NS&I Balance in app

Similar to Amex, it would be great to be able to see NS&I balance via Monzo app.


I suspect we’ll see some movement from NS&I later this or early next on it’s open banking solution, you can’t build to a set of APIs that don’t at the moment exist

Which is why we need manual accounts!


Screen scrapping which is where manual accounts lead to is such an horrific way of doing it, and probably a massive burden on Monzo, that it’s not worth the pain


And it’s never going to be accurate. Waste of everyone’s time.


Strong disagree.

Screen scraping = bad and a security nightmare.

Being able to use Monzo to its full extent and having a full picture of my finances = needed.

I’m not sure how we get from entering a balance manually to screen scraping?


Because people are going to want something a bit more useful than a manual ledger on their app, and the only way to do it is to screen scrape, without an Open Banking API.

Both manual typing and screen scraping are horrible hacks to a problem other financial institutions should address by providing OB APIs


Folk (as evidenced by me) want something a bit more useful than absolutely no data at all.

The job is where to draw the line. I think we agree that screen scraping is definitely over the line. I think that manual balances (or even clever Monzo trickery to update unsupported savings accounts) is a happy compromise.

Where we disagree is that manual accounts will lead inevitably to screen scraping. I don’t see it.

This is where, I think, we strongly agree. All institutions should have open finance APIs.

But that’s not going to happen any time soon. My needs aren’t changing (seeing a total view of my finances and wealth) so the only way of dealing with that is on the Monzo end, rather than a massive whole-system change (which isn’t practicable anyway).

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That data being wrong most of the time = pointless


yep, this is where I think the issue is, mortgages you can use the credit agencies as a smart way round the problem, as the balance only changes for the vast majority once a month, where other financial instruments like savings, change all the time.

I know people at NS&I want to address the problem, so it is coming :soon:

NS&I were publicly stating a desire to make their accounts available through open banking several years ago (around 2018/2019 I think). But nothing ever happened and they removed their public commitment to this.

So seems unlikely to me that anything would happen soon.

They were trying to get an OB partner last year, but the work stopped as the contract didn’t align. Also Project Rainbow (I think that what it was called) was messed up by Covid, so that stopped, and OB was part of that

Another issue is the procurement frameworks for OB in government isn’t great, but that’s changing this year hopefully to something really good, so will allow them to get things done

Hope you’re right. It would probably require NS&I to voluntarily make their accounts available through open banking to stimulate other savings banks to follow.

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Yeah I would love this as a stop gap for now. I can manually type in the new figure when I buy new bonds each month. I think the Emma app (or one of those) works that way and it’s better than having no visibility.

Whereas I turned the mortgage feature off in my Monzo as it was always about 6-8 weeks behind my current balance. I would rather have something manual and accurate than something done as a workaround and inaccurate.

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Not sure how you came to that conclusion? Emma app only uses proper APIs for it’s ‘live’ accounts, but still allows users to create manual accounts and they have never hinted at anything related to screen scraping.

If you are the kind of person that actually wants manual accounts, you’re probably also the kind of person that will keep it up-to-date. Not exactly a huge strain on my personal time to type a number into a box once a month?

Plus for things like NS&I (or savings in general) it’s entirely possible that a person may just have a fixed amount sat in an account that they want to keep a record of.

How often users want/need to update that info would be up to them, but it would be a miniscule amount of work for Monzo to implement.


Complete and utter nonsense.

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I was going to say the same, these things are never small amounts of work, and if an account aggregator like Emma wants to do it, great, probably helps the business model of selling the data, and is worth the engineering toil to do it


I felt like Monzo was aspiring to be an account aggregator. With open banking access being rolled out as a feature followed by the mortgage viewer it seemed to be going that way. If they get customers used to checking Monzo first then they have the power of eyeballs on their product.

But if Emma is actually the place I should go first then the sources of the data are less important to me. If Emma will allow some of the Monzo functionality but with HSBC as my “backend” account that’s an interesting option.


I don’t think Emma sells data. @edo1493?

Monzo still, I think, wants to be the financial control centre.

This is really important.

It fells like this whole conversation is at cross-purposes, based on different understandings of what Monzo is for.

Some people want it, some don’t. Ultimately only Monzo knows where it’s going.