Merits and mechanics of a joint account

Based on everything else, they’ll bring joint accounts with issues.

This is a space that hasn’t had much disruption because it works as it is, and other solutions, don’t.

Joint accounts can absolutely be improved upon, but the core needs to be a joint account.

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I “feel safer” because the contract between the two parties is safer. Equal. I’m trying, but you still haven’t convinced me that you’re inventing anything ‘better’ here.

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I see you’re point, and when it came to my housemate and our bills, Monzo’s shared tabs feature was far superior to a joint account.

But shared banking in relationships is different. Some people make huge financial sacrifices like giving up a well paid job to move closer to their partner, or giving up their job to bring up kids (which likely impacts their future ability to earn as well as their pension), and in these situations finances truly are joint. I don’t see how a shared pot that one person tops up would really cut it.

Each to their own, I guess, but I don’t think monzo should give up on JAs just yet.

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Maybe all this stuff about joint accounts should be in its own topic? I feel that it might be dragging this topic away from its original point

Happy to do the honours if y’all stop typing for a minute!

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I mean prior to the existence of Monzo, you could have said exactly the same thing about current accounts! In fact I saw it everywhere! We didn’t need Simple because our banking infrastructure was already so far ahead of the Americans. yet here we are nearly 7 million customers later.

Maybe because I’m not inventing anything (I’m not even sure which fintech came up with the idea first tbh, but N26 is the one I know most about, and I think is the one I saw first and using as the basis for my posts) or trying to convince anyone that it’s better. I’ve only made an argument for it being something different to what’s currently available, and that I like the idea of it better than I do that of joint accounts.

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I’ve split all the discussion of joint accounts out from this topic, as it was starting to swamp this OP a bit:

Do feel free to change the name of this topic to something less clunky

Don’t think it does really. We’ve only “ruined” the 53rd “what should Monzo do?” thread of the year

*edit

Too late :man_shrugging:t3:

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Maybe we can merge the other ones in time, or hope they fade, but for now I personally think the discussion of the merits of a joint account is quite an important topic and probably also deserves its own outing

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Not sure why this got moved. The question was what would make Monzo perfect; this was my answer :man_shrugging:t3:

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I’d take it as a compliment that your idea sparked such discussion that it’s worthy of a fresh topic :man_bowing:

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But it came after I mentioned it and mine is still in the other thread.

This is why thread splits rarely work

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I think their’s was just a reply to the OP in the midst of all the back and forth on the shared spaces, so could understand them not wanting their’s moved. Think it was my reply to revels that sparked this discussion.

I don’t mind the split if it’s a topic folks want as dedicated, but I think my wish for shared pots is still relevant to the original thread. It’s something that would go a way towards making Monzo perfect for me.

Exactly this. There’s no way I would have wanted to take out a joint account with my flatmates when I was younger, but now I’m married, with a mortgage and three kids, I can’t imagine any other way to manage our shared finances and responsibilities than having a joint account.

Someone mentioned the linking/association of CRA data. If you’re in the place where you’re considering a joint account, chances are those CRA associations are already starting to be made.

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Exactly. Shared pots and whatever may be fine for people with looser personal connections.

But if I drop dead tomorrow my wife won’t have to wait for probate to be granted to access the main bulk of our cash bank balances, and bills will still be paid by DD.

We’ve run the household bills and joint savings from a joint account since before we were married (long term cohabiting partners) and wouldn’t do it any other way.

Personal accounts are used only for receiving salary, personal spending, and saving for personal income tax etc. Everything else goes to the joint account and about 18 pots.

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Our :monzo: personal accounts are unused, apart from mine linked to an IFTTT 1p savings challenge. ALL salaries, spending, bills (from a dedicated Bills pot) are to/from the JA. MrsW’s personal account is forgotten.

We’d be happy relinquishing Personal Accounts entirely. No need. But then we’d need Plus/Premium, monzo.me, IFTTT, etc., etc. on the JA.

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I do like Monzo joint account however it could be better.
Yes I’m talking about JA parity.

However as that seems not on the horizon we still use the JA. It’s good with several pots to help with outgoings.
In fact the pots approach led to my wife having a better understanding of our joint finances.

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It’s funny; you’ve previously admitted you have no use for it, so I am not sure you’re the best person to be passing judgement on its use or any replacement…

The funny thing is that joint account parity, as I’ve argued extensively elsewhere, can actually be functionally delivered by two features: Custom Categories and Virtual Cards. And, even better, nether of those pose complicated legal or business challenges (as some of the other features do), so the development team could implement this on their own.

