So what is the actual deal with a “manual account” then?
Would I have to enter a name and amount at the beginning and then update every so often? What happens if I forget/get distracted by dismal world events? What sort of regularity are we thinking? And so on
Okay, I think there’s enough data for me to say what I’d do if I were Monzo! Remember that this is just for fun - I don’t know how much resource they have or how much effort these things are…
I’d add Virgin Money, Sainsbury’s Bank and New Day credit cards (and, if a marginal exercise, Tesco and M&S). This is because they are standard Open Banking APIs and all the UI stuff is already in Monzo. I wouldn’t do Starling (even though I voted for it) immediately as a) I think there’s fintech forum bias, b) it’s not a standard API, and c) it’ll need app work to effectively show Starling goals/spaces/pots.
I’d then bring outstanding features to connected accounts, bringing them to near parity with Monzo native accounts (notes, tags, split-the-bill, tabs, merchant data). The latter will be difficult, but important if we want Trends to show top merchants etc.
Thirdly: manual accounts. Probably aiming for #4 from this post…
Lastly, I’d try and get some commercial agreements with folk like Nutmeg, Transferwise, Pension Bee, Paypal, Wisealpha, Crowdcube etc. Open and service accounts in Monzo. Monzo get intro fee etc etc. Or maybe a tie up with some building societies (regular readers know I bang on about this from time to time) for mortgages, savings accounts etc… These come last because they’re really a bit different and are things that can’t really be delivered via open banking as it is right now. And for those APIs that do exist (looking at you Nutmeg) there needs to be some UI work in the Monzo app for it to really fit.
M&S Bank should be fairly easy as their API is almost a carbon copy of HSBC’s, so very similar to a bank already supported.
Tesco is less simple but should be possible as they do have a standard API.
I don’t know about not doing Starling, though. Surely if Monzo want to tempt Starling customers over, offering good support for Starling in Monzo’s app would help?
I take the point that it would be more work than an average connection, though.
I think your assumption is wrong here. Monzo aren’t, in my view, trying to tempt Starling customers over. They are, I think, trying to maximise revenue through Plus and Premium subscriptions. If we make that assumption, and that legacy bank account holders would be more likely to go to one challenger bank than to two (we’re all in the minority remember), then this is probably in the nice to have category.
Which brings me to the API point. We know that Amex was later and took more work because the API is non standard. The same is the case with Starling so it would require lots more work (I think - we’d really need Monzo to confirm). And, as I say, it’s got the added complexity of goals/spaces/whatever they’re called to plug in. Monzo has the logical model because they have pots, but would need to think through the design and then spend more effort on app development.
But I agree that I’d like it. I just think that in the cold light of prioritisation it’s likely to be fairly low on the list.
I agree with all that except I think that a fairly sizeable set of Fintech users do have both.
They may have upgraded to Monzo Plus or Premium, attracted as you say by the whole package of the offering, and allowing them to add as many of their accounts as possible (including Starling) would be a gateway to using Monzo more over time and staying with Plus or Premium. If it doesn’t allow all their accounts to be added, Plus or Premium is less attractive to those users and they may even “drift away” from Monzo if compelling features don’t support the banks they use.
The Starling API is less non-standard than Amex, apparently, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to implement as it broadly follows the standard. The main difference is the permissions system. Open Banking works on a connection request basis where the third party app keeps track of the expiry of the connection authorisation and renewal of the connection is initiated from there. Starling works on the basis that authorisations are always managed from within the Starling app, and renewal of permissions, etc always takes place at the Starling end.