Hey Jack! Welcome
Hi there - I’m Archie
Currently working in IT for a secondary school with 2,000+ users
I started working on my financial journey a year or so ago when I switched to monzo as my main bank account. I’ve been getting into saving, and making my money work for me. Comparing interest rates and such.
It’s great to be here!
Hi Archie & welcome
Great to have you here!
From 35,000 feet over the Atlantic
I decided to open a US Monzo in person to get Joint Account custom categories.
The lengths people have to go to.
It’s one thing being able to afford a transatlantic trip, it’s a totally different one being able to afford the wifi! Enjoy!
New here, pleased to meet you all
Hey, and welcome.
You can introduce yourself here a whole thread of it.
@AlanDoe can this be merged
Hi. Welcome. Nearly 3 years!
Yes, but first time in the help section,still cannot find the answer.
I am another Simple refugee and a software developer looking for well-designed banking software. In my day job, I automate the deployment and maintenance of ridiculously complex live services that have to serve many thousands of requests per second.
I have been holding out, since Simple and all of its IP was cannibalized by PNC, and waiting for a product to emerge that meets feature parity with Simple’s most defining features. I can’t say that I’ve been 100% satisfied with anything that is currently offered by anyone, but after testing my own patience for long enough, I have decided to give Monzo a go.
Here I want to talk a bit about what I’m looking for from Simple’s feature set, why I’m choosing to try Monzo, what other products I’ve considered, and what I am still holding out for. This is mostly for the developers at Monzo, and I hope the input is valuable.
Why Simple (RIP, we hardly knew ye, no really, give me your source code please)?
Simple was useful to me primarily because of its spending streams. This isn’t what they called the feature set, but rather what I call what one is able to do with the ensemble of functions offered:
- Define expenses with periodic deadlines and their associated payee categories.
- Automatically fill the budgets for those expenses from income/paychecks based on rules.
- When a transaction debits the account to pay a payee matching the category assigned to an expense, automatically attribute the transaction to that expense.
- No thoughts, head empty. Money goes in, money goes out. Numbers go brrrrr.
In this specific way, a user could set up, just once, a stream of funding for a given kind of spending. So long as enough funds were present in the income deposits to refresh each expense by its deadline, I could set up budgets and know exactly how much money in my account was actually “Safe-to-Spend” at all times because any expenses needing funds would instantly gobble up the amount of income that was earmarked for them every month.
I never had to go to a transaction and say “this belongs here” more than once. I never had to move money from anywhere into or out of an expense by hand unless I was changing the expenses themselves. My budget did itself whenever I was paid. My anxiety about setting a budget was absolved. My anxiety about whether I could afford all my expenses with something left over was absolved. It was like looking forward a month in time.
Whatever solution I choose will need to nail that single criterion to the wall and make it stick there. Computers should be pretty darn good at sorting payees into categories, to the extent that I shouldn’t ever have to shuffle cash around manually. The rules I set up should work like automation without feeling like I’m doing my day job. Everything else is mostly secondary – I just need something that functions well as a clearinghouse for all of the inputs and outputs my checking account needs to handle while also preventing all those transactions from needing to individually surface to my attention.
Thing One – and this will always be the most important thing – is that Monzo discloses a public roadmap, solicits ideas from its community, and appears to implement them. I had initially considered One Financial for my needs; they were then purchased by WalMart, which is, to put it politely, not allowed ever to hold a penny of my money.
The first thing WalMart did was remove the roadmap for One. No more responsiveness or accountability to the users. This is what killed Simple: either BBVA or PNC now owns the intellectual property of that banking application, and neither of them will ever allow it to see the light of day again. I’ll come back to that.
What about the others?
Actually, I’m also trying Revolut. Their onboarding experience was much smoother – it didn’t mistakenly use an input that shouldn’t be legally relevant (my preferred name) as part of an identity verification process, but it is less clear how they intend for me to use their budgeting features and I can’t experiment with both at the same time. They also have features (currency exchanges! crypto! airport lounges!?) that I am probably more annoyed to see than to ignore. My banking isn’t a lifestyle. It needs to be as functional and minimal as possible, but oh boy is Revolut trying to sell you on a lifestyle. Especially if you are under 18. Because financial responsibility is hip when it starts with a stenciled “R” and comes with a metal debit card. Very slick – slick like the people engineering it know what they’re doing in terms of integrations and mobile platform support, and it shows – but something about that upsell is still putting me off…
I mentioned why I considered and discarded One Financial. Feature set seemed almost complete, but now some of the benefits only happen when you walk into a WalMart, and the roadmap was quietly burned out back in the lot behind Bentonville HQ. No more needs to be said.
