Making the joint account redundant

With each feature released for plus / personal accounts only it’s looking like joint accounts are the poor relation of the monzo experience. Is it time for them to go?

For me, my joint account with my partner has two main functions

  • All parties can spend money from a balance
  • All parties are informed about any activity on that balance

You could replace this entirely for me (ymmv) within the personal account by introducing the concept of a shared pot, with each of the parties in that pot given a virtual card to that pot. transactions would show on all accounts linked to the pot. Two tiers could exist here to map certain use cases:

  • The pot makes a formal financial connection with the other party (like a joint account), with the funds owned jointly
  • The pot’s funds are owned by the creator, with permissions to withdraw granted to others. Might enable short term joint spending e.g. on a holiday with friends. (regulatory issues?)

I can see income and refunds to the joint pot being an issue, but seems less work than trying to keep a secondary product up to parity with their main offering.

Thoughts?

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A very similar discussion here -

I think if Monzo were starting from scratch now, they may have gone this way, but they’re in too deep now. Lots of people consider a joint account essential, a proper account, not a pot.

This is where it falls down.

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Pretty sure Chase is currently working on a similar concept.

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That sounds way too complicated for most people, especially since most people are used to the concept of a joint account and it works so well.
It also sounds very complicated from a legal perspective.

I’d much rather see Monzo offer full feature parity for its joint accounts than something that smells like a joint account, looks like a joint account but actually isn’t?

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That’d be my preferred solution also, but the last few years seem to indicate that either there isn’t the business case for parity, or it’s architecturally too difficult.

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Almost every other bank manages to operate joint accounts without any problems, so it can’t be that difficult. It seems more like they’ve taken the decision not to do it, rather than they can’t.

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And so does Monzo.

Which other joint bank accounts have Flex, custom categories, sheets export etc etc?

Or, put another way, which banks don’t allow joint account customers to enjoy an equal access to account features? Or force joint account customers to have a personal account?

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To my knowledge there is no one offering a truly ‘joint’ credit card anywhere in the UK (they are all personal with additional cardholders but the only one liable for the entire balance is the person who opened the account), so no one offers anything like joint Flex. If people are asking for it, it would be a first (I wouldn’t expect it, but that’s just me being used to never having seen a joint credit card).

I am not a master programmer (although I do teach it to an intermediate level), but I can’t see a technical reason why custom categories can’t be used for a joint account and synced between two people’s apps.

I can export statements from my (non-Monzo) joint account, I am sure it’s easy enough to implement a CSV/Google Sheet export for one too.

I understand your point is “no other bank is offering what people are asking of Monzo”, but then again, no other bank is offering the full feature set Monzo offers on personal accounts either, and yet Monzo has made it possible and we are enjoying it every day.
It must be a business decision with regards to what priorities to set, rather than a serious technical hurdle to overcome.

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As far as I know the only joint credit product available is a mortgage.

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All my thoughts are in that other thread. Not repeating it all again, sorry.

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If you think about it, the personal account is the special-case. Most people spend most of their lives paired up, for which the default mode is a joint account. Perhaps we can retire the personal account?

If you scroll way way back in time here on the forum, before joint accounts were implemented, you’ll see that there was a load of debate about which of the two approaches should be taken.

My First Direct joint account has always been a joint account pre their app and with their app latterly (though the app is somewhat archaic). Joint current accounts holders are jointly & severably liable whereas credit cards have a main card holder and supplementary cardholder(s). I’m sure it’s the same with the other legacy banks.

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Think I must have missed something obvious with custom categories on the Joint account? Do both personal accounts need to be be Plus/Premium to see the custom categories?

It doesn’t matter if both have it, none of it is transferred to the joint account

Think I misunderstood your comment :wink:

Thanks.

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