I concur completely. I see a lot of comments amongst different threads where people equate some trivial shared electricity bills with the needs and mechanics of a joint account :laughing:. It’s also funny that (statistically) the phase of people’s lives when they tend towards primarily using an individual account is both quite short (give or take: your 20s vs the rest of your life), and also when their earnings are at their absolute lowest. I don’t deny that it’s useful to help people spend a little less on the coffees and going out in the evening when those levels of expenses make some sort of a dent, but for the dominant amount of your life and the dominant amount of the income generated in the world (and thus profits extractable by Monzo), the concerns are quite different and the amounts of money are much greater. You would think that from a business perspective it would make a lot of sense to serve this segment more (i.e. parity or even preference for) the joint account. And I suspect as Monzo’s user demographics inevitably normalise towards overall demographics that their business priorities will follow suit.

Snap. Personal = 1x, Joint = 10x. A joint account is the steady-state of “bank account”. And whenever Monzo get around to popping Custom Categories and Virtual Cards in there, it’ll be indistinguishable anyways :smile:.

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I’m not sure that’s quite what I said. Or if I have at some point it’s far enough in the past that my needs have since changed.

I have use for some of the functions joint accounts provide (there’s been a back and forth debates on this) but I don’t like the product of a joint account that those components of shared banking come packaged in.

Maybe what I need is a complementary set of features to live along side the more traditional joint account. There’s certainly an argument for that. But my mind set is one that the joint account paradigms are antiquated and we need something modern to replace them.

I think we need some components of joint accounts, but the way we conduct shared banking as a society is shifting, and joint accounts aren’t the right solution for me and people like me.

People aren’t getting married like they used to. And people aren’t settling in traditional partnership relationships as often anymore. Things are becoming less rigid. Families are staying together longer, and they’d benefit from joint account like features, but there’s more than two of them, and there’s certain components to a joint account that make them a lesser option. There’s more than two of us in my home, and we’re all adults, no children, and we’re not exactly what we’d call young any more either.

I suspect Monzo knows this, and that’s why they’ve built a bunch of social banking features, to make this way of life easier. I imagine it’s the lifestyle of quite a few of their engineers (we’re the weirdos after all), sharing their home with friends and siblings as opposed to a single partner.

It’s this approach that would be better for me, and why I want them to take it further. Because I believe, done right, it would supersede the need for a separate joint account.

So given that I want the functionality they provide, but not in the package they’re currently provided in, I think my opinions are just as valid as those who do like them. If I had no interest in the product, I wouldn’t have an opinion to share in the first place. I usually avoid things I’m indifferent to.

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I think that this is a bit empty, a rhetoric inspired by a tech-first change-oriented ideology. We as a society are bound up in this kind of thinking, so it’s an easy appeal in any circumstance, but I think you are flat wrong in this case. A joint account is really just the banking manifestation of “family”, and a lot people (perhaps most) feel that “our finances are shared” rather than “my money is my money” is the approach that they want to take. So this isn’t anything to do with “antiquated” technology or ideas, but instead everything to do with people’s personal approach to life and, fundamentally, their personal moral stance.

Your setup sounds quite specific, and I hope that Monzo extend various features to make financial affairs smoothly workable for you. But I also hope that Monzo take the vastly dominant shared-finances setup in the country (two adults, some kids) who wholly share their finances and make sure that use-case is catered to, too. From a profit perspective at the very least, it behooves them to.

You’re welcome to disagree of course, but I think it’s ignorant to just dismiss it that harshly. Especially when, I suspect, it’s not something you have personal experience with, so by your own standards, not something you should be passing judgement on. :wink:

The changing paradigms are real. I’ve lived through them myself, and adapted to them. Though I respect for those in the more traditional familial household setup, they’ll have no experience with this way of living.

I’m from quite a large family. In my generation of the family tree, in terms of siblings, and children of my parents siblings, not a single one of us has any experience with that traditional family household lifestyle. Our way of life is much more fluid, and open for lack of a better description. Perhaps that’ll change if or when kids get involved. But as I say, aside my youngest sibling, none of us are very young. Most of us have lived with our parents as adults, sharing household responsibilities with them, including finances.

Maybe it’s a nerd thing for software engineers, or an Americanism. But marriage and kids don’t really appeal to most of us, and we tend to like the shared way of living. Big house, more people, less isolating.

The traditional way of life may be more common, but it is in decline. I suspect the cost of living crisis will speed that up as well.

I’m not advocating they do a disservice to people like you, rather they build something that not only continues to deliver on your needs, but broadens the prospect to better serve people in my situation too. We’re more common than you might think, and seemingly growing. It’s the pinnacle of shared life for me. I’ve no interest in starting my own family or having children, or being in any sort of relationship. Aside the latter, most of us feel the same way.

Edit: to avoid any misconceptions, where I use us I’m referring to my siblings and cousins, and some of my social circles.

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