Ok, so, hear me out. I love that we have had a slew of new features recently, things have have been requested for a long time. But part of me worries that the combination of these things is somewhat overwhelming, and they are all disjoint parts that are approximating a different goal.
Let’s look at some features:
- Virtual cards can be paid from a particular pot
- A virtual card can be added to your Apple wallet (& combined with paid from a pot)
- Salary sorter can move money (almost) automatically into various pots on payday
- You can use Salary sorter to credit a bills pot
- The bills pot can then be used to pay recurring payments like DDs and SOs
- You can get a credit-card-like loan with Flex (well, soon). You choose the repayment schedule and then this is deducted from your account monthly
- Sweeping balance at end of month from spending report (does that still exist?)
- Setting a budget for a particular category
- IFTT lets you shunt stuff around, too
There are surely more ways, too. The thing is that this is quite the bevy of features. Each one doing a little bit of what I think is a somewhat obscured whole. Really what we are approximating here is separating out:
Making a virtual card that pays from a pot and adding it to your Apple wallet is… a convoluted way to control spending - or, cast another way, a way to resurrect the original prepay Monzo card where all that it did was help you limit your spending money. Using salary sorter (why can’t it be automatic?!) is a way to get your bills money far away from your spending money, so that you don’t accidentally spend it. Sweeping your balance up (sometimes hacked via IFTTT) is a way to automatically credit your savings with what you didn’t spend. And so on.
The thing is that this is all really quite complex and disjoint. There’s no overview page that ties this all together into one coherent view. I know that there’s the legacy Summary and Budgets features - now somewhat burried - which will soon be incorporated into the new Trends feature. But trends won’t necessarily solve this because it’s somewhat of an historical overview, whereas the assemblage of features above are about limiting spending from the current month, i.e. they are about the immediate future.
What I think it would be lovely to see is these three types of money - Bills, Spending, and Savings - to be better and more formally delineated in the app, and for the above features to be re-worked into a coherent whole that allows people to get better control of their finances. Yes, it is important to be able to look backwards, but it is also important to give people tools to create spending controls for themselves in-the-moment. This was the original killer feature of Monzo, and they forget this at their peril. I worry that what exists at the moment is just too complex for the average user to fathom their way through (I find it hard enough!), and so most users won’t get the best out of these features, or out of Monzo in general.