LONDON – Startup bank Monzo is ending one of its most popular features: Unlimited free ATM withdrawals abroad.
The British company, which offers a current account and a pre-paid debit account, announced in a blog post on Tuesday that it would cap current account customers’ free overseas withdrawals at £200 per month, and apply a 3% charge on any further withdrawals.
Pre-paid card users, meanwhile, will only be able to make one free withdrawal a month – of up to £200.
Some customers expressed their displeasure at the change. On Twitter, Bloomberg editor Siraj Datoo wrote that he “got Monzo because of [unlimited] ATM withdrawals abroad. Now cheaper to use [Monzo rival] Revolut again.”
It will remain free to use the Monzo card overseas, however, and online transactions in a foreign currency will use the MasterCard exchange rate without any fees or mark-ups.
In September, Monzo first announced that it was planning to change its overseas policies, citing the cost of foreign ATM withdrawals as making it “difficult” for the firm to “build a sustainable, viable business.”
It then asked customers to decide between three potential options – the £200 fee-free cap, a 1% ATM fee in Europe and 2% in the rest of the world, and a 1.5% ATM fee outside of the UK. It now says nearly two-thirds of voters favoured the £200 option.
In Tuesday’s blog post, Monzo’s head of marketing Tristan Thomas wrote: “Thanks to you, we think we’ve found a fair solution that is still significantly cheaper than the other banks we tested. As we mentioned before, it may be possible to find specific cards that offer cheaper withdrawals abroad. Our aim is not to always be the absolute cheapest on the market if it means we can’t build a sustainable business, but instead to find a fair way to meet this cost as part of the overall Monzo experience.”
The new limit will come into effect on December 18, 2017.