May 21, 2019 | By Petah Marian
Let’s be honest, banking is inherently boring. No one ever talks about savings and bonds with the same vigour that they comment on Instagram, or go to their favourite store. Going to the bank is a bit like going to buy socks, you have to do it because you need to, but you’re not exactly enthusiastic about the process. That’s why when personal finance sites like Mint and Learn Vest launched in 2006 and 2009 respectively, committed to helping consumers understand banking, those sites took off and did so well. Those sites made banking seem accessible and easy to comprehend. Now, a new wave of banks is here, and trying to take that concept one step further by making banking actually fun!
First up is online bank Monzo: created in February 2015, and granted a UK banking license last August this online bank and app helps customers monitor their money with instant spending notifications, monthly spending round-ups, target options and easy money transfers.
‘We started Monzo because we think that banking should be better. In a world where you can use an app on your phone to order food or a taxi, it’s ridiculous that your bank still takes days to update your balance when you make a card payment. We’re building the bank of the future, available now,’ explains the statement on the bank’s website.
Monzo customers can use the card and app to help them save or budget their money better. Online banking has been successful for many years, but now the consumer wants more. And this is more than just a banking app, this looks into your habits and organises your spending into categories such as Entertainment, Shopping, Eating Out, Transport.
As a Millennial, I love thinking about ways of saving money, and spending it on fun things like holidays, cars, or vintage sofas, but previously I found this hard. ‘Where does all my money go?’ we all often moan. Sometimes I think I may be dropping it on the floor. Then I got Monzo, and now I can see exactly where it goes: on food. With Monzo’s new iOS update you can even add a profile picture, so friends can instantly see who they’re paying.
Is this the beginning of money social media? Will we soon be uploading pictures of what we have spent our money on?
Next up is Mogo Money, spotted by our retail editor Sidney Morgan-Petro during a recent trip to Canada, she stumbled upon what looked like a store front with merch, but it was actually Mogo Lounge, a space for the online bank to offer financial advice to passersby.
The online bank and app lets you do everything from check your credit score, to keeping an eye on your spending to applying for a mortgage.
And the store front space also acts as a pop up shop with Millennial focused finance events, as well as new retail brands that are in line with the banking ethos, such as Hood Rich tote bags, and bloggers hosting pop-ups about monetising your personal brand.
The space looks like an interiors store, and the series of events include this month’s how to become a first time home buyer. The Drake influenced Instagram feed and the corresponding blog with tips on how to save for a house in 5 years, makes the banking brand perfect for Millennials.
So forget what you thought about banking, as drab, with the offer of a basic-looking free pen or a weird-looking piggy bank free gift. A new wave of banks is here, and committed to helping this generation save money, spend wisely and look great on Instagram.
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