Around 3 months ago, I received a suspiciously stylish envelope through the post, purporting to be from a bank. Now, in my mind, style, simplicity and financial services do not necessarily go hand-in-hand, which is what made this envelope all the more exciting. For inside, the intuitive packaging was my new card from a very different bank. This bank is called Mondo, and I think they’re here to stay.
Mondo are a start-up British company who, as they put it, are building a bank for people “who live on their smartphones”. Mondo recognises the move away from cheque books and from branches but instead of seeing traditional banks adapt to this, the individuals behind Mondo decided to create their own entirely new way of banking. The Mondo card is effectively a Prepaid MasterCard Debit Card and is therefore welcomed at almost every retailer in the world. The card is an eye-catching luminous pink, and is contactless for ease of us. Where Mondo differs however, is the connection between the card and your smartphone.
This is where I go into a bit more of a review mode. I have only used the Mondo card with an iOS device, an iPhone 6 to be specific, as this is the device I use daily. Each and every time I use my Mondo card, I receive a notification on my phone, informing me of the amount spent, and the location. This instant feedback is a nice feature, but is far from a deal breaker. However, for those who need to keep track of expenses, the Mondo notification on iOS allows you to simply swipe left and register that expenditure as an expense – a very nice touch.
Once you open the app, the real strength of Mondo starts to become clear: data. The app stores all transactions, automatically categorises them, and stores a geographic location. This allows creation of graphs to show spending, a map showing “hot-spots” (i.e areas where you spend the most money) and an easy to view budget. The budget itself contains even more data: average spend at particular retailers, amount spend in each area (groceries, transport etc.) over a given time frame and more. And all of this right from your smart phone. This ease of use is central to Mondo’s philosophy.
Mondo provides more efficient data on my spending than any high street bank I’ve come across, and does it all almost instantaneously, right to my phone. For me, this is fantastic and helps massively with money management, something that is very important for me and no doubt lots of other students. I am in doubt as well, that this ease of management will be very important for many, many other people. I am not suggesting Mondo is perfect; it still doesn’t feel quite like a premium service, and there are some kinks to be ironed out, but the principle behind it, I am convinced, is here to stay.