Development of the app

Monzo seems to have really slowed down recently, and moved away from a focus on its U.K. consumer app.

When I look at some of the features which were in labs or receiving updates, I haven’t heard much about new budgeting tools, developer tools, account aggregation in the app, pay from pot for repeating card bills, a financial product market place, ISAs, cheque imaging, etc.

The list goes on and on - I know originally the roadmap moved from Trello to the Making Monzo app for reasons of scale… but the product update blog tells a story.

So while I love Monzo, I guess my question is - will it continue to be updated? I’m glad it pioneered consumer focussed features; but it seems like the market has begun to respond.

A few things you mention are coming with plus but was delayed because of covid

And other stuff you mention I’m not expecting to see at all so the fact the mat it isn’t happening isn’t really a surprise.

My understanding is that this is literally impossible to do.

Impossible to do the same as direct debits, with no prior notification - but not impossible, no.

Most recurring payments are using a continuous payment authority, from the same merchant, around a set date. It would be possible to move funds shortly after payment was taken.

But I guess that specific feature is another discussion, and there are tons of solutions proposed on the thread for that feature.

My point more generally is that updates to Monzo have generally slowed. Monzo Plus was delayed well before COVID, and software development is almost the perfect task for working from home.

I’m glad to have responses, and I can see tons of posts about Monzo Plus in the forum, from volunteers, and those with personal connections… but where is the actual communication from the company?

Since September last year, we’ve had product updates from Monzo about overdraft price changes (a legal requirement), UI and performance improvements, and the ability to hide/re-order pots.


When you get a card charge they at the very least provide a human-readable name. You can always match on that, possibly even allowing the user to define a custom regular expression to match any incoming payments and assign them to a pot. It’s not “impossible”, it’s just that they don’t think it’s worthwhile to prioritise it at this time.

You can define custom rules to move emails into different folders or perform certain actions based on the subject, body, sender or even headers. There’s no reason the same couldn’t apply for payments.

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This isn’t an ‘official’ scheme, and banks don’t register CPAs as part of your account. They’re just an agreement you have with a merchant that they can continuously bill your card without asking every month. Merchants don’t have to provide your bank with a date of the payment in advance of it - whereas for a Direct Debit they have prior knowledge of the money leaving.

Only if you have the money available. Here are some huge edge cases to consider with this:

(1) What if someone runs a zero-sum balance, and doesn’t have it available in their pot. How does the bank recover their costs, given that if they accepted the payment it’d put you into an unarranged overdraft?

(2) Once you’ve got a solution for the above, how do you differentiate those people that run a zero-sum balance but have the money available in a pot? They won’t want it declining, as the money is available.

(3) If we base it all on ‘the date it’s taken’ and find some companies don’t charge on bank holidays, what do you do? Move the money from pots before the bank holiday weekend, or after?

(4) How do individual companies treat shorter months? Do they bill every 28 calendar days, or do they just bill on “the last working day” of the month?

If the answer to either 1 or 2 is that this should be checked before authorising a payment, then the kicker is that the bank only have a split second to respond - that’s a lot of work to authorise a payment, above what they already have to do.

Answers 3 and 4 are really important for the people mentioned in 1 and 2 (zero-sum accounts) as they don’t want money sat in their main balance for the entire Easter weekend ‘just because’.

There’s the choice of keeping a ‘total finances’ value, which is the sum of all pots, but then you get into the realms of whether the money is only available in the wrong pot - what if it’s locked? What if it’s an ISA? What if it’s a 12 month locked ISA?

The official delay was announced after lockdown - they were expecting to launch on the last day of Q1.

and all of the open banking changes/improvements, business accounts, the web app for business accounts, adoption of the increased contactless limits (and mechanisms in app to reset these), reporting to Equifax CRA, making credit reports available in-app, improving the pot offerings, Salary sorter, and pay from pots.


Feature Release

Salary Sorting and Bills pots were in September (although yes, a great feature), reporting to Equifax doesn’t need to be a software development (though obviously I have no idea how they implemented this), I think I covered pot offerings. On the other points, I mentioned my concern is about consumer accounts in the UK being neglected for business banking & the USA launch.

The thread you linked to was specifically about Monzo Plus - if that’s the only thing to be released going forward, that’s fine - but the making Monzo roadmap is looking pretty sparse.

I am interested in what you mentioned about open banking changes and improvements, because I haven’t seen many. I missed credit card integrations - I had seen that was coming, but I’m on iOS so haven’t received that yet.

My point of view

I guess I should make clear that I’m coming at this from the point of view of a product manager, so I’m pretty laser focussed on whether I’m seeing developments and changes to the application itself. Contactless limits, credit bureau reporting, etc, seem to be things which are updated working with the card network; and batch jobs to the credit bureau using the APIs they expose, or providing data exports, respectively.

I’ll leave this a while, as I’m keen to hear from others whether my expectations are too high (yes, I’ve replied point by point :sweat_smile: but I can’t do that for every post).

