Word of mouth driving Monzo growth as challenger records nine million customers

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Online banking continues to surge in popularity and major players in the space such as Monzo are reaping the benefits, with the company recording nine million customers this week.

Based in the UK, Monzo emerged in 2015 as one of the country’s preeminent challenger banks, specialising in an online-only offering centred around a mobile app and a prepaid debit card.

Indicative of the London-headquartered firm’s rapid uptake among UK consumers, Monzo reviewed that its user base of nine million includes two million joining in 2023 alone. The company asserts that word of mouth recommendations are the main drivers of its customer acquisition.

This means that one in seven UK adults now chooses to bank with Monzo, whilst the company has also become popular for business accounts, with 380,000 business customers.

TS Anil, CEO at Monzo, said: “To have more than nine million customers open a Monzo account, largely via word of mouth, is testament to the magic of Monzo and the customer-centricity that is part of our DNA.

“We hear from customers every day about how Monzo has transformed their financial lives – which is even more exciting when you consider that there is so much more to come on our journey to build the one app that answers all of their money needs.”

Monzo has enjoyed rapid success in the years since 2017 when it was awarded a full UK banking licence by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

This enabled the firm to begin offering its customers full current accounts. Since then it has benefited greatly from the retail-to-online shift seen among UK consumers, particularly among younger demographics.

Monzo has also been diversifying from a product perspective, launching its Flex BNPL offering in 2021 and partnering with Open Banking company TrueLayer in an igaming-focused cooperation last year.

Following continued success in 2023 and increased growth in its customer numbers in the early stages of 2024, international expansion is likely on Monzo’s agenda, with the firm having previously eyed up European growth via mergers.

The company’s development over the past nine years has not gone unnoticed by prospective investors, with Alphabet – the parent company of Google – investing $300m in November last year to support Monzo’s future growth ambitions.