Monzo Labs: Pay anyone by text or email

Good morning everyone! :sunny:

Note: This is currently only ready for testing in Monzo Labs on Android V2.28. It’ll be ready to test on iOS later this week.

If you use Monzo-to-Monzo payments frequently you’re used to sending money to your contacts hassle-free, without needing to ask for their bank account details. And then there’s that one friend that is not yet on Monzo :sweat_smile: You text them asking for their bank account details and there’s this back and forth of communication that makes sending regular bank transfers a pain for everyone involved.

So we’re launching a way to let you send money through a link. Just send it to your friend and you’re done!

Your friend can choose to open a new Monzo account to claim the money, or forward it to any UK bank account.

Here’s how that looks for the user sending money:

And what your friend will see when they open the link:

We’re including our current referral bonus too

If your friend signs up to Monzo, we’ll apply the same £10 referral bonus that we’re giving during December! Let’s say you send them £50, and they choose signup from that link. Once they finish signing up their balance will be £50, and after their first purchase we’ll credit another £10 from the referral bonus. This is very convenient because you can add your new Monzo card to Apple Pay and Google Pay during signup, which means you can start spending the money immediately.

If your friend chooses to forward the money to their existing UK account they just need to enter their sort code and account number on the link you sent them. Once they do this we initiate a new Faster Payments transfer to their account immediately and the money arrives (usually) instantly. In this scenario your friend won’t get the £10 signup bonus.

Current limitations

  • After creating a new link you won’t be able to see it again. So if you didn’t share it at that moment you won’t be able to retrieve it. All links automatically expire after 7 days, so if you didn’t share it anywhere there’s nothing to worry about, just let it expire on it’s own.

  • If you share the link with the wrong person, or share it in a public place, there’s no way to manually cancel the link. We’re planning to add this in the future, but for the time being you’ll have to get in touch with customer support.

  • Until your friend claims the money your balance won’t change. You need to have enough money in your account when you create the link, but if for whatever reason you spend it by the time your friend claims it the transfer will decline. At this point you need to create a new link and send it to them - or if they chose to signup for a new account you can just Monzo-to-Monzo them. (We’re still thinking about how to deal with this amount “in limbo”).

  • For each link that is created we generate a new feed item so that you know a link was created. The screen from this feed item is not very helpful, and in the future we want to make it better by showing you the status of the transaction (link opened / signup in progress / money delivered).

  • If you send a link to a Monzo user (that you didn’t have their phone number so you couldn’t pay them Monzo-to-Monzo) it’s not clear what the receiving user should do. Right now they’ll have to choose the option to forward the money to an existing account and enter their Monzo sort code and account number. We’re improving this use case in early January.

The Payments tab is also becoming cluttered (and less intuitive) with more options to choose from. We’re thinking of how to simplify this screen in the future.

Why we’re putting this into Labs, rather than just releasing it to everyone:

We’re not quite right to launch this to everyone yet. (See the above limitations). But we’re confident that it’s in a good enough state to share it with you as an early preview - just in time for making some payments over Christmas!

What kind of feedback are we looking for?

Tell us about:

  • Bugs
  • Mistakes/typos
  • Things that don’t make sense
  • Your friends reaction/experience as the receivers of the link

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


How do I access this? - i’ve looked under the Monzo Labs in my android app and I dont see this available to try… Thanks.

Are you on version 2.28?

no - 2.27 - but ive checked via the app store and no update is showing as being available…

You need to be on the Android beta channel :blush:


thanks - knew i must be missing something!

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This does look good, and answers some (just some) of my other concerns over on the other thread.

For the “in limbo” amount, I’d be concerned I’d spend it before it was claimed. How about creating a Pot on–the–fly for Pay Anyone links and deduct the amount from my balance, placing it into this Pot? You could also show it in Committed Spending. Then when it’s claimed, and if there are no more links in circulation, just delete the Pot.


about to suggest the same thing about having the amount being put in a pot

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Deal with this the same way that you deal with card authorisations that are never presented? Show the amount as having left your account immediately, and credit it back explicitly if the link isn’t used before it times out. (This has the added benefit that you get a notification as a reminder to contact the payee when they don’t claim the money in time.)

If you change to taking the money from the account immediately, this can just be a transaction in the feed. It would be a useful place to hang all the operations to do with the transaction: show status, get another copy of the link, cancel the payment, etc. as well as the usual options for categorisation and setting the transaction notes and attachments.

Can you do the same thing that you do when a link is opened on a device that has the Monzo app installed, and get the app to handle the link directly? It could just go to a screen with a ‘Claim payment’ button on it.

In the web page source for a payment, some missing substitutions:

<meta name=“robots” content="{{ .robots }}" />
<meta name=“description” content="{{ .description }}">


Woah! Nice catch. Thanks a lot.

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Have used the full flow now


  1. Need to be able to see it in scheduled payments or similar

  2. Need to be able to cancel in app without asking

  3. The share into WhatsApp should include the personalised message and amount

  4. The note in app for the transaction was the message, but cropped - should be in full

I don’t like the name - “Pay by text or email”
It’s a link and can me shared a multitude of ways not just text or email so doesn’t seem too intuitive to me.


Already posted my feedback over on the Android changelog thread :grin::stuck_out_tongue:

There’s another thing: setting the name for the payee. At the moment this is left up to the payee: you aren’t prompted for a name when creating the payment link. The problem is that you’re trusting the payee to enter something useful like their name, rather than something meaningful to them (“HSBC current” for example) and not to you.

I’d prefer to be able to set the name shown for the transaction myself.


I’m hoping with the new implementation of contacts/payees mentioned in the “Making Monzo: Add Payees Easily” thread there will be a way to merge and edit payees so this shouldn’t be a problem down the line :slight_smile:


This would also help with remembering which pending payment was which.


Thanks for the amazing feedback @sde1000! :hot_coral_heart:

:point_up: We discussed this approach. Doing this would require significantly more engineering work and push the Labs rollout to January. It’s not off the table yet.

:point_up: Yep it’s coming. Regardless of the first feed item affecting your balance or not, it will show you the status, link, and give you the option to make some changes/cancel that pending link.

:point_up: Working on it!


It’s bad bad bad UX that the “Join Monzo” button is highlighted as the apparent default option when receiving. Dark pattern almost.

This is a feature for sending money to people who don’t have Monzo, not recruiting them to open an account.

I already generally get baffled responses when I send someone a link, this is just going to lead people to think they need to sign up to get their money.


Yup, this :point_up:and the long URL would definitely put me off using it.


I agree with @sde1000, this would by far be my preferred option (money leaving immediately). If it’s possible to do this work and then ‘upgrade’ the feature in Labs, that would be perfect. :ok_hand: :100: