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Monzo re-launches £5-a-month 'Plus' account

The new Monzo plus card. Photo: Monzo
The new Monzo plus card. Photo: Monzo

Challenger bank Monzo is re-launching its paid-for premium account, offering an enhanced savings rate and extra features to entice customers.

Monzo said on Thursday it was re-launching its “Plus” account, which will cost £5-a-month. Customers will received a new blue card for the account, eschewing the ‘hot coral’ colour of its core cards that has become synonymous with the company.

Customers of Monzo “Plus” will be able to view up to 13 different credit and debit cards within the app to help them track spending and manage money.

Read more: Monzo faces steep valuation drop as pandemic bites

Users will also be able to generate secure “virtual” cards for spending online to reduce fraud risk, as well as access an 1% savings account and make up to £400 ($502) of fee-free cash withdrawals abroad.

“Over and over again we heard that people love Monzo because it gives them more control and visibility over their money,” said Mike Hudack, Monzo’s chief product officer, in a statement.

“So we’ve doubled down on that and created a premium product that we believe makes Monzo even better at managing your money, refocused on benefits that help customers today and in the future.”

READ MORE: Monzo to lay off 120 staff

Monzo first launched a paid for “Plus” account last April but closed the offering in September, admitting it “isn’t the best it could be” and saying things “haven’t gone the way they should.” The digital only bank offered refunds to customers who had signed up.

“With this version of Monzo Plus we went back to basics, and re-examined how we built things,” Hudack said. “We thought really hard about why people love Monzo and listened to our customers and our community.”

The re-launch comes at a critical time for Monzo, which has been forced to lay off and furlough staff in recent months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss making business said last September that “paid subscription” was “one of our biggest opportunities” for “becoming a sustainable business.”

READ MORE: Monzo CEO waives salary over coronavirus pandemic

Monzo was founded in 2015 as one of the UK’s first app-only banks and has raised over £350m in funding to date. The startup was valued at over £2bn last year but saw its value drop to £1.25bn this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.