS.||Your Monzo account is protected by the FSCS, up to the sum of £85,000.|
|Want to find out more?||More details||More details|
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Popularity of Revolut and Monzo over the past year
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Revolut vs Monzo: The verdict
As with most things, it depends. Both are competing to keep up with one another so their app experiences are hugely similar. Both Revolut and Monzo give you spending insights, breaking your transactions down into categories like groceries, transport, eating out. Likewise both give you real time information and spending notifications and let you freeze your card in the app.
The small differences emerge when you consider what the two are. As a fully fledged bank Monzo offers you more security if the bank goes bust. Up to £85,000 is covered by the FSCS. Revolut, by contrast, isn’t. So if it goes under your money is more vulnerable.
Another key difference is Monzo customers get free and unlimited ATM withdrawals in the UK. With Revolut you only get £200 a month fee-free.
This doesn’t mean Revolut is worse. In fact, because it’s still technically a prepaid debit card you can still do instant top ups. Just go in the app and press the ‘+’ sign, and you can add balance to your card in a second. This has huge benefits if you’re travelling. Monzo cancelled this top up option, so transferring money in is still easy but a fraction slower.