Bills pots: support for (card) Subscriptions / recurring card transaction payments to come out of pots

With Salary Sorter & Bills pots being rolled out, I am very excited to use these features.

However Bills pots right now only support Direct Debits which isn’t ideal, because a lot of the recurring payment I do are being withdrawn as a subscription and not as a Direct Debit, example:

My Rent
Netflix Subscription
TVNow subscription.

So it would be really great if support could be introduced for subscription type payments to come out of pots and not just for direct debits.

Advance knowledge of when these payments should come out is something possible to establish from the history of the payments, particularly when they are always coming out of the account at the very same day of the month.

And Standing Orders :wink:

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And scheduled recurring payments :wink::wink:

Monzo have already said in the major thread on this topic this will come eventually.

It is not as easy as you might think to to predict when recurring card charges will occur as the banks get no prior notice AND more importantly the value can and often might change with such charges too. I guess it’ll need a tweak to the implementation to allow you to flag the amount expected each month etc. Sit tight, I’m sure it’ll arrive eventually.

As for standing orders, these can already be paid from a pot as per direct debits.

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By definition, it’s Direct Debits that have their amount change on a monthly basis - as you’re giving the 3rd party permission to debit your account. For a subscription or SO, the amount is set out, likely in a contract you’ve agreed to and you’re paying a set amount for the subscription.

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It’s the way in which subscriptions are done that cause the issue.

Subscriptions are basically one off card transactions that happen on a set day usually at a set time on a rolling basis.

Problem is there is no communication of subscriptions to monzo before the transaction is claimed.

Help me understand why this is a problem?

I currently have a separate account for all my ‘bills’. This includes some subscriptions. I know the total amount that needs to be paid out each month, and make sure that funds are in place to deal with all the outgoings. The only item in there that fluctuates is my phone bill.

Looking at Monzo, if there isn’t enough money in a bill pot, it just grabs it from your main account anyway, so why does it need to know in advance? Is it purely for the budgetting side of things? I can’t see how, from a purely payment base, that this is an issue in any way?

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In your case with the other bank account thats fine because there is no money movement whatsoever before bill dates. You have taken the conscious choice to separate your bills from your available spend

Need to remember that in Monzo’s case a Bills Pot basically acts as a side account yet your bills are actually not coming from that so a movement is required.

Monzo gets pre-warning of this because its a direct debit, they know its coming on a set date and the actual amount from the phone company and can tell you if you dont have enough set aside for this and to then adjust yourself for this.

The point of a bills pot was that you always know you have enough set aside for “your bills”. If your phone bill has fluctuated Monzo alerts you to say its up £x this month… you can set more aside in advance of it being taken out from your main account the following day.

With subscriptions its guess work… there will be no way for Monzo to alert you that your subscription has changed in price prior to it being taken. It comes through in the same manner as a simple card transaction.

This defeats the purpose of a Bills pot doesn’t it ? There is still the need to continue to check to see if you have enough set aside. Nothings automated and its not as fool proof as the direct debits/standing orders.

OK but most subscriptions are static, Netflix, Spotify as examples.

So if my usual outgoings are £500 (hahaha!), I’d want £510 in my Bill Pot just in case.

And if Monzo can’t transfer and pay a subscription from that, doesn’t it just take from my main account balance anyway? So the need to have a warning is moot, I mean it’d be nice, but as long as there is money in my main balance, it’ll all work out.

If I don’t have enough in either Bill Pot or main account then the payment bounces, and Monzo tell me that. This is the same for any bank account, if a payment can’t be made.

Maybe I’m struggling to think of any subscription that changes WILDLY that couldn’t be factored into how things work right now. Sure if it’s more than £10 difference per subscription then I can see a potential problem, but the only thing missing is knowing in advance?

Not trying to be dumb, honest! (It comes easy to me!)

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I 100% agree with you on this and having extra in my bills pot is always something id/will do.

I just think with things like bills bouncing which could affect credit score monzo are taking the wiser option and not allowing bounces to potentially happen without the ability to alert the customer (like with direct debit changes).

One such example is my Now TV broadband is something that comes out on the last day before payday some months for me.

For some reason this is a subscription :man_shrugging: even though its set to be £25 a month and i know this… if i was allowed to set this to come out of my bills pot its not curently possible to pull that money from the bills pot before the subscription comes out my main balance.

So I was quite excited by the Bills Pot idea in the labs but it turns out it won’t work for me as a lot of my committed spending comes off my debit card every month. So I was thinking, would it be possible to assign a “virtual” card to a pot for this purpose? This card wouldn’t exist in the real world. For example, my premium apps and my GiffGaff bundle all come off my card once a month so I stash the money weekly in a pot called Apps. If that pot had a virtual card assigned to it I could pay it off that card and not worry about having to schedule a transfer to my main account which is a flawed and convoluted way of doing things.

Also… do you have any plans to allow us that get paid weekly to use the budget tool? Or at least switch it off so it stops telling us we’re running out of money.

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Ooh, that’s a great idea Claire @travelnshit. I’ve got the same problem and it’s a pain to have to remember to move it from my bills pit to the main account.

Hopefully somebody might pick up on this. I used to be panicked by the app telling me I’m running out of money all the time but I just ignore it now.

Virtual Cards already being discussed here: 🔜 Virtual / Disposable Cards

Equally others have asked for subscriptions to be payable from Bill Pot: Bills pots: support for Subscription / recurring card transaction payments to come out of pots

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Ah subscriptions! That’s the word I was looking for. I couldn’t find anything in the search with my convoluted “i want to pay for stuff by cards from pots” attempts. Yeah, that’s exactly what I would like.

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It’s too early to be trying to think of words, agreed.

I’ve merged the threads with the objective of keeping all the discussion (and votes) together.

Nice one. really glad to see others could benefit from this feature.