Monzo launch ISAs in partnership with OakNorth

5 April 2019   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

Mobile only bank launches ISAs that can be managed digitally through their app, with money able to be transferred within one working day.

Customers will benefit from a 1.14% interest rate which will be paid at the end of each month on the final working day.

ISAs can be opened using the Monzo app using the same quick and easy mechanism used for normal Savings Pots.

Monzo also say they'll be launching fixed savings options including ISAs in the future which will pay higher interest rates on fixed-term savings.

monzo digital banking
© Monzo

How do Monzo ISAs work?

Monzo is working in conjunction with OakNorth, a dedicated savings provider, to deliver ISAs to its mobile only customers.

Savers will have to deposit at least £500 to open one of these ISAs, and they're subject to the same limitations as other ISAs with a £20,000 deposit limit in one financial year.

Opening one is simple for Monzo customers who access Savings Pot ISAs in the same way they access normal Savings Pots.

It's worth noting that, due to issues with their provider limits, Monzo currently aren't offering new Savings Pots to customers, though they're hoping to reopen them soon.

This means that Savings Pot ISAs are the only option for new savers with Monzo, plus they require a lower initial deposit and offer a higher interest rate.

There are a few limitations to these Saving Pot ISAs. Customers can't yet transfer money from an existing ISA and, as per the law, they can't pay into more than one ISA in the same tax year.

Given that a new financial year is just beginning, Monzo have launched at the right time to attract customers looking at their savings for 2019/20.

Read our full review of Monzo's mobile banking solution here.

Monzo issuing a challenge to other digital banks

With this latest announcement, Monzo are demonstrating their commitment to delivering products that match with the traditional high street banking experience.

While challenger banks like Zopa are developing hybrid models and specialist services, Monzo are developing a full-service mobile bank to challenge the high street.

In our recent guide to the best mobile only banks, they ran a close second to Starling Bank and proved that a digital bank could replicate the features of a traditional bank effectively.

Starling triumphed in our analysis mainly due to its partnership with the Post Office which allows customers to deposit and withdraw money in branch.

However, Starling doesn't yet offer ISAs via their own service or, indeed, any savings product that pays interest to customers.

Read more about how mobile only banks work here.

Savings increasingly under scrutiny

Monzo's announcement comes against a backdrop of low personal savings and high consumer debt in the form of credit cards and overdrafts.

For example, the number of adults without any cash savings at all was listed as 13% by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in their most recent analysis of financial life in the UK.

There were notable differences between the North and the South, with the North West reporting that 17% of adults didn't have any savings compared to 9% in the South East.

Government initiatives to increase the savings of lower income families have included a new tool launched in January to deliver tax-free bonus payments from HMRC in return for saving.

However, personal debt remains a problem, and it's difficult to see how the millions locked in a cycle of overdraft debt would be able to deposit even the £500 requested by Monzo in their new Savings Pot ISA.

independent comparison

We are independent of all of the products and services we compare.

fair comparison

We order our comparison tables by price or feature and never by referral revenue.

charity donations and climate positive

We donate at least 5% of our profits to charity, and we have a climate positive workforce.