🏦 Open Banking at Monzo - Ask Me Anything!

Open Banking really includes 3 things at the moment…

  • Account information (data access)
  • Payment initiation – so that third parties can set up payments on your Monzo account
  • Confirmation of Funds – so that third parties can check you have enough money in your account for something.

All of these are achieved using the Open Banking API.

Doe this help? :slight_smile:

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Tentative answer to this question is “no” - because unfortunately third parties are limited by the legislation to perform no more than 4 requests for transactions per day.

That being said, we are exploring adding webhooks to our Open Banking API. The webhooks will allow third parties to take actions in real time. As part of the webhook we could include details of the transaction so they’d have the information without having to call our endpoint.

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I’m not totally sure about this - it might be worth sending them a message to request Monzo!

All Account Information Service Providers will be aware of our new API, as we have emailed them!

Thank you Asa for the feedback! So glad you like it. I would be happy to chat over email.

For any accounting providers who’ve applied to become Account Information Service Providers, they should be able to approach us and get access to our Open Banking API. It shouldn’t be a lot of work for them to integrate, really, thanks to the Open Banking standard!

This would be great, but unfortunately we can’t get the information faster than third parties are willing to provide it to us. We would also be limited to “polling” for the data a maximum of 4 times per day. For this reason I don’t think we’ll ever see Monzo-style real-time notifications for third party providers, unless they choose to implement webhooks.

I can see us implementing something like this as a native feature in Monzo, but not through IFTTT as they aren’t a payment initiation service provider :slight_smile:

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Hmm, I’m not totally sure about this. But I suspect merchants will realise this is happening pretty quickly and they’ll have to choose a single cashback provider or segment things more carefully.

Now that we have our standardised Open Banking API I think it will be much easier for other banks to include us in their account aggregation offerings. I’m not sure if they would be worried about doing that, as some big banks see Monzo as a competitor. I haven’t heard from many legacy banks yet, but maybe soon!

This is Europe-wide legislation (EU Payment Services Directive 2), so in principle all European banks should be providing an Open Banking offering!

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I think all payment accounts are in scope – so current accounts & credit cards. Not something I have looked into as Monzo doesn’t offer its own credit cards. Not 100% sure on this though. Savings, mortgages, loans etc are not really in scope at the moment.

Yes - me too! And we’re talking to Open Banking about this.

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Really cool that you are doing this @kieranmch :+1:

My question is, what does Monzo get from this?

To clarify; Monzo wants to be the centre of my financial universe. So it wants to tell me that I’m paying too much for a service, and offer me a better, or cheaper (or both) service.

Monzo doesn’t know, for example, how much I pay for energy, because I don’t pay for it through my Monzo account. If I connect another account via open banking, would Monzo see how much I’m paying for everything? Is that the point for Monzo, to monetise information?

I’ve just realised, that when I say ‘Monzo’ above, I mean any open banking provider.

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hi Kieran
Thanks for the reply.
My understanding of open banking is that is was effectively an open playing field
Halifax already allow aggregation to all of their large main competitors.
Whether they consider you as competition isn’t relevant.

How does adding a bank (or other organisation) work if they don’t currently offer the option of a particular organisation? Do you need to contact them or do they need to contact you or is there an incantation? (to have it working both ways).
Presumably some sort of dialogue has to occur. Can you expand on the process?
Thanks.

The other bank need to approach Monzo and we will set them up with access. What they put in their product is entirely up to them, and they won’t include Monzo in their product if they don’t believe it’s in their interest to :slightly_smiling_face:

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@kieranmch I’m trying to set-up an Open Banking feed in FreeAgent for my Monzo personal account but unfortunately Monzo is not showing in their list.

Now that Open Banking is here, are there any plans to link with FreeAgent for Personal accounts (business accounts are connected) or is it FreeAgent who need to talk to Monzo ?

I thought the idea of open banking was to allow all financial institutions and accounting provided etc to be able to connect and talk to each other

Thanks for your time

It is, but it is down to the other company to ask Monzo to be enabled

So Monzo have to make the data available, but organisations do not have to use others data

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Thank you, I understand better now and I will email FreeAgent to see if they can possibly add Monzo in their future plans

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Thanks
Why not approach them and then you can do a swap, you use their API, they use yours…win/win…
(Or is it going to be a case of who cracks first?)

The 4 time per day limit is a bit of a bummer. Feels like an unnecessary restriction now that we’re, like, living in the future 'n stuff. Hopefully the OB standard evolves quickly - can’t expect legacy to get all webhookable without a sharp stick.

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For me, it not just about what the banks get from this. It’s about what they lose if you choose another bank’s “portal” to access and manage your banking services.

It’s a bit like Yahoo Mail and Hotmail in the early 2000s. Everyone logged onto their webmail, and Yahoo and Hotmail made a lot of money by showing users advertising while they access their mail. A lot of this advertising was based on data mining.

Then Apple launched the iPhone, and Yahoo Mail and Hotmail users started instead accessing their mail through the iPhone Mail app. (This is often referred to as disintermediation). Suddenly, nobody was seeing the web advertising through which these services traditionally made their money, and as a result, their profits nosedived.

Traditional banks make a lot of money by cross-selling products to their online customers. If those customers are no longer accessing their banking directly through them, they become disintermediated too. They can no longer sell those products as effectively, and profits nosedive. In this case, the danger is even greater, because unlike Apple’s Mail app, which didn’t try to sell you anything, the bank through which you’re accessing your banking will try to sell you their own products, which means you’re more likely to begin switching your banking.

That, as I understand it, is why all the banks (and some non-banks) are racing to offer their customers the best portal.

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My pleasure. Please reach me on asa@creditladder.co.uk.