How a Neobank is Disrupting the UK Banking Industry

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April 1, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

Community-First Approach: Monzo adopted a community-based marketing approach by creating a close-knit community of users, who are known as “Monzonauts”. Monzo facilitates this community-first approach in three ways:

  • Community Forum: The Monzo forum was initially built for the first few hundred beta users and has now become home to thousands of users who regularly give feedback on Monzo product features. The forum creates a continuous feedback loop between developers and users. Monzo’s “Pots” feature came directly from one user’s post in the “Feedback & Ideas” subforum. 
  • Recognition to Community Leaders: Monzo gives recognition to the most active members of the forum by inviting them to be a part of the “Coral Crew” which is their community leader program. Coral Crew members receive certain perks such as badges, swag, and exclusive access to Monzo events and a Slack channel. Community leader programs incentivize members to be active members in the Monzo community. 
  • Monzo Labs: In 2018, Monzo launched their “Monzo Labs” program where users could opt in to be the first to test new features of the app and provide direct feedback. For each feature, a community leader publishes a discussion post in the forum where members can provide feedback. 

Brand Image — Approachable & Transparent Brand Voice: Unlike traditional financial institutions, Monzo speaks in the same language as their audience. Rather than using formal language, they have adopted a friendly tone of voice and the brand makes a conscious effort to avoid business jargon. In particular, “transparency” is an important aspect of Monzo’s brand voice. As part of this belief, the brand has made its quarterly business goals public since 2018.

Social Media Content — Financial Tips & Storytelling Using Data: Top performing social media posts tend to fall under two content buckets:

  • Financial Tips: To incentivize users to follow their social media channels, Monzo regularly posts financial tips and advice to help their users. One tactic they use on Twitter is to create Twitter threads about common scams and how to avoid them, which is updated weekly.
  • Storytelling Using Data: As a digital banking app, Monzo is sitting on a goldmine of customer data. They use this app data to tell compelling stories to their followers about financial purchases related to the pandemic. 

Content Focus — The Monzo Blog: Monzo began ramping up their blog in 2018 and currently, they publish 3 blog posts per week. Their blog is a great way to continuously educate their core user base on financial tips as well as acquiring new users. Blog posts regularly contain promotional offers and CTA buttons. 


Neobanks, which are financial technology firms that offer internet-only services, are disrupting the banking industry in the United Kingdom. Top neobanks in the UK include Monzo, Revolut, and Starling Bank.


Neobanks in the UK are experiencing rapid growth in app install penetration rates* compared to traditional banks. On average, Neobanks saw +32% YoY growth in 2020 in install penetration while traditional banks only saw a +17% growth.

This analysis includes Android data only. *Install penetration is the percentage of devices in the defined market with the app installed. 

In the past two years, Monzo generated the highest volume of app downloads with 240K monthly downloads in 2019 and 188K monthly downloads in 2020.

This analysis includes Android data only

Amongst the competitive set, Monzo’s user base is the youngest, capturing 82% of the Millennial and Gen Z audience (18 - 34 years old). 

This analysis includes Android data only


4 factors that led to Monzo’s success are the following:

  1. 🧒🏻 Community-First Approach
  2. 🎤 Clear & Transparent Brand Voice
  3. 📱Focus on Social Media Marketing 
  4. 📝 Focus on Content Marketing

1. 🧒🏻 Community-First Approach

Monzo adopted a community-based marketing approach by creating a close-knit community of users, who are known as “Monzonauts” by launching a public forum

Community is at the core of Monzo’s marketing strategy. Monzo is able to develop close relationships with its users through its community forum and by hosting various events.

The Monzo forum was initially built for the first few hundred beta users and has now become home to thousands of users who regularly give feedback on Monzo features. 

Click to view


The community forum creates a continuous feedback loop between developers and users. Monzo’s “Pots” feature came directly from one user’s post in the “Feedback & Ideas” subforum.


Monzo hires community managers who act as the key point of contact for community-hosted events, monitoring the forum and managing any issues. 


Monzo gives recognition to the most active members of the forum by inviting them to be a part of the “Coral Crew” which is their community leader program. 

In 2018, Monzo launched their “Monzo Labs” program where users could opt in to be the first to test new features of the app and provide direct feedback. 

2. 🎤 Monzo Brand Voice

Monzo’s brand voice is approachable, clear and transparent. The way they communicate to their users is an integral part of their branding — they even have their tone of voice guide on their main website.

Unlike traditional financial institutions, Monzo speaks in the same language as their audience. Rather than using formal language, they have adopted a friendly tone of voice and the brand makes a conscious effort to avoid business jargon. 


Transparency is another important aspect of Monzo’s “Tone of Voice” guide. As part of this belief, the brand has made their quarterly business goals public since 2018. 

3. 📱 Focus on Social Marketing

Monzo is an early adopter of emerging social media channels such as TikTok. With 126K Twitter followers and 60K Instagram followers, social media is an integral part of their marketing strategy.

On Twitter, Monzo’s top performing posts are Twitter threads and polls.

  • Twitter Threads. Monzo regularly posts Twitter threads where they inform their users on various trending topics. In this example, Monzo’s top Twitter thread is updated every week about common scams and how to avoid them.
  • Polls. Monzo creates a two- way dialogue with their user base by asking them questions about their new features. In this example, Monzo asked their users how much they thought is too little to bother asking friends to pay back the money that is owed.
Twitter tread, Twitter poll

On Instagram, Monzo’s top performing posts use data to tell a story about COVID-19 related financial purchases. 

Post #1, Post #2


On TikTok, top performing videos feature financial tips and unique app features such as the “Your Year in Monzo” summary available on the app.

  • Financial Tips. Monzo used the hashtag #learnontiktok to teach their viewers about the “50/20/30” budgeting rule.
  • Product Features. The top performing user generated content about the Monzo app features the “Your Year in Monzo” summary (which is similar to Spotify’s “2020 Wrapped” page), which gives users a look back into how they spent their money in the past year.  
Post #1

4. 📝 Focus on Content Marketing

Monzo is consistently publishing blog articles on their website to continuously educate their core user base.

Monzo consistently posts articles on their blog about the latest product updates as well as financial & business-related advice. Currently, they have over 800 articles published on their blog.


Monzo began ramping up their blog in 2018 however, in the past year, they decreased the number of blog posts by 61%. Currently, they publish ~ 3 blog posts per week. 


The top three content buckets for blogs are the following:

Product updates, Small business banking, Financial Tips


Monzo uses the blog as an opportunity to acquire new users, by including promotional offers and a “Download Monzo” CTA button.






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