Reflections on Trends / Connected Accounts and the state of the app (Nov 21)

You’re right :chart_with_downwards_trend:

I’m very passionate about this one though - the :monzo: JA should fit into the modern personal finance eco-system perfectly well, but like a legless super-Mario, falls short on numerous levels :disappointed:

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I’m well aware, with all sorts of random omissions it’s difficult to properly use the joint account as your primary account and that does limit it’s usefulness.

Even the toggle to make the app default to joint account on opening seems to be stuck in Monzo Labs purgatory.

I still think it’s not too late for Monzo to fix it, but it’s slightly concerning that they have got this far without doing so as it will probably become more difficult to fix if more and more things are coded back to sole personal account dependancy - I imagine it will end up being a big job to unpick it all.

PS: I’m well aware that I was drifting off track slightly with some of my comments, but it’s still related to commentary on the overall state of the app so I believe it’s relevant.

Nonetheless, the points about joint account parity have been made elsewhere so I’ll not look to overly rehash them in this topic.

I would like to see some attention returning to the payments tab, with the more ambitious parts of the project initially focused on payees being revisited. This area of the app is already quite good but could do with some minor improvements.

Monday became awfully quiet, so here I am to go a little more in depth and share some thoughts of my own.

I find myself with this predicament on Trends too. Right now it’s atrociously hard to find stuff without searching inside of Trends. I’m not so sure how best to approach fixing that though but…

This would probably help quite a bit for me. I don’t have the patience to categorise things myself, and Monzo’s logic for some things isn’t my logic. So whilst I appreciate what Trends wants to be, mine is currently a cesspit of disorder and chaos, which diminishes how useful this is over a longer term, or for painting a bigger picture of my historic financial patterns and trends.

As much as I’d love to see it start adopting and improving upon the summary features next, I think this needs tackling first.

I was actually referring to the latter as well! Goes to show how totally different a use case two different users can have!

Search is something I view as a last resort. I’ve never been a big one for searching, though appreciate how efficient a very refined search approach can be. I respect you don’t use iOS so won’t understand the references here, but I’m firmly in the App Library camp when it comes to finding apps, whereas others may prefer spotlight. Which is to say scrolling and navigating is more intuitive to me for finding what I want than searching for it.

If I know roughly where my transaction is, I’d rather scroll and tap my way to it, than search for it. That’s just the approach I prefer personally. This isn’t great with Trends and it ties back into what I said above. I can’t scroll and tap my way to a transaction, when I’m not always sure where Trends has categorised it. So I have to search instead. Going to tag @Neal because I’m curious if this is something Machine Learning could help improve, and would love to hear their thoughts on that.

When it comes to functionality, I agree with you completely.

There’s definitely a use case here, and I’m sure the iOS search is appreciated by some, but I really don’t like it. It’s the sort of feature I would call temperamental and dumb. Because it’s just a dumb set of sorting rules without any real intelligence, so if things aren’t tagged in just the right away (which happens more often than you think) they get missed by these rules. As an example, all it takes is a dynamic merchant name, and half your transaction will get omitted.

I think there are bugs here too, because if you search for a payee it still misses some transactions involving that person.

Rather than advanced sorting rules, I’d hope to see search move in smarter direction with a focus on natural language like you’ll see from some email or calendar clients. For example being able to search “card payments more than £30 in the last two weeks” would be the sort of advancements I’d like to see for search, rather than a simple set of dumb rules and filters.

This would take a lot of work though, so perhaps for that reason filters make more sense, but I hope they’d approach them like DuckDuckGo.

This sort of ask is why I’d rather be looking towards wanting those things addressed, that just adding an additional toolset to get around the shortcomings of another. Much of that is why elements of Monzo’s approach have often felt very fragmented, such as how pots and summary barely work well together at all, and rather seem to exist as an either or solution where one exists purely to plug the gaps left by the shortcomings of another.

I’m hoping Trends will eventually be the remedy to this that I’ve been longing for. Especially if it becomes a super powered summary. Because it plugs into pots and virtual cards as well, and works harmoniously with those features. This is what I’d love to see!

I love this. And I’d love for automation here as well. My only issue with it, which I hope is something that will eventually get addressed, as it’s my biggest peeve with Summary as well. And that is the pot is blind to the date after the current budget period or month.

As I go by month, my bills pot is completely oblivious to that fact that it’s only direct debit is due on the first of the next month. So I get the notice on the day it’s actually due which is a bit too late.

I’d rather, once everything has been paid that month, for it to instantly look towards the date of the next bunch of direct debits and tell me how much I need on that basis.

When Trends catches up to Summary, that’s how I’d like to see it improve as well.

Love this idea.

And, surprisingly, I love this idea too. For similar reasons and the fact the merchant stuff is a mess that I’d rather not have to look at. It bothers me when logos are missing, and the category icon is used instead. It bothers me when a merchant logo just doesn’t fit right. I’d much rather a consistent unified iconography takes its place.

The merchant stuff is cool. And useful. But it doesn’t need to be shown on the main feed. A category icon is better there in my view.

My opinion on this may differ though if merchant logos actually worked well, because I do understand the appeal of that. But we’ve tried it, and it just doesn’t work at this scale. Which is a shame, but currently the reality. So a toggle seems a fitting solution here.

I’m intrigued by this one. Would love if you could expound it a bit more though!

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Of course.

At the moment merchant data is enriched by Monzo and is applied to every user.

What I’m suggesting is that each user is able to either use the central enrichment or to make their own changes which are only shown on their own account.

This would mean that I could curate my own merchant logos and merchant names immediately, without waiting for Monzo to update them. I could also manage my own merchant groups - there are two at the moment for Pret (one via Curve called ‘Prêt à Manger’’ and one via Monzo called 'Pret a Manger") - I’d combine those.

I’m dreaming now, but it’d also be excellent to be able to create my own regular expressions. So CRV* transactions could all go back to being labelled as online again.

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This is probably quite workable, Emma already do it.

I believe what happens with them is that you can immediately update a merchant logo for yourself, but in the background this also gets submitted as a suggested change to the overall database. If multiple users suggest the same change they can see it and review those suggestions easily to update the database for everyone.

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Except (like quite a few things) doesn’t work if you’re paid on a schedule Monzo don’t allow for - like fortnightly. Mine is currently telling me I’m £75 short by 4th December despite having a fortnightly repeating transfer into my bills pot.

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I don’t think I’ve noticed account details at the top before - is this new?

I don’t like it personally it’s too busy.

Excuse my balance…

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It’s new!

Not having much money has got us all at one time or another.

But not rounding?!

Something that would ease this greatly would be if you could categorise pending transactions.

Would make it much easier to quickly find my most recent transactions.

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