The digital banking start-up, which has 4 million customers in the UK, applied to the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the licence on April 20.
Monzo is planning to expand the number of its employees in the US and will open a new office in San Francisco. However, its US banking licence application could take between 18 months and two years to be approved. If the application is successful, Monzo would be able to offer fully insured deposit accounts in the US and could lend money to American customers. Gaining a full banking licence would allow Monzo to directly compete for the digital banking market across the US, potentially gaining the start-up millions of customers and allowing it to tap into higher card fees of around $1.50 (£1.20) per $100 spend compared to just 20p per £100 in the UK.