This article is directly addressed to anyone out there who uses Monzo—specifically, anyone who has a significant amount of money or savings in their Monzo account. Personally, I never keep more than £4 in there, so this doesn’t particularly apply to me. If you’re in the first group, however, all I’m saying is this: you might want to think about moving that money ASAP, because the girls are facing a financial crisis, and we need to talk about it.
This week, we’re breaking down everything that’s been going on recently with Monzo. The online banking system known for its cute neon pink bank cards and easy-to-use features is massively in the sh*tter with gen Z at the moment. Why? Because some people have started reporting that their accounts have been frozen completely, out of the blue and without warning. And then, when these understandably frantic individuals try and contact Monzo to regain access to their money, their personal phone numbers allegedly appear blocked, leaving them unable to get in touch with the company.
Monzo is one of the most popular alternative banking companies out there. As of June 2023, the app has over 7 million users, over 50 per cent of which are under the age of 27.
What that means is that there are a lot of young people out there using Monzo to hold onto rent money, bills, and/or a rainy-day savings pot. In other words, it’s really not a place you want to think of as unsafe or unreliable.
So, why are so many people having their accounts frozen? The problem with Monzo—which I suppose some people would also argue is its strength—is that it is hyper-aware of fraudulent activity. This might be because Monzo has previously been named one of the online banks most susceptible to scams. That being said, I did a little digging, and Monzo is also one of the banks least likely to get the targeted user a suitable refund within an acceptable amount of time.
According to collected data, just 6 per cent of victims of fraud were fully refunded by Monzo in 2022. Moreover, a report by the Payment Systems Regulator found that 141 in every one million Monzo transactions in 2022 were sent to fraudsters, the highest rate of all major banks. These aren’t stunning statistics, that’s for sure.
Don’t believe me? Well, I managed to sneak a personal interview with a real-life disgruntled user, aka my colleague Med, who was actually an original investor of the app… Ouch, hun.
In September 2023, as Med was heading home, he went to log into his Monzo account, only to discover that he had been logged out. Naturally confused, Med went to log back in only to find that his account allegedly “didn’t exist.” He immediately called Monzo and shared a lot of intimate financial information before being told that he needed to send customer services a photo of his passport. Med followed all of the steps but never heard back from anyone at the company. Two months down the line, Med is still locked out of his account, a place he’d used to store £160. Seriously, this is not okay, people!
So, what should you do if this happens to you? When you’re a legitimate victim of fraud, the process is slightly more straightforward. However, when Monzo freezes your account simply due to ‘suspected’ fraud or unusual activity, it can be much harder to resolve the situation. But, lucky for you, you have a woman who is as vigilant, informed, and equipped as Troye Sivan’s PR team. So, let’s get this explained:
If you at any time log into your Monzo app and see that your account has been frozen, the first thing you’re going to want to do is try to unfreeze it manually.
Tap the home icon on the menu page and there should be an option to either “freeze” or “defrost” your account. It’s not a sure thing that Monzo will then unfreeze your account, but it’s definitely worth a try.
Your next best option is to contact the bank. However, it’s incredibly important that you do this the correct way. Put yourself in the mindset of a babe whose ring-wearing, skateboard-obsessive boyfriend has just broken up with them. You need to get ahold of the a**hole to get your Olivia Newton-John vinyl back, but you don’t want him to block your calls. So, what you’re going to need to do is use either a friend’s number or convince a sympathetic co-worker to let you borrow their email account so that you can contact him through an anonymous source.
It’s the same with Monzo. People claim that if it receives a phone call or email from the contact information attached to the frozen account, it will allegedly block it immediately. That’s why you need to be smart about how you try and reach the online bank.
Now, while it’s not possible to completely avoid Monzo ever freezing your account, there are definitely certain things you can do to convince Monzo that you’re not in any way suss and that your account does not need unnecessary blocking.
For one, make sure to always accurately label and categorise any payment that is either going out or coming into your account. Monzo is likely to detect any confusing or large bizarre payments as unstable. This is often the case if you’re receiving payment from an individual outside of your contacts, say for example if someone is buying something from you or vice versa.
That’s all from me for now babes, kisses and good luck!