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Monzo moves out of beta in the US

Monzo moves out of beta in the US

Despite failing to secure a US banking licence, Monzo has finally moved out of private beta in the country and opened up to the wider public.

From today, all Americans can download the Monzo app and set up an account within 10 minutes, getting access to money management features and a contactless debit card.

Deposits are held by FDIC member Sutton Bank after Monzo was forced to abandon its bid to acquire a US banking licence following a fruitless two-year discourse with regulatory authorities.

Monzo, which has around five million customers in its home market of the UK, has long planned to enter the American market. In late 2019 it hired Visa's global head of payment products and platforms, TS Anil, to lead the push.

Anil has since also taken over the UK operations, replacing co-founder Tom Blomfield in the middle of the UK's first Covid-19 lock-down, as the challenger struggled to show that it could turn its large customer base into a profitable enterprise and faced a discounted valuation from wary investors.

In July, the firm issued another warning about its ability to continue as a going concern after reporting a £115 million loss for 2020/21. It also revealed that it is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over its compliance with money laundering rules.

Monzo's decision to push ahead with its US plans contrast with the recent decision of another European digital challenger, N26, to quit America.

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