Monzo Labs: Bills Pots 🍯

Finally - it’s here! This means I can close our final legacy account, which we use to ring-fence all our bill payments :partying_face:

Some feedback from me so far:

  • I’m still reliant upon API integration to split my salary into bill pots, as we don’t have a repeating date of “last working day of the month”, this recurrence option would complete this cycle for me.

  • it’s be useful to know, either here as a post, or somewhere in the app as a reminder, in what order transactions occur for those of us with scheduled payments occurring on payday. For example, in what order do BACS payments, pot transfers, standing orders and direct debits get processed? It’d be useful to know, to avoid paying into pots that have already been taken from.

  • Standing orders would also be welcome, but it’d be nice if you could assign merchants or merchant groups to pots too. For example, I try and limit those coffee shop purchases, so knowing a specific merchant is going to be paid using a certain pot, would be useful (again, at the minute I’m relying on web hooks + api integration to make this happen).

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I think this is a great start but until I can pay all my bills from a bill pot it won’t be something I can use. I don’t want to confuse things by having some bills paid from a bills pot and others from the main account.

Any eta on being able to pay my subscription bills from a bill pot?

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Card payments? Not yet, it’s a bit trickier

This 100%

Having had a look at the times my DDs, BACS pay and pot transfers happen it looks like:

  • BACS hit my account at 1am
  • Pot withdrawals occur at 2:30am
  • Standing orders occur at 3am
  • Pot transfers occur any time between 3am and 5am
  • DDs come out any time between 3am and 6:30am

Now… I’ve no idea about how backend banking works so forgive me for my naivety here, but in terms of money moving order it would make sense if the following order took place, the next step not starting until the previous finished to ensure money is in the right place at the right time:

  1. BACS comes in
  2. Pot withdrawals occur
  3. Pot transfers occur (including filling up bills pots)
  4. Standing orders occur (some coming from pots)
  5. DDs occur (some coming from pots)
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My solution to this has been to isolate specific funds. Instead of a generic bills pot, I’ve got pots specific to a type of bill (utilities, council, insurance, etc).

Agreed with this point Pot Transfers need to happen before any S/O, DD processing otherwise i can see some issues for myself especially as I get paid and bills go out the same day,

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Works for most situations but what about it you have a SO from CA (where salary comes in) and JA where rent comes out by SO from bills pot, just as an example, the bills pot transfer in wouldn’t have had the funds available.

For reference my CA to JA SO happens around 02:30 and my external SO happens around 02:50 so this appears to be catered for.

Agreed that it would be nice to know the timings just so there aren’t any gotchas.

Hoping that they integrate subscription based bills to be spend out of the pots. My direct debits like my phone contract and gym membership both work. But when I try and connect tidal or Netflix it doesn’t allow me too.

Other then that it’s great to see monzo changing the game as always

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I got a little excited for a second, until I realised it was just my Android notification appearing in the iOS feed :sob: :grin:.

No, it isn’t in labs for iOS yet.

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Adding to this so slightly, could we get this working for standard transfers as well as standing orders?

My example is paying for child care. The problem is the amount changes each month so while I’d like it to be a standing order it can’t :cry:

So it would be nice if the bills pot could be applied to contacts as well so however much I send them gets pulled from a pot.

(Edit) another example - my local garage for when my car goes in, it always comes out of my big bills pot which I have to manage manually after I transfer the money

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I enabled the feature yesterday and moved all my Joint Account direct debits to come out of a bills pot. Two of them were due this morning (including my mortgage, eek) but they went through fine.

I have noticed however that I now have duplicate entries in my “Subscriptions and Direct Debits” and I’m not sure if this happened before or if it’s a result of the bills pot functionality?

Edit: Also, it would be nice to see that a payment came from a bills pot when I click an item in my feed for more details of the transaction, rather than having to go through to Payments -> Scheduled.

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Great initiative! Could we get this feature to also include standing orders?

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Brilliant, I can’t wait for this on iOS

Quick feedback as I have a DD due on Monday. The message pops up to warn no funds in the main account. This might already be on your radar, but if not:

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How will this affect Open Banking and your Oauth API, will dd’s from pots show as normal transactions?

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Very excited for when standing orders are added as rent is by far my largest payment

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My first Bills Pots payment went out in the early hours. I have feedback! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::grinning:

Overall, this was amazing. All set up, then everything happened behind the scenes. I deliberately fed my designated pot with just less than the DD amount, too, which it coped with elegantly.

A few thoughts:

  • when I activated it in Labs, tapping feed entry that says "Tap to find out more just took me to the Scheduled Payments screen. No introduction, no instructions. I was a bit lost for a minute - a bit inelegant, I’m afraid.

  • I’m going to be one of those people who are going to want a pot per direct direct (rather than just one Bills Pot). Now that we’ve got the new navigation (well, :soon:), perhaps the upper limit on pot numbers could be relaxed. I’m gonna be scraping it soon!

  • Perhaps something for the future (maybe linked to Budgeting, @bruno?) but the Scheduled Payments screen could do with some love. It’s driven off recurring spend from Summary, but really could be clearer about different categories etc.

  • absolutely agree with others that standing orders and continuous payment authority support would be the icing on the cake here. (And, if that’s the icing, then the cherry is spend for a merchant or category assigned to a pot!)

  • the more pots are used in this way, the more I think that a fundamental think about whether they are separate from the current account, or are part of it, is going to be important. Especially for things like statements (if they are separate, we’re gonna need statements for them too; if not, then statements shouldn’t show transfers between pots…)

But these are minor points, really. First go worked perfectly, seamlessly in an expected way.

Bravo! :tada:

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I got an Emma notification yesterday to say that I didn’t have enough money in my account for an upcoming direct debit. I know Emma can see the pots (which show up as savings accounts), but I don’t think it has the concept of this new functionality and I’m not sure whether the existing API would support it?Screenshot_20190906-093738

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Both to these will be fixed by the time we ship this to everyone :confetti_ball:

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All worked perfect last night for my first direct debit.

The money was taken from my Bills Pot into my main account and the Direct Debit was taken from my main account all in the same minute (instantly)

My only small issue and thought though is I now have 2 entries, In & Out for each direct debit/Standing order, and if you have a few at the same time it could become messy, where if the payment was taken direct from a Bills Pot (as a separate account etc) this wouldn’t happen :man_shrugging:

Worked well though :+1:

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