This brings me to a question. Do the owners of Monzo ever intend to sell the company or a controlling share of it to another party? I am not interested in being part of the product sold to another actual bank. If I smell that coming again, I will cut and run to something more stable even if it has fewer features. Either you have a mission or you don’t; once you sell it, you may as well kill it.
Last bit: the thing I’m holding out for.
I am, unfortunately, in the US. Here, individuals and business owners feel perfectly entitled to scoff at you and turn you away for not being able to produce a personal check, while simultaneously other individuals and businesses feel perfectly entitled to scoff at you for so much as thinking about one.
I have exactly one payee who will not be convinced that anything more reliable, efficient, secure, or better in any way than a paper personal check exists in the world as a payment instrument, and that is the only thing keeping an account open between me and a certain other bank. I don’t want to use checks. Ever. I would be perfectly happy to see every fintech smugly dismiss the whole notion from all their product offerings for all time.
I still need the stupid things. So long as I can reliably schedule an outbound transfer to another bank and have them cut the check for now, I’m okay, but guys… I know you’re a bit ahead of us in the rest of the world on a number of scores and have mostly evolved past our silly economy that I’m told is still based in part on onions and horse-trading, but I’d super-duper love it if scheduling a bank check to be mailed off to a payee weren’t just a backlog item on your USA public kanban because I am an American and I will have to deal with regressive things for the rest of my life.
That part was a bit of a rant, and a heck of a run-on sentence. Sorry. Point is: I’m trying to divest from that other bank. Can’t yet. A little sad and weirded out that checks are so hard to get a hold of unless I walk into a branch of a local or multinational bank – because someone is guaranteed to irrationally hold it against me, next time I try to move or buy a car.
I hope that’s made it clear where I’m coming from as a customer, though. I’m extremely discriminating and I’d rather use nothing since 2021 than a less-than-complete replacement that frustrates me. Since I can see things on the roadmap that look like they’ll eventually satisfy all my needs, it currently makes sense to spend some time getting a feel for what’s here now.
I hope also that I’m right in sensing this might be the sort of place where thoughtful feedback gets meaningfully considered.
If you made it this far, thank you for reading. If you’re another customer, you must really like banking tech. Extra points to you.
Welcome to the community!
Monzo’s Trends feature is really good, and is probably the closest thing on the market you’ll find to what Simple used to offer. Specifically the Balance tab. It’s still a long way off IMO though.
We never got Simple in the U.K., but I’ve always admired their approach and have been a huge advocate for it.
I don’t know if it’s something you know about or have tried, but DASBudget might fill this hole for you.
It was actually built by one of Monzo’s own in the US, and I believe the US branch of Monzo are now home to a few Simple alumni, and hopefully they’ll bring some of the Simple magic to Monzo over time. Trends is a really good start though.
Hi, I’m Helen. I’m an Office Manager in the UK.
Opened Monzo a while ago (2018 maybe?) due to the spending I could do in another country.
I set up budgets and continued to use it as a spending card but didn’t pay too much attention.
Only recently REALLY started to get into it. So much so I have just upgraded to plus, got my extra categories and virtual cards and currently absolutely loving micro managing my finances. I also love the fact I get percentage interests on both my current and savings accounts. And of course, I have joined this forum!
Looking forward to seeing how Monzo evolves!
Hi @Hel44 & welcome
I’m sure you’ll have fun picking up Monzo/Fintech/Personal Finance tips & tricks here, along with the varied discussions on very wide-ranging topics!
Feel free to contribute tips & experience too, it all helps
Hello everyone, new here and loves Monzo
Hi I’m new to Monzo
I’m traveling to turkey tomorrow my card is active so do I need to do anything else
Add funds to your bank account and off you go. Enjoy.
Hello, My name is Tevfik. I recently got my Monzo Flex Physical Card. I was wondering if I can use this card for car rental deposit. Can car rental companies hold a deposit on this card? Thank you in advance.
Yes provided you have sufficient credit limit for the amount the provider requires.