Revolut vs Monzo: features, fees, and user experience

The landscape of digital banking is dominated by innovative players like Revolut and Monzo, each offering unique features and benefits tailored to modern financial needs. This article delves into a detailed comparison of these two fintech giants, highlighting their services, fees, user experience, and security measures.

Overview and background

Revolut was launched in 2015, aiming to provide global financial services through its app, which allows users to spend and transfer money globally with minimal fees. It has expanded rapidly, now offering a range of products including budgeting tools, cryptocurrency exchange, and stock trading.

Monzo started in 2015 as well, initially operating through a prepaid debit card and evolving into a full-fledged bank. It is renowned for its user-friendly interface and community-focused features, such as splitting bills and sending money to friends easily through the app.

Key features

Spending Abroad: Both banks offer services with minimal fees on overseas spending and withdrawals. Revolut uses the interbank exchange rate for its currency exchange on weekdays and adds a markup on weekends, whereas Monzo offers free withdrawals abroad up to a certain limit and charges a small fee thereafter.

Budgeting and Analytics: Monzo takes the lead with its advanced budgeting tools, categorising transactions automatically and setting spending targets. Revolut also offers budgeting tools but focuses more on cryptocurrency and stock trading as its unique selling points.

Savings and Interest: Monzo offers various savings pots with competitive interest rates through third-party banks. Revolut’s savings products are less diverse, focusing instead on its investment and insurance products.

Fees and charges

Both banks pride themselves on transparency and low fees. However, Revolut offers different account tiers, with the higher tiers providing greater benefits such as higher withdrawal limits and lower foreign exchange fees. Monzo’s fee structure is simpler, focusing on providing most services at no cost with some charges for things like overdrafts and replacement cards.

User experience

User experience is a strong point for both. Monzo’s app is praised for its simplicity and effectiveness, especially in features like instant notifications, budget management, and goal setting. Revolut’s app is also highly functional, offering a broader range of financial services that appeal to a more diverse user base.

Security and regulation

Security features on both apps include freezing/unfreezing of the debit card, location-based security, and customisable spending limits. Monzo is a fully licensed bank in the UK, which means it offers up to £85,000 of financial protection per customer under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). Revolut, while not a bank in the UK, holds a European banking license and offers protection for funds up to a similar limit through safeguarding under UK or EU regulations.

The verdict

The choice between Revolut and Monzo largely depends on your banking and financial service needs. If you require a straightforward banking experience with effective budgeting tools, Monzo is ideal. If your focus is on broader financial services including investments and currency exchange, Revolut may be the better choice.

In conclusion, both Revolut and Monzo offer compelling features for the digitally-savvy user. Your personal banking needs will dictate which provider will serve you best, but both are at the forefront of the fintech revolution, continuing to innovate and reshape the financial services landscape.