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New Financial Institutions, Same Payments

At Moolah, we do our part to be the best credit card processing for small businesses, and part of that is keeping on top of how the industry is changing. With attention to the ever-changing landscape that is the financial services industry, there is occasionally a chance to learn how things are done in other markets in other countries, while at the same time learning about how things are done here in the US.

One such opportunity has arisen in the form of Monzo, one of the UK’s most up and coming financial institutions. Monzo recently announced its plans to enter the US. It’s a testament to just how globally connected the world of finance is becoming. Monzo is a truly mobile-only institution, with no brick-and-mortar locations in the UK.

Certain little hiccups are really only a problem if you align more with the “old way” of banking; for example, money will have to be transferred into a Monzo account from another US bank account if you can’t get your salary paid into your Monzo account through direct deposit, something not too likely to slow down the average consumer that already uses direct deposit and Zelle or other digital money transfers. With a raft of services and features designed to help the average consumer better manage money, transfer money to their friends, and pay for things, Monzo aims to change the way finances work, all without bank branches.

While everything about Monzo feels new, there is in fact competition here across the pond. Simple, which has been on the scene ¬¬¬for a while, is a branchless bank that is leading the charge for putting all those complicated financial processes inside your smartphone. Chime is another rapidly growing competitor that promotes bank-free money management.

Payment tech

Monzo, like many UK banks, retailers, and consumers, has been relying on contactless cards for payments for a good while. This poses something of a conundrum for Monzo as they move into the US market, where contactless cards are yet to really be adopted in earnest. A 2018 report has figured that just 3% of cards out there have contactless payment ability—we’ve only just made the transition over to EMV chip technology a few years ago! Compare this to an impressive 64% of cards in the UK that are touchless. The choice, then, is to push the US market forward or fall in step with the older technology of the US market.

Another hurdle is that at rollout, the bank won’t have integration with Apple Pay or Google Pay, which might slightly disincentivize some against its use.

On the small business side, the very first step you’ve got to take is being able to accept these touchless payments, whatever the card or app being used. Moolah makes it easy for you by delivering the best credit card processing for small businesses, as well as the best tech for your business, like the Poynt Smart Terminal, which enables you to accept touchless NFC payments. Do your part, and you’ll be ready for any bank that crosses the pond.