Self Assesscrow / Airlock funds release

Not sure if this idea has been raised before (I’m on my phone between meetings, so can’t check) but one problem I have sometimes with budgeting, even with the addition of pots, is the occasional impulse purchase.

Buying is so easy these days, with features such as 1-click purchase on Amazon. However stopping to think and assess whether you want, need or can afford something is really important. Pots helps, but it is almost too easy to transfer funds to my account (great job Monzo by the way). How about a feature where before transferring funds from a pot, to make a purchase for example, we are given the option (this could be tied to a specific pot and customised by the user) to wait and consider what we’re doing. An ‘airlock’ for your funds if you like.

You could choose to set a 60 second timer for example, in which a few prompts are shown with a message such as ‘Do you WANT or NEED this?’. The user could even input answers to these questions which could be appended to the notes of the transfer (or not). When the timer has ran down, the user could then be offered the opportunity to change their mind or continue with the fund release. This should give them some time to really consider whether their purchase is responsible/sustainable.


Is it your bank’s job to question your every action, though, or should it be your personal responsibility which comes from being an adult?

I’m not trying to be argumentative, but my bank should make my decisions easier to put into practice, not cause friction and place barriers in my way.


The bank is not questioning your actions. It’s teaching you how to manage finances. Which is in both parties interest. And kinda the banks job imo.

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I would argue it is primarily a prenatal responsibility to teach financial skills, or maybe third party services but I’d say it’s certainly not the job of a bank.

Having said that, however, I see no harm in them offering optional extras such as this if they want to and if people think it will help them. The problem is that, being optional, people can easily switch it off to get round the restrictions if they really want to.


Yes, that’s entirely my point… Many people do not really stop to make the decision in the first place (hence the term ‘impulse buy’). It is also not my bank’s responsibility, this would be an opt-in feature, therefore my bank would simply be ‘facilitating’ greater personal responsibility.

Companies do more and more to make it easier for us to spend mindlessly (as much as I love certain features such as Contactless payments, this can again make spending more ‘mindless’). Monzo’s ethos is all about helping us to control our finances. Instant notifications do that. Pots do that. So I don’t see how this is much different?


I think features like this are potentially a game changer for some people. The majority of us take for granted that we are relatively stable and don’t have these kinds of problems

There are however people out there for whom this is a problem and the statement “be a responsible adult” is not constructive. Zander at Monzo wrote an article along these lines

The potential for Monzo building financial tools to help humanity is for me a very big motivator in my support of them


Arguing with myself here,but making the feature optional doesn’t have to be a user switch in the app but may be through a more formal agreement with the bank in which case disabling it becomes a lot harder (formal request to COps for example) and it becomes more useful as a self-governance mechanism.