It’s been a mixed year on the connected accounts front. Nationwide is still broken. There’s a bunch of new connections that have been sitting in labs for quite some time now. But Starling got added, and we now have budgeting for connected accounts in Trends as well as notes. Which is kinda cool.
Whatever is going on in Monzo Towers, we shall poll nevertheless - and it shall be glorious!
Here we go!
What do you want to see on connected accounts?
Search / filter transactions
Split the bill / shared tabs
Add receipts to connected account transactions
Manual accounts (add balances or transactions for accounts that can’t be connected automagically)
Connected investment accounts
Connected savings accounts
Keep closed connected accounts in Monzo (if you close an external account you get to keep all the backdata in Monzo).
Upload data files (CSVs or other downloads) from non-Monzo accounts to see them in Trends etc.
Export connected accounts to Google sheets (or CSV).
More current account connections
More credit card connections
Which connections are you missing?
Manual accounts (you enter transactions / balance manually)
Co-operative Bank (including Smile)
Coventry Building Society
National Savings and Investments (NSI)*
Virgin Money (inc B, Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale)
Yorkshire Building Society
Zoopla (or similar for house prices)*
Savings from a provider that’s already connected
Another savings provider (share who below)
Another current account (share who below)
Another credit card (share who below)
Another investments provider (share who below)
I have all I need
Something else (explain below)
If Monzo could only do one thing from this list, what should it be?
Quick point on methodology here: I took the poll for last year, added things I forgot ), added in manual accounts and savings account providers (we know can’t really be connected to Monzo without a special agreement because they don’t have an open API. I’ve also taken out all the good stuff that got delivered during the year!
* these are the providers that I don’t think have the capability to be connected right now, at least in the classic open banking API sense. Useful to see the demand though, and see if Monzo can reach bespoke agreements or do something funky like they did for mortgages.
The usual disclaimer: this is just a bit of fun and isn’t an official Monzo poll. But let’s do it anyway!
Full disclosure: I’ve voted, but don’t currently subscribe to Monzo Plus.
It was not easy to pick between connect Chase & keep closed account data as the “one thing” but I really think keeping closed account data is almost the point of Open Banking to me. Account aggregation is nice, but it is hardly really that difficult to just check on my other accounts in their own apps - it’s a small convenience to have it together. Separating your data from the account itself, though, is useful if/when you end up closing the account, as you get to keep the data. It’s frankly a bit bizarre that Monzo don’t already work this way as many other aggregation apps (competitors to Monzo Plus) do.
The other current account provider (technically e-money) I’d really like to see is Algbra. They look as though they may be white-labelling some Revolut technology, so although they are small and it’s a big ask, the API may be similar to Revolut’s.
I’d also like to see more building societies added, as lots of them have good savings accounts and most do make APIs available now .
The other data enrichment stuff would be a great step forwards towards a more cohesive Monzo interface and also have the additional benefit of making connected accounts more functional, so being able to search and add receipts, notes and export the full data would be good.
Anyway, thanks to @PeterG for another thought-provoking set of options in this poll and I have to admit that seeing Plus improve (even as someone who doesn’t currently use it) is really quite interesting.
PS: A pedantic nit-picking comment, I know, but I think Co-operative Bank should have an asterisk next to it as well. They don’t have a working proper API (only MCI).
Just to note, I asked them directly if they had plans to do this, because I used them on a holiday abroad in May and it would’ve been really useful to hook this into Lumio (and Monzo etc. for that matter). The answer I got was super non committal but they were “going to look into it”
I find this strange too. Monzo is (or at one point was) aiming to be the “financial hub” that allowed you to do everything from one place. Now, I know that was way back and even before they (had) to get a banking licence, and of course things change…
But feels it’s getting really close to being just that. This would next level it. Though, how would this work from a bank perspective. Are the rules different from an FCA regulated company that is just an aggregator? Genuinely curious to know the answer to this one
I don’t think the rules are different, but it’s a different level of work to integrate into non open banking APIs and feeds. Also a load of the Open Banking requirements are about to change to get more firms involved, but also to get the links of Monzo more embedded in the running and funding of Open Banking.
If you also chuck in what’s come in from the European Commission last week on PSD3 (we’ll do the lot in the UK because it’s good for business), there are some big changes happening to Open Banking, and if they can get cross border payments and data sharing up and running, then it’s a good time to stay within the Open Banking world, and focus there.
Interesting, and of course an expansion of Open Banking was something regulators were already looking into here as well - so there is a lot to focus in that area and I agree it’s likely that a kind of “Open Finance” will result, with APIs required for all accounts eventually. That would open up new possibilities and more practical uses for the technology.
To address @JIMMWX’s point: All aggregators are already FCA regulated as you have to be an AISP to be an aggregator, and this requires regulation. It’s separate from “bank” regulation though, so obviously if you are a bank then the bank functions are regulated like all banks and the Open Banking functions are likewise regulated but in line with the same regime as every other AISP. The Open Banking integrations have to follow the rules set out by the FCA even if it’s through a partnership or custom API instead of a public one.
Cheque imaging is already confirmed as on the way, so we will get that eventually.
Higher cash deposit limits are not likely, both because Monzo don’t want to encourage cash use due to it costing them more than card use and because other banks are now dramatically lowering cash deposit limits (at the Post Office especially) in an effort to combat money laundering and financial crime. Monzo are looking into a partnership with the Post Office though, so limits could end up being slightly raised as a result (possibly).
Once the link is broken with the connection, you get a message that it needs renewing if you are “the aggregator” (Monzo in this case) and then “the account provider” will allow a renewal flow. This has recently changed in the regulations to allow “the aggregator” to display a confirmation screen where the approvals can be passed back to “the account provider”, but previously it was dealt with entirely by “the account provider” and you were then passed back to “the aggregator” at the end like with initial authorisation. The whole thing works on the basis of authenticated tokenisation, so you always have proof that “the aggregator” is entitled to the data they are requesting.
I imagine that Monzo, for whatever reason, implemented that in such a way that once they go to request data from “the account provider” and it replies that no data is found, the link is broken so the listing is simply removed. Other aggregators allow you to move accounts to an archive state, where the data is no longer being updated or even requested, but the listing of what was downloaded before is still available.
I have no idea why Monzo didn’t do the same. I can only assume it was not part of initial development due to the slight extra technical complexity of catering for that function, so it has not yet been added.
You would hope that they eventually revisit it and add the feature.