Direct Debits pot proof of concept


(Frank) #1

So I want to follow on from the above and list out a possible quick win idea.

Recently the concept of Coin Jar was created to try out rules/automation. What I would like to suggest is another concept for DD Jar.

So Direct Debits leave the account at say 02:00-04:00 on the due date. So a transfer into the main account from a pot ideally needs to be 00:01-01:30 to ensure it is in place for the debit to leave.

So I think the fantastic devs at Monzo could create the following.

User sets up pot with the name Direct Debits
User puts enough money in pot to cover all direct debits.
Monzo receive notification of Direct Debit amount and due date.
Monzo schedule a transfer from Direct Debits pot for the same amount(s) into main account at 01:00
Direct Debit is paid 02:00 as the funds are now in the right place.

Perfect we now have a way to manage Direct Debut payments while separating the funds from the main account.

Some time later you could then customise the messages to advise there are not enough funds in the DD pot/main account etc. So users are notified if a direct debit is likely to be rejected.

Any Monzo dev want to take this up as a challenge :+1:t2: @simon :wink:


(Nathan) #2

Definitely a quick win, would love to see this implemented!


(Theo Gregory) #3

Only problem I forsee is a very minor edge case:

Ahead of a night out I tend to put all the money I don’t want to spend into a separate pot so I can quickly see how much I’ve left and how soon before I have to stop buying drinks (always a good notion of when to call it a night)
So now say it’s 1am, I’m currently a little less than sensible, and I start spending through all my direct debit cash.

Then I wake up in the morning with a headache to sort out (and a hangover to match haha)


(Frank) #4

You know I nearly called that out as an edge case myself :joy:. But I wasn’t sure how to explain it away. In truth I think this is a use case regardless as the alternative is the money already in your account ready for the 2am payments and you could still spend it :man_shrugging:t2:

All I can think of there is you set a timer on your account and all debit card payments are declined from 12:59 :thinking:


(Peter McDonald) #5

To be honest I think it would be better if this was automated. Monzo can see when your wages go into the account, it also sees your direct debits.

So more something like:

  1. The user sets up Direct Debit Pot
  2. Monzo calculates the average you have paid via direct debit over the last x months (maybe even add a tolerance for times direct debits are more)
  3. Monzo to check when you are paid
  4. Monzo to automatically migrate money from the main account into the direct debit pot after the next payday
  5. In the event excess is in the account, this to remain in the account until x is accumulated. Once accumulated further accumulation to be sent back to your main funds or into coin jar.

In the event a new direct debit is set up, of course, it would not be able to account for this so may still need to take money from the main account. By doing it this way it would help ring-fence money to stop someone accidentally over spending.


(Frank) #6

I agree it can be a lot smarter. I was thinking more of a quick concept that may be able to be developed sooner. To then possibly iterate and improve later.

Maybe a notification to say ‘it’s payday, remember to set aside £x for your direct debits’.


(simon) #7

Great thread @Frankiejr

We were actually talking over lunch about how we could schedule money to come out of pots. Both regularly (based on time) and based on events.

There’s a couple of things we want to do, and a few we’d want to avoid…

1/ Pots don’t have sortcode-account numbers, so no direct debits can come from them directly.
2/ It’d be nice if a transaction could be redirected to a pot based on some kind of rules. This isn’t totally trivial to do and would be pretty deep in our payments infrastructure.
3/ There’s some work happening to make “upcoming expected payments” visible on the API (and in the app). This would make it pretty easy to move money out just in time (using the pots API)
4/ But we’d want a nice way to hide the pots transaction (which is much in demand because of coin-jar anyway)

Scheduled deposit/withdrawals (like everyday, move £10 out of my lunch money pot) will probably be built as part of the existing scheduled payments service, it’s simpler and doesn’t require building a full rules engine.

I’m pretty hopeful that we’ll get to build a full pots rules implementation in the next few months, building one-offs like coin-jar isn’t really viable except for the very broadly applicable use cases, because of all the edge-cases and interactions it creates.


Making Monzo Better: The Big List
(Frank) #8

Thanks for the response and update. I was just today going to post this wasn’t getting as much Monzo love as I was expecting :+1:t2:

And yeah my approach in the first post was to try and avoid any big technical development.

One thing I am really waiting for, that would allow me to achieve the above manually, is visibility of debits due (standing orders and direct debits). Do you have any timeline for this at all?

Also, while I know the pots will not get account numbers, are there any plans to give them a unique roll number? So you could send a payment direct to a pot. When the payment hits Monzo it could see the roll number and then move it on again the the desired pot. While it would be good to do this just on pot name I think emojis and the chance of getting the name wrong are barriers to this option.


Add “Send to Pot” Option to Incoming Transactions
(simon) #9

The RFC for “upcoming payments” has been written, It’s not my team so i couldn’t say when, but i can tell you TimR is an amazing developer and the RFC had the most :100::heart_eyes::heart:️emoji i’ve seen on an RFC for a while…


(Dave) #11

I really just want to bump this automated direct debits idea. I was thinking exactly the same type of thing and I’m glad I searched to see if it was already there. This is the only reason that I don’t close my other current account. The beauty of Monzo is always knowing exactly what you have left, so to ensure this I get paid into my classic account and leave the money for direct debits in there whilst transferring everything else across. But if we have something like this implemented where estimated (based on previous costs) of direct debits plus a user defined tolerance, was set aside and transferred into the main account when needed, it would fix the problem. Heck go one step further and anything left in the pot at the end of the month gets swept into your savings pot?


(MikeF) #12

For me, that’s what including DDs in the Comitted Spend section of the Summary is going to provide. I’ve cooled on the pot idea for Direct Debits now that that’s on the roadmap in the near term.


(Frank) #13

My workaround for now is the overdraft. So all my DD money is in a pot and my account only has my spend in it. Then when a DD takes me into my overdraft I transfer it from the pot.

I think it’s a reasonable stop gap until more automation is in place.