I went on a trip to Europe last week with two friends and was very excited about using shared tabs to split all the expenses. Unfortunately this turned out to be quite a nightmare.
The biggest inconvenience is that you can only use pounds. We didn’t need to worry about this when the bill was split evenly, but as soon as one of us ordered more than others, we had to manually work out what everybody owed in pounds. This is extremely error-prone and tedious and more than once I forgot to convert the amount from euros to pounds and had to start again.
This makes shared tabs incredibly frustrating. To illustrate the point, consider buying a pizza, splitting it evenly and some people also getting drinks.
The pizza is €12; two drinks: for €3 and €2.5. So I know to ask for €6.5 and €4 and I pay the remaining €7. But there is no way for me to add this to shared tab without using a calculator to work out the individual amounts everybody owes in pounds. I have to do an extra calculation for each person. If I use cash I also need to first work out the total amount in pounds to even add it to the tab. And if I happen to work out the amount I have to pay myself instead of what the others have to pay first, I just wasted some time because I can’t use this number when splitting a bill since I can’t enter a number for myself.
This is really not something you want to deal with at the end of the day, especially on a holiday.
And what if instead of three people, there are six?
Now that the trip is over, it would be really helpful for me to see how much I have spent in total and how much each of us has paid/spent in total. I know there is a summary of the total I spent in a country, but I can’t trust this number. All I get is the total amount and the number of transactions, but that doesn’t tell me which transactions were included: a (mutable) list would be nice. I’m guessing this only uses the location of payments with Monzo card, so everything I added to the shared tab with cash is ignored. I can check the history myself and make notes and then add things up, but that is again a huge inconvenience. This summary would be more reliable if it was integrated with shared tabs.
To summarise, the things I would really appreciate in the app to make it good for travel in a group:
- Specify the currency for a bill in the shared tab
- The notification about the amount I spent in a country should include a list of transactions. Ideally it should be modifiable. Maybe integrate with shared tabs
- Shared tabs may benefit from a “travel” type tab. They could then generate expenditure summaries after the trip, rather than this being done in the list of all transactions in Home screen
- Allow to set the amount I owe in the bill I add to shared tab. That would leave me with one less thing to worry about before doing calculations
- Nice extra: descriptions/receips visible for everyone in the tab
- Nice extra: modifying an existing payment in the tab
Aside from this, I’m a happy Monzo user!
PS: Ironically, today Monzo was App of the Day on App Store, and it was specifically recommended for travel… I wouldn’t do that yet but then they don’t mention shared tabs at all.