We want to make money work for everyone, and that includes teenagers who might be managing their money for the first time. Last year we announced that we’ve made Monzo available to 16–17 year olds!
As we prepared to bring accounts to younger people, we spent some time over the last few months talking to teenagers. We spoke to some 16–18 year olds — and their parents — to try to understand how they think about and manage their money, and what we can do to help!
Here’s a few things we learnt, and how we’re thinking about using it to make Monzo better for younger people.
Managing your money for the first time can be daunting because everything is new
Many of the teenagers we spoke to told us they didn’t feel confident managing their money. They often put things off altogether until they urgently needed to do things, at which point they felt stressed or under pressure. They generally looked to their parents for advice first because they trusted them and felt reassured they would be able to give them informed advice.
One teenager had an account with a legacy bank, but had never logged-in or used it properly because the card reader needed to access it online confused her and setting up mobile banking was a nightmare. She also wanted to open a savings account but didn’t know where to start. Because she found it overwhelming and confusing, she just hadn’t started using digital tools to start saving yet. She put cash aside in a physical place, but recognised it wasn’t the most secure or efficient way of saving.
One young adult said he’d opened an account with the same bank as the rest of his family so that “in case anything goes wrong, they’ll know how it all works.”. Another told us that he preferred to talk through new things with someone in a branch who could explain things in detail and help make sure he “didn’t mess things up.”.
Takeaway 1: Because many of the teenagers we spoke to still looked to their parents for knowledge and advice about their money, we need to think about how we communicate with parents as they play a very important role in helping their children choose and open a bank account.
Takeaway 2: Opening a new bank account is a good opportunity for teenagers to learn about different banking products and features. Onboarding experiences should clearly help people understand what’s available to them at the right time, so they can understand how it works and fits in with their lives.