Viola Black, a New Digital Bank, Has Launched

Viola Black is a prepaid card with multi-currency accounts that offers services rather than a free basic account. The digital bank, which was launched in July, have been testing a new app for several months. They have launched an advertising campaign and put themselves in opposition to Monzo, another service like it. The company has been quiet since, but their statements suggest they’ve been focusing on the security of their app and have taken extra time to test the integrity of the application.

What is Viola Black?

While Viola Black aren’t a traditional bank and offer a prepaid card that must be loaded with money before you use it. This pre-loaded card comes with an account number that will be managed through the company’s app. Customers can also transfer money into the account. Viola Black is emphasising the multi-currency uses of their service, which offers the capability of making payments abroad.

While the functionality of this all is helpful, it comes at a price. There is a £4 minimum fee per month and other fees related. Foreign withdrawals at ATMs may incur fees and there is a charge for inactivity if the customer doesn’t use the card for longer than four months.

Still, Viola Black is no ordinary bank account. According to MoneyPug, which is known as a platform to compare prepaid cards, there are no overdraft fees, but customers can’t set up direct debit transfers or standing orders. Deposits to the prepaid card are not protected by the Financial Compensation Scheme (FSCS) because they aren’t a traditional banking service. Money is instead held in a protected account by Viola to ensure that the funds are protected even if the company collapses. It is similar to the arrangement made by Loot customers. After Loot when into administration, this situation became a reality.

How Viola Compares to Monzo

When Viola started promoting their product in January, they marketed with the line “Move over Monzo.” The company has been adversarial to their competition since day one. While Viola Black claims to be a modern money management tool, it is predicated upon spending and budgeting tools.

These services are available with other banking apps like Emma and Cleo. Viola Black has ambitions of beating out Monzo, they are different banking apps. Monzo continues to expand and has become the most significant digital company to offer ISAs. Monzo also started as a prepaid card provider, but have evolved into a full bank.

The Marketplace

Viola Black are the latest company to get in on this market. There are many smaller apps hoping to break out. Viola Black is the most like Revolut, a digital prepaid account launched in 2015 and targeted mainly to the exchange market. Launched with new features, Viola Black, which makes it different from competitors. It’s worth noting that the streamlined nature of digital banking accounts and apps mean that they may not be around forever.

Like Lott, Fidor accounted that they would be ending operations in the UK in September following the uncertainty of the UK marketplace. It can be simple for challenger banks to cut ties with UK customers and move elsewhere.

Viola Black is doing their best to stand out amongst the crowd. They offer a free app, a black MasterCard and free payments both at home and abroad. It is a multi-currency account designed for those who travel for business. Not only is there instant notification every time you use the card, you can block the card from the app if it gets stolen. You can send money instantly, and the budgeting features helps people save and allocate funds. The best feature is that it is not linked to your bank account. You decide how much money you want to load onto it, but this leads to less security measures. While there is a monthly fee and no savings options, Viola Black is exciting many people with their dynamic features. Whether you travel abroad for work or want to work on budgeting, Viola Black is yet another banking app that can help you. But, with such a saturated market, time will tell whether or not they will be the company that comes out on top.