Monzo to hire 500 new employees and take another crack at paid accounts

UK-based challenger bank Monzo is planning to grow its staff from 1,500 to 2,000 and to relaunch its failed premium services.

Tom Blomfield, CEO and founder of the digital lender, revealed the plan in an interview with Reuters.

The Monzo head honcho said the company planned to relaunch an updated version of the premium service in the first three months of 2020.

Monzo cancelled Monzo Plus in September 2019 after having launched earlier in April.

“We learned that things that seem a universal truth when you are 50 people, launching iteratively as no one is paying attention, when you do that with 3.5 million customers it’s foolish,” Blomfield told Reuters.

He also revealed that Monzo planned to go public within the next three or four years, adding that he also expected to be profitable by then. The bank reported a £47.2m loss in 2018.

Comparatively, native rival Starling Bank has stated that it plans to float as early as 2022.

The entrepreneur added that Monzo is also trying to learn from the mistakes of its competitors. For instance, looking at German N26’s decision to leave the UK, blaming it on Brexit, hid another lesson.

“The lesson there is if you take a product and just move it across unchanged it doesn’t do well – N26 didn’t connect,” said Blomfield.

That is the lesson Monzo has taken onboard as it plans to go across the pond to the US.

Blomfield is not the only challenger bank founder to throw shade at N26’s decision to close all of its accounts in the UK.

Dutch rival bunq’s founder and CEO Ali Niknam made fun of N26’s plans last week by  issuing a statment, saying, “You might have heard one of our FinTech peers is leaving the UK Fear not: bunq is here to stay. Based on the current rules and regulations, we see no (regulatory) reason to leave the UK. In fact, we love you guys! Let’s bunq together.”

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