The impression I’ve had from the replies here is that maybe Monzo is doing a lot behind the scenes for Monzo Plus.


Keen to keep this on topic to overall development of the app, but it makes sense to discuss.

This isn’t an ‘official’ scheme, and banks don’t register CPAs as part of your account. They’re just an agreement you have with a merchant that they can continuously bill your card without asking every month. Merchants don’t have to provide your bank with a date of the payment in advance of it - whereas for a Direct Debit they have prior knowledge of the money leaving.

I did cover these points - that CPAs are held by the merchant, and that Monzo doesn’t receive prior notification.

Edge Use Cases for Subscriptions

I think you’re making this overly complex, when it doesn’t need to be. A simple product option which works and is well explained to customers is better than no solution, or a highly complex solution for power users.

  • If they don’t have the money available in their main account, then Monzo would do what they already do - presumambly place the user into unarranged overdraft, or reject the payment depending on credit scoring (not sure of their implementation on this, but that’s what other retail banks do.)
  • If the money is in the pot, then Monzo can check the balance in the pot and transfer the funds. That would take hundreds of milliseconds to do - the code on github indicates they run a platform on infrastructure which could handle this, and certainly other retail banks manage to call microservices during that time.
  • IFTTT doesn’t even check the date - you could just pay all payments to a merchant from a pot, or call it reimburse merchants, or something.

Whilst we wait for other’s views on this, @Rika might be able to explain what the stats/limits are for card authorisations (average time taken, maximum time allowed etc), and how much leeway there is for adding additional calls to the authorisation flow.

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I think you’re confusing the ‘possible’ with the ‘planned’. It’s been clear for a long time that the Monzo focus of the last 18 months or so has been profitability. That means Plus almost exclusively (basically).

Lots of other stuff is possible but none has been announced as being worked on so I wouldn’t expect to see any of it suddenly appearing. Yes, the virus knocked Plus sideways it seems and Yes, there may be a couple of other bits knocking about in the background but, from what we know, these will be the exception rather than the rule.

Carry on with the theoretical debate by all means but you appear to be asking a question that we already know the answer to.


My last post on here was July 2019, so it seems like if you’re regularly on the forum, you definitely knew the answer - the product updates blog had been enough for me.

As I mentioned earlier, my question was whether app development had slowed - not a feature by feature theoretical analysis.

To be honest, I’ve got my answer. It has slowed. There are reasons for it - delays and a (sensible) profitability focus, even if I disagree about the communication strategy.


I think plus will have a lot of features, be it behind a paywall. So it hasn’t slowed, just is all bundled in there. Plus has been delayed

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Also Business accounts?

I’m hoping some of the long-requested features will be developed for the business account, because they’ll have more incentive to do so, and that this will mean they could be ported to the normal account after (or Plus, possibly).


I will refrain from a full explanation because it goes quite in-depth but this is one of those things that we could probably make work, but it would be adding new services to what is called the “authorisation loop”.

The authorisation loop is the entire path of code taken all the way from a Mastercard message entering our boundary to a response leaving our boundary back into the network. You ideally want the authorisation loop to be as short as possible.

Monzo is indeed in the unique technical position where it would be possible on our platform to add new services to the authorisation loop, but every new service you add increases its complexity and potentially how long it takes to return a response to Mastercard. We tune everything in the authorisation loop to be high performance.

In our Financial Crime Team, we have a big set of rules that run on every payment and because they can all run at the same time in parallel, it will only take as long as the longest rule to run. This means we can add new rules without increasing the overall time taken to respond. This is part of how we could introduce gambling block without negatively affecting any other transactions.

When you’re talking about moving money and checking pot balances, you’re introducing operations that have to occur in sequence (or series). That would ultimately mean that we would be inserting new stages into the authorisation loop, meaning it will take longer to make every card payment.

I am not saying it will never happen, we may decide that the benefits are worth it and we can make optimisations elsewhere to compensate, but these are just some of the considerations we would make from a technical standpoint looking at a proposed feature like this. There are certainly other ways to achieve similar outcomes to you using different methods though. :slightly_smiling_face:


I sometimes wonder if we’re overthinking things here. Surely for payments from a pot then the best option is just to switch the order to debit from main account then - milliseconds later - move the money from the Pot to the main account. That would - to the user - be the same as the payments from bill pots, and would have the same effect - to pay from the pot if the funds are there, and from the main account if it isn’t.

Although, on consideration, I suppose the issue is what happens if the main account is at £0 with no overdraft. Maybe that’s where a bit of extra logic would need to come in, which might complicate matters. Or make it so it only works when the main account is in credit > the value of the transaction. But that seems suboptimal…


Completely agree.

I think you’re making a huge deal about things when there’s a global crisis going on and more important things take focus for Monzo with a much reduced staffing level.


Monzo can work from home and touted that as a major selling point for joining the company as a dev. So advancing of features due to no one being available isnt really a thing.


Whilst that is true, they are working with less people. So their focus goes on the core and not extras.

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I would argue that being market leading by launching new features IS the core of the app.

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