So my adventures to the country also had an extra perk. I used my Mondo pre-paid card and it was seemless.
On Friday, Barclaycard announced their collaboration with Apple Pay. So at last I’ve been able to test it out; breakfast at Pret, check! tapping in for the bus, check! Yep, it’s as awesome as expected.
So, wait, why do I want another bank card?
Last year at the Europas, Eileen Burbridge, Partner at Passion Capital, and Tom Blomfield, CEO of Mondo, were on one of the last panels. I wasn’t really into FinTech but Tom was incessantly passionate about building a product that helped you do what you wanted to do with your money. It sounded too good to be true.
Fast forward 8 months or so, and Mondo is now buzzing around the lips of it’s Alpha testers. It’s like the ultimate ‘word-of-mouth-new-kids-on-the-block’ club. “Have you got a Mondo card?” “How do I get one?” “Emoji instant text messages as payment notifications are the new black” It’s startup marketing gold. So when they opened their crowdfunding, it shouldn’t have been such a surprise that they raised over a £1million in 96 seconds. Although I still can’t quite believe it as I type it.
Goes to show that sometimes you need to make sure you aren’t hiding away in stealth mode for too long or you’ll miss out on creating your own hype. Anyway, back to banking.
Mondo isn’t about banking
Dave Tonge has done as awesome job in summing up the aims/benefits and differences with another interesting competitor, Atom, in this blog post (via Roo Reynolds, via Mark Norman Francis). As such I’m not going to repeat them. Although I think it is worth reiterating that as Mondo might say they’re, like a Carlsberg advert, building the best bank on the planet, the reality is it’s actually not about banking.
Quick side note
Banking has a preconceived idea that somehow a group of people know what to do with money better than you do. They take that money, invest it and give it back to you when they’ve made some more money (always ensuring that you have access to what you have when you need it). Sometimes, you’ll also get a small thank you from them for using your money. But you’ll always get a hefty slap on the wrists if you try and borrow any of theirs.
Back to Mondo
Mondo hasn’t actually tackled the issue above yet directly. They don’t have a full banking licence to do so. However, their approach appears to be turning this idea on it’s head. They want you to feel in control. Which mean instant spending notifications, daily updates, budget control, mobile first. It’s beyond future banking. It’s looking at how we need to interact with transactions and giving us the data to be better informed about those decisions.
I’ve only been using Mondo for 1 day, and I’ve spent more on it than I might have for testing reasons (great spending excuse). So far the experience has been great.
I got my card earlier than expected.
I was set up in a few minutes with a scan and a text message.
The following day I activated on my first purchase; a train ticket at the station.
I then bought a Kit Kat at a small kiosk with contactless.
I got the bus home with 1 tap.
And I bought some dinner at Tesco’s.
Total day spend: £28.20 (although TFL’s API means that journey won’t come up until tomorrow statement.)
Each time I got a prompt notification (on my Apple Watch) with an amusing emoji annotation.
It was fluid. It was easy. For someone who’s always running out of money at the end of the month, this might be the perfect solution.
And the best thing? I can tell them what I love and hate and they’ll listen and do something about it. It’s not if Carlsberg did the best banks…. Mondo seems to already have it.