Is Monzo Right for Me?

I have spent the last few days bashing my head against a brick wall with conventional banks. I am about to launch an eCommerce website for a particular sport where competitors can book their entries online. To keep entry costs down, competitors can pay via BACS/Faster Payment (paypal etc charge too much commission to work for us). I need an account to receive these payments.

So far so good - all banks can do this. However I need my website to automatically match payments received to entries so we know who has paid and who needs chasing. All I need is a list of transactions with amount and reference number. All the major high street banks provide such a list on their online banking sites (as csv files). However here is that catch: In order to transfer this data from one computer to another, I have to sit down at a computer, log on and download the file, then upload to my website - not very automated. Not one high street bank offers the ability for one of my servers to automatically download the data.

Monzo provides a developer API that does just that. Brilliant! I can have my server use this (if necessary at intervals throughout the day) to scan for payments without any human intervention. Exactly what I want. The question I have is: 1) can online payments be made to a Monzo account (eg using sort code and account no) and 2) Must the account be in my personal name or can I open it using the website name?

Other than the above, I have no special requirements for the account - just electronic payments in and electronic payments out. Simple really.

When they launch the Current Account I believe it will be perfectly capable of doing what you need but given the use ‘for personal banking’ I can’t tell you if they’ll allow you to use it for what you need.

Yes you will be able to receive payments using your sort code and account number, but as far as I’m aware you will need to open the account with your name, as business accounts are not yet available.

As for the API side I’m not sure how this works yet, it is on my to do list to play with that but I’m sure there will be plenty of support available when the complete product becomes available.

If you want to use Monzo for anything really critical you may want to consider that there are still reports of some Banks and Merchants not accepting the sort code. (Quickly glancing over the list this appears to be more merchants than banks, though, which is likely less relevant for you.) I’m sure this will be sorted out in due course, but I don’t think I’d use Monzo for something were I need close to 100% reliability just yet.

As for the API: Again the API is not yet finished and I don’t think I’d use it for anything business critical yet.

So, apart from the issue that Monzo is for personal accounts only, I think the system is just not ready yet for what you are envisaging.

You may want to consider accounting software that allows direct linking of bank accounts. As an example: allows you to link your account (all major UK banks are supported, but not Monzo) and import transactions automatically and they can then easily be linked up to invoices etc. There are dozens of competitors out there, so have a look around. Some may even integrate with some eCommerce software, but I don’t know any details about that.

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