I would really like to see an option in the savings pots, where you can choose to hold the savings in a foreign currency. Today for example I would like to buy some dollars as the rate is good and then hold them in a pot for my upcoming trip and then access them when I am away, already converted from pounds to dollars. With the transfer wise card, this is possible and I have had to use this service today.
I would love this, but could potentially be expensive. I can see three options of implementing this:
- Transfers to/from it would be powered by a third party service (e.g. Transferwise) and would have a fee.
- Monzo set up businesses and paperwork in each country and store the money there. This would be expensive to set up for Monzo, but could allow for cheap/free transfers between Monzo accounts (e.g. Monzo UK to Monzo Japan)
- Processed like a card transaction, using the Mastercard exchange rate for that day. However, the money would need to be stored somewhere, so again this would probably involve Monzo setting up a holding account/business/something in the target currency’s country.
There’s also some fun complications like if you withdraw cash at an ATM, would there still be a £200 cap on zero fees? Would you need a different card from the local Monzo so the card says “hello I think in dollars” instead of “hello I think in pounds” to the card terminals in shops?
There could be a lot of complicated nuances in making this work how you might think, but it’s definitely an idea. I’ve been topping up Japanese yen on a Suica card for use in Japan when I’m next there as once it’s in there, I can’t touch it (even more secure than a locked pot on Monzo). When I get there I use it like cash at vending machines and at train stations.
I really like this idea.
I actually think it would be simpler than you think (from a banking perspective at least). There isn’t a requirement to keep dollars in the US or be regulated in the US to store dollars or Euros in Europe etc. so there is no reason why Monzo can’t open sub accounts in different currencies and then perform transfers inside Monzo to the various currency pots (just as you suggested in 2).
Obviously that involves changing back end and front end systems so no doubt would take a good amount of work but there shouldn’t be too much complexity around holding the currencies themselves.
The TransferWise bright green debit Mastercard uses the most appropriate currency, so if you withdraw 250zł from an ATM in Poland, and have 240zł stored, it’ll empty your złoty pot and then convert the next best currency dynamically.
I don’t know if the British user has to suffer Dynamic Currency Conversion on the terminal, though (ie. does the card still read as a UK card?) Anyone know?
It should be possible. PayPal sort of does this. I get the occasional payment in USD into PayPal and my PayPal balance shows as two amounts. The USD and GBP.
I think this is very useful, especially with the Brexit happening(?). Many people (including myself) are planning to move their money away from UK to avoid devaluation, especially those people who are planning go back to their countries. Having an account in Euros or Dollar will avoid a “possible” leak of that money, staying within Monzo. Everybody wins.
You can do that without pots tho.
Transferwise Borderless springs to mind.
@Anarchist that’s true. But one will have to take the money out of Monzo (I guess Monzo is not very happy about that). I just say this because it’s a win-win… we don’t bother too much looking for another service, and Monzo keeps the money within the company. Just saying.
I must say i really miss this multi currency thing in Monzo and it is maybe the only reason I am considering switching Revolut if they get even better with their features…