Save money on TfL Alert

I think it would be beneficial if Monzo could send an alert to users based on their TfL spending habits alerting persons if they may be able to save money by purchasing a season ticket.

There are a lot of people who unnecessarily spend more because they are using contactless rather than Oyster.

This is a slippery slope. I don’t think Monzo should be getting involved in telling me how I spend my money regardless of if I could be saving or not.

I’m sure there are pros and cons for having an Oyster card and my bank won’t be aware of my personal situation to make an informed decision on which is best. Therefore you run the risk of these notifications being incredibly annoying.


I actually think this is a great idea! And it’s the sort of service I think most customers would like.

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Most customers? Can you elaborate on this and why you feel it would be a good idea too? Just curious :slight_smile:

Most customers = All customers - (the tiny subset who don’t live in London + those who live in London but don’t use Monzo on TfL very often).

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Yes, based on Monzo’s statements in the past that they wanted to be a financial control centre to help their customers be more in control of their money, and that this might eventually include a service that would tell customers when they were spending too much on something (for example, a specific utility) and recommend an alternative.

I didn’t write “most customers will want this service” because not all of them use TFL. But telling customers where their spend may be suboptimal, and recommending ways to adjust, are definitely within the scope of what Monzo have previously indicated they wanted to do, and the kinds of services that would be well received by their customers.

Monzo should then give customers the option to opt out of such notifications - so those who don’t want them don’t find them intrusive or annoying.


Thanks for that :smiley:

I think you’re referring to the marketplace which is a colossal project that has been ongoing for years - infact there has been little mention of any updates to my knowledge other than it was put on hold a long while ago. Even so, they need a lot more providers to come on board before they could even consider this concept.

Even if it was available now, the idea was that you sign up to services through Monzo not just have them all pop up on you randomly as notifications. As you mentioned, utilities I can understand because they’re pretty black and white (ignoring carbon neutral and ethical ones etc) but spending habits are not so simple.

For example, if Monzo started saying “I see you bought bananas from Tesco, they’re cheaper in Asda” Monzo doesn’t know that Asdas fruit and veg have terrible shelf life and I’d rather pay a little more for better quality. Some people always want the cheapest but that doesn’t work in every use case.

Opt in would be far better as per the marketplace concept. The list of merchants and type of notifications would be huge too so I’m not sure how that would be managed :scream:


Contactless and oyster fees are the same aren’t they? And TfL automatically apply daily and weekly caps if you reach them; so for example, the bus daily cap is £4.50, meaning you can take as many buses as you like, and it’s the same whether you use oyster or contactless.

I’ve seen posters from TfL saying that it’s cheaper to use pay as you go instead of season tickets, because of automatic caps.

The only way it’s cheaper with oyster is if you have a Railcard isn’t it?


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Oyster season tickets (notably annual) are cheaper than contactless for those who travel daily

I like this idea, for fairly real time price comparison and notification. Finding more ways to help users save money could be a big differentiator

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No they’re not.

There are various edge cases where Oyster will charge you more than the corresponding contactless journeys but, conversely (and as already stated) once you’re into longer-than-weekly season ticket range then Oyster is likely to be cheaper. (There are still some ‘funnies’ around the edge of the zones where buying a ticket is actually cheapest of all.)

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From a conduct risk perspective this could very easily fall into the category of giving advice - which requires a lot of additional steps in terms of it passing regulatory requirements.

A way around this would simply be a notification to inform the customer of an alternative and its cost but make no link to the customers current spending.

Indulge me a second while I expand on the concept, though.
Let’s swap this to spending money on Groceries at Supermarket A when Supermarket B has a sale on. Now imagine, with Open Banking, giving supermarkets access to your spending habits. Supermarket C is aware of your spending habits and you receive a personalised notification giving you 50% off whatever product is on sale at Supermarket B.

I think this kind of thing will be available in the future, though it would be positioned through 3rd party apps rather than through your banking app specifically, in my opinion.

I like the idea but where are the lines drawn?

Everytime I shop I’ll get a notification from some merchant telling me what it thinks I want to know. If there is a sale, surely they would want to let me know before I go shopping, so then I’ll be getting notifications inbetween shopping too? All this is just for groceries right? What about TFL, utilities, gaming and all the other categories and sub-categories?

When browsing online Google can get far more data from your browsing habits and they still can’t get targeted ads correct. This is the exact reason many people install an ad blocker when browsing the internet.

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Exactly. It’s something GDPR was trying to limit. I personally would be very cautious of signing up to anything like that purely because I hate spam!

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