Unicorn challenger bank Monzo is rolling out a premium service with a metal card for £15 a month

UK challenger bank Monzo is launching a new premium service that comes with travel insurance, a 1.5% interest rate — and a new metal card. 

The move follows the recent relaunch of Monzo Plus, a paid account which offers fewer benefits to users.

Monzo, founded in 2015, has been slower to the premium banking services market than competitors such as Revolut, and the startup bank is now seeking to diversify its revenue streams. The startup boasts more than 4 million customers.

"It's not about timing for us per se," Mike Hudack, Monzo chief product offier, told Business Insider in an interview. "It's not about when you launch, it's about what you build so we took our time to get it right." 

Ex-Facebook and Deliveroo executive Hudack joined Monzo in February, amid a raft of changes at the startup. He spent all of three weeks in the office after paternity leave, before the coronavirus outbreak forced the firm to shift to working from home.

In May, cofounder Tom Blomfield yielded the CEO reins to ex-Visa exec TS Anil. The company also laid off up to 80 staff and raised a  $76 million funding round from investors at a 40% valuation drop. 

Despite the uncertainty, Hudack is happy with the delivered product noting that a metal card had been high on Monzo customers' wish list for a long time.

"Learning to manage a team and be part of a team when everyone is at home in a global crisis while trying to build things is tricky," Hudack said. "It meant giving people slack, so we're proud of what we've built in this time, especially given the circumstances."

Other features of Monzo's premium offering include phone and travel insurance, money transfers between accounts (including AMEX integration), discounted lounge access, virtual cards, and advanced budgeting features. The new service is £15 ($19) a month, triple that of Monzo Plus.