A better way to handle pending transactions


(Tom Morrell) #1

I recently switched all my spending to Monzo, and I’m loving the experience. When using it for all my spending, I have a rough idea on how much I have in my account at any given time. When I receive a notification I mentally know my balance will drop to that lower when I next open the app . This mental ledger roughly corresponds with what the app shows.

Occasionally when I open the app I notice the balance is lower than I expected. There haven’t been any transactions, and I didn’t just forget the balance of the account. Instead a pending transaction has charged a different amount to it originally posted. This is an issue with lots of services. TFL does this when you initially link a card, when travelling abroad a lot of retailers will put on a pending charge (particularly in the US) and then either update it with the tip or refund it and apply another charge.

This discrepancy between the balance I expect and the balance I find is bad for two reasons. Firstly its always a shock when you open the app and find you have more or less money than you expected with no indication why, it often leads me to assume theres been a mistake unless you scroll back through transactions and try and find one thats changed (unfortunately it means I lose confidence in Monzo). Secondly it means its hard to keep track of which transactions are pending and may change in the future.

I would love to see the following features:

  • A push notification when a transaction posts which has a different value to the pending transaction. This would allow me to be aware why my balance has changed when I next open the app.
  • An alert in my transaction feed to show which transaction has posted if its value was different to the pending transaction. Again this would allow me to be aware why my balance has changed when I next open the app.
  • The option to flag a transaction as should be refunded, so that I can view any transactions that should have been refunded and deal with them if they haven’t after a reasonable period of time

I feel like all of the above would help to build trust and confidence in Monzo. Let me know what you think :smile:


(Tom Morrell) #2

@BethS what do you think of this idea? I’m pretty sure you had to help me on support when I first encountered this issue with pending transactions and TFL


(Tom Morrell) #3

@alexs what do you think of this idea?


(Alex Sherwood) #4

I like it.

Personally I’ve learned to trust Monzo at this point so I don’t try to do any mental reconciliation between my old balance, the charge in a notification & the new balance when I open the app.

But I agree that it would be good to know if the transaction amount for an authorisation lower in the feed has changed. I can’t say I’ve ever checked on that (probably for the reason I mentioned earlier) but I can imagine needing to, if there was a large discrepancy.

And I do tag transactions that’re due to be refunded in their notes so that I can easily find them & check that the refund has been paid later. I’d like a prompt to check on those after a while.

I don’t mind how Monzo solves those use cases (I’m always a little bit wary of prescribing solutions because we don’t necessarily know everything that the design team has to consider) but ultimately, I think it would be good if there was a way to keep track of / manage these situations more easily.

The only caveat I’d add is the team will know how common these concerns are, based on how many support requests they receive about them so if they don’t release solutions for them soon, it’s probably safe to assume that this isn’t something a lot of users want.


(Hugo Vieira) #5

I like this a lot.
I notice this a LOT because I use YNAB and it’s really annoying to have to search every transaction to check which one changed


(Tom Morrell) #6

That makes a lot of sense. In general I trust Monzo, but I still find myself reconciling when pending amounts have changed.

I hadn’t thought about tagging transactions but thats a good idea, getting a prompt would be very helpful.


(James Berry) #7

Initially I thought monzo was being clever with its balance (which is an available balance I guess) but the reality is there is a disconnect between money in your account and money you are free to spend because of pending transactions and I am no longer sure hiding this makes sense


(Jack) #8

This is a good thread to read, it’s similar to what you’ve just mentioned:


(Tom Morrell) #9

I think the balance in general does a good job day to day, for 95% of my spending the pending amount is what actually gets charged. But the balance is confusing when it drops or changes without warning. I think notifying a user when a transaction posts which has a different value to the pending amount would increase transparency and improve a users understanding of what the balance is showing.


(Ashley) #10

Doesn’t this also apply to normal banking apps like TSB?

Ash


(Tom Morrell) #11

I’m not sure to be honest, I think most normal banking apps show the balance taking into account pending. I have less of an issue with that but if the value which posts differs a notification to help you understand it would be useful. Often the transaction which changes can be out of view or further down the page. Posting an activity near the top would make it clear whats just happened to your account result in the balance change.


(Ashley) #12

With TSB apps if I have £500 and then spend £100 at a store on card.

When I check the app it still says I have £500 but underneath it mentions “available - £400” and then you find the pending transaction under a tab. Is this the same scenario your experiencing with Monzo?


(Tony Hoyle) #13

Given that 99% of transactions will complete to the same value as the pending charge flagging when it doesn’t would be a nice addition… increases the knowledge of what’s going on with the account on those edge cases.

Of course if you use the card abroad it’s different as it affect basically every transaction due to shifting exchange rates, so it wouldn’t be so useful.


(Jaroslaw Pawlak) #14

I like this idea. Had an issue when updating my card details and rather than doing “Active card check”, they charged me £1 and refunded it 1-2 weeks later. That’s not really about the money, but about principles :wink:

And then also when using Uber the amount has changed by about £5 a few days later. I ended up adding tags to check that later, because the transaction was for the higher amount than my on my receipt.