I’m using Monzo as my main account. I get salary, I pay my bills, and usual spending goes from Monzo too.
I don’t see Pulse as a useful thing right now and here are three main reasons:
I pay bills for whole flat. My flatmate pays me back, but it’s not the most regular thing. This means that at the beginning of the month, my outgoing bills are quite huge (x2), but then mid-end of the month, I get half of bills back. I’m not willing to dedicate extra effort to calculate all bills, or even worse, to chase my flatmate to pay back after each bill happens.
I move out remaining money (money saved from previous salary) irregularly to RateSetter. I’m too lazy to do this regularly. As an outcome, every now and then, there’s +£1,000 or more and in no way that’s representation of the future spend.
Sometimes there are ~5 days where I go without any card purchases. This means that Pulse is not giving me any information really. I still open Monzo, to check dates for things, or to calculate grocery bills. Pulse is more useful if you use your card a lot more, undoubtedly many users fall into this category, just I’m not one of them (perks of working in the middle of nowhere and doing online grocery shopping).
My pulse is going up and down a lot, even though I use Monzo as main account. ‘Down’ is okay, that’s spending. But ‘up’ is irregular and doesn’t really help me predict my spending. I still need to know/think, ‘oh, I’m gonna get £500 rent and other bills’ in a week, so I actually have more money than it looks. That’s the opposite of what Pulse was supposed to do, making future spend more predictable. While it might work in many, if not most user cases, it doesn’t work in mine.
The implementation is a bit wobbly. Only after getting detailed instructions on Slack, I understood how it actually works in the first place. I thought that Pulse can be only scrolled left and right, but it stuck to current day in historical months. So today I can only scroll to 12th Jan, 12th Dec etc. I don’t understand why it’s not set to specific day of the month (1st or day of salary once we have it as a setting). Tomorrow, when I try to move back a month, it will start on 13th, a bit awkward, behaviour should be more predictable.
Now, second usability (or me not understanding, read it as you want) issue was that I went to 12th Jan, but then wanted to ‘zoom’ to 14th January. And I did it by tap and swipe left/right, trying to get that date while moving pulse left/right. And Pulse wouldn’t stop on my desired date, instead jumped back to 12th Jan. It turns out you can simply ‘tap’ to get 14th Jan. Now, I’m a bit smarter, but I still don’t like this option. My initial choice was to tap, hold and move, as it offered more precision on the date. Tapping Pulse, where dates (or even start/end of a month) are not visible, is pretty much trial and error to get correct date. Despite finally understanding Pulse, I’m not sure I’ll use it to find transaction from particular day, I’ll just go for search by merchant name.
I’m also one of those users who want on/off toggle. I don’t like Pulse, never understood the appeal even when I used iphone for CA testing. I don’t want to look at it every day, that’s what my heart says. I tried to approach it with ‘Monzo knows best’ attitude, but it just doesn’t work and I can’t convince myself . With other functionalities, like pots, you can decide if you want them or not, they are available but not shoved in my face. Pulse is too intrusive in my opinion, combined with lack of insight in my user case, make it quite annoying overall.
Side note, I would like to understand more how it’s doing it’s job predicting future. Not sure about iOS’ Pulse, but android one doesn’t really show when money is going to end? It just shows arbitrary decline reaching zero on unknown date. Without seeing comparison or week-on-week changes to the line, I probably wouldn’t even notice difference by few pixels up or down. I might blame Pulse for lack of features that are not released/done yet, but since it impacts current usability, it’s another argument to make it a toggle until it’s ready.