Mobile Banking  

Mobile banking is a new wave of banking apps developed to help us take control of our money, sometimes referred to as a neobank. They are often much more safe & secure while offering a user-friendly experience and countless more features than that of their counterpart high-street banks currently offer.


I have had a HSBC account since I was 11 years old, and while I have very little to complain about, I definitely do not have any praises. The same cannot be said for Monzo, who I have only been with for one year. 


Mobile banking has completely changed my ability to budget and manage my finances. My favourite feature by far is the pots, which has allowed me to keep my cash separate but easily accessible. I have for example a pot for Bills, Emergency fund, Car maintenance & cash savings. Another feature I love is the round-up, an effortless way to start saving pennies to a pot of your choice (e.g. if you spend 69p it will round up the difference, 31p and put it in a pot). 


In just one year I have managed to save nearly £3.5k just in my current account (that excludes my investments outside Monzo). While maybe I could have saved the same without it, I don't think it would have been as easy and as passive as it has been with mobile banking.


For those of you that aren't already using one of these new mobile banking apps, you may have a few questions like:

Why should you use mobile banking?

why is mobile banking better?

which mobile banking app is the best?


I'd like to try and answer these as best I can.


Why should you use mobile banking?

There are many reasons why you should start using mobile banking instead of your traditional high-street bank. You have way more control and transparency, everything can be done from your phone from anywhere (with an internet connection I suppose). Some of my favourite features that are available with Monzo are:

  • Pots
  • Round-ups
  • Bill splitting
  • Card freezing 
  • Pay from pots
  • 'X Left to spend' 
  • Spending Budget
  • Spending report (money in, money out, money saved)
  • Instant push notifications 


As you can see, plenty of features that just straight-up are not available from your traditional bank which you can only get from this new wave of neobanks. While these features are by no means groundbreaking, they are just a refreshing step up from the bare minimum set out by the digital banking apps that the high-street banks have cobbled together. 


So, if you want a better user experience, more control and a plethora of budgeting and spending features then mobile banking is for you.


Why is mobile banking better?

As I mentioned in my previous point, there are plenty of reasons to drop your traditional bank in favour of one of these new mobile banking apps. The extra features only really scratching the surface. The main benefits being:


No longer are you restricted by the limited opening hours of a brick and mortar high street bank, you can access and control your account 24/7 from your mobile phone (In bed, at the pub, on holiday?). There is also no restrictions on what you can and can't do from a branch as everything is done from the app. You can check your balances, transfer money, pay bills and more.


Get paid earlier with BACS, there are two main ways to get paid in the UK: the ‘Faster Payments Service’ (FPS) and Bacs (which stands for ‘Bankers Automated Clearing Service’). Most people are paid by Bacs. Check with your employer if you’re not sure! If you’re paid by Bacs then you can get your pay one day sooner.

Save the trees! no one wants or needs a paper bank statement these days do they? with mobile banking, all of your statements are easily accessible through the app and can normally be downloaded as a pdf or csv if needed. Not only is this beneficially from an environmental perspective but it is also better in terms of security as there is no longer a  risk of your letters being stolen or personal information found in the rubbish.


Which mobile banking app is the best?

While I only have first-hand experience with Monzo so I cannot give a fair judgement on the rest, I can say that Monzo has been great so far and I have not had any issues. So, in no particular order here are some of the best mobile banking apps in the UK for 2021.


Monzo

monzo mobile baking app logo

Banking made easy: Spend, save and manage your money, all in one place. Open a full UK bank account from your phone, for free.

Features:

  • Easy Access Savings
  • Direct Debit management 
  • Instant Notifications
  • Budgets
  • Use worldwide zero fees
  • Borrow (Loans & Overdrafts)
  • Card freezing
  • FSCS Protected
  • Bill splitting


Starling Bank

starling bank mobile baking app logo

A new kind of bank account, everything you need from a current account. None of the stuff you don’t. Starling Bank is designed to give you more control over your money - on mobile, on desktop, on your terms.

Features:

  • Access your account via mobile or desktop
  • Use worldwide zero fees
  •  Instant Notifications
  • Borrow (Loans & Overdrafts)
  • Card freezing
  • FSCS Protected


Revolut

Revolut mobile baking app logo

A new kind of bank account, everything you need from a current account. None of the stuff you don’t. Starling Bank is designed to give you more control over your money - on mobile, on desktop, on your terms.

Features:

  • Open Banking
  • Direct Debit management 
  • Instant Notifications
  • Budgets
  • Use worldwide zero fees
  • Borrow (Loans & Overdrafts)
  • Card freezing
  • FSCS Protected
  • Rewards (discounts & cashback)
  • Trade Crypto
  • Commodities
  • Bill splitting


Monese

monese mobile banking app logo

Open your digital money account instantly. Our quick mobile money account opening online and easy sign-up process will have you up and running in minutes.

Features:

  • Instant Notifications
  • Budgets
  • Use worldwide zero fees
  • Virtual cards
  • Freeze cards
  • FSCS Protected


After looking through the various features offered by each of these mobile banking platforms, it looks as if its a close match between Revolut and Monzo. I'll stick with Monzo for now but that doesn't mean I won't look at changing in the future. I'd love to hear if you guys use a mobile banking app instead of a traditional bank too! Let me know what you use and what you think.


Also if you'd like to help out the blog please share with your friends and leave a like, also if you want to help me on my FIRE journey, consider buying me a coffee? ☕

as always, thanks for reading.


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