Simple is closing; All Hail Monzo 🙌 - What should I know?

As the title says, Simple is closing (RIP). I’ve been a customer of theirs for 8(?) years-ish? Maybe longer. Long time. They’ve been my primary bank for the majority of that time.

I just signed up for Monzo, and am eagerly awaiting my card’s arrival. Pretty excited though, especially since I’m in tech and API access sounds fun :slight_smile:

What are some things that I should know as a previous customer of Simple? Do people have a similar workflow for the envelope type system? Anyone use Monzo with their spouse? Can we order checks?

Please bombard me with all of your experiences switching to Monzo and stuff I should look out for!

Excited to get to know the community and start transferring money soon :slight_smile:

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For real?

I’ve been a big fan of theirs since the beginning and long hoped they would come to the U.K.

You can probably achieve a similar style of envelope budgeting with pots, though it’s not as slick as the way Simple do it.

Monzo also has a Summary feature which is similar to Simple’s safe to spend feature, though not as simple or as powerful as safe to spend, and it won’t work for everyone’s needs as it relies heavily on specific fixed periods.

With the said, Monzo are pretty good, and as a Simple user I suspect you’ll like them.

Nothing on the market will be able to Match Simple’s Safe to Spend feature, which is their key selling point in my opinion, and if that’s something you love, you may find Monzo’s summary and left to spend functionality a bit disappointing, so temper your expectations.

I’m obviously biased with my username, but for envelope budgeting, look into N26, I firmly believe they have an industry leading UI for that stuff, and no other product I’ve tried comes close to N26 Spaces for envelope budgeting.

Monzo don’t offer cheques, but joint accounts do exist, at least in the U.K.

I’m saddened to see Simple shutting down. They kickstarted them fintech revolution, and still do it better than all of their copycats.

And welcome to the community!

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I don’t use Safe to Spend too much. As long as Monzo shows my balance minus any pending transactions (or shows a running total of pendings?) it’s probably fine. My current budget is built entirely on Simple’s Expense’s feature. If Monzo doesn’t support something similar (automated deposits into pots), then I can do it manually until I can write small app to do it for me :slight_smile:. I did it for years anyway with Simple!

What would you say the advantage of N26 spaces are over Pots? They look pretty similar to me.

Actually, I just read the US blog post for Pots and it looks like they support scheduled moving already. Now I’m super interested in how they’re different. :slight_smile:

Oh man! I was keeping Simple around literally just for check cashing. Unfortunately there’s no real check situation on Monzo yet, but they are aware.

Anyway, guess it’s time for Monzo to ramp up their marketing/development push to scoop up a lot of former Simple customers!

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Monzo takes pending transactions into account when showing you your balance, and in some cases will preview upcoming transactions for certain bills or income.

The balance Monzo show you is always your real time balance and includes pending transactions. You’ll receive push notifications each time you make a transaction too.

Monzo’s summary feature is very similar to the way this feature works, so you should be in good hands! It’s not the easiest of features to get working, but given your interests, I suspect you’ll like it, along with the IFTTT integrations too.

The key advantage with spaces for me, comes down to to the interface. You can move money around with drag and drop. It’s slick and instant. You’ll also be able to pay back transactions directly from a space in a few taps.

Monzo’s pot interface is a row of cards, and takes substantially more swiping and taps to move money around, and there’s no quick and simple to way to cover transactions with money stored in pots, though it might be possible automate that functionality using IFTTT.

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So it would seem:

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Sad day.

At best I can only hope BBVA have the smarts to take simple’s core features and build them directly into BBVA. There’s a lot of great tech there, and it would suck to see it wasted, especially given how much weight they’ve thrown around when the competitors copied those features.

I feel like BBVA wasted a lot of potential. They could have done more to elevate and expand Simple’s presence before other competition started propping with big venture backings like Chime.

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Hi Daron! I just got the email about Simple closing too and I am so sad because I’ve absolutely loved it for the past 6 years or so!

But I spent the last year and a half in the UK and opened a Monzo UK account there because it seemed similar to Simple. I had a great experience with Monzo, and was all basically the exact same, with the exception that Monzo doesn’t have photo uploads of checks and it takes one day for you to transfer funds between savings and checking, unlike Simple’s instant transfer.

So I think Monzo US is definitely the way to go for replacing your Simple account! I’m wondering, does anyone know when we can expect Monzo US to be officially up and running so I can get an account set up?

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In regards to pots and spending… if I have $300 in a “Car” pot and my available balance is zero, does, will any incoming transactions be declined? Maybe that’s what you meant by “Safe to Spend”. I’ve seen mixed reports about the behavior.

In simple I had about a dozen different goals/expenses and my Safe to Spend was essentially only $20-100 but when my rent was charged, that $2k charge went through successfully and I could categorize it (or use the auto-spend feature).

Is the Monzo flow similar?

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Another simple refugee also going bank shopping - man will I miss that app, but also

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Welcome to the world of Monzo everyone!

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Sad to see Simple go. Hate it when a relied-on service folds.

On the flip-side, “Safe-to-Spend :tm:” is likely available again in August,

Although it could be a few years later in the EU (Dec-2024), depending on who actually owns the registration:
https://euipo.europa.eu/eSearch/#details/trademarks/013585922
And as far as the UK is concerned now :man_shrugging:

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If you don’t have an overdraft, yes it will be declined if the funds are in a pot.

Safe to Spend’s functionality expanded over the years to do some really complex things in a really simple way, which is why that worked for you with Simple. That functionality isn’t currently available with Monzo.

You can segregate your money, but that’s about where the power of Monzo’s pots ends. There’s not much you can do with that segregated money, until you transfer it back into your actual account. They’re more like mini savings accounts but without interest. You’d have to withdraw the money from the pot before the payment was taken.

What safe to spend was doing was looking ahead, predicting your rent amount and due date, and subtracting the total from your balance before you’d paid it and assigning that to the relevant goal, then when it gets taken it comes directly from that goal after you categorise it. Essentially the money is still there and can be spent, it just appears like it’s segregated in the app.

With Monzo, it actually is segregated, hence the transaction would decline. I hope it’s functionality Monzo will be able to mimic someday. It’s something I’d really love to have.

No one other than Simple, as far as I know, does it like that, which is a shame, because I think it’s fantastic.

I’m not too sure about the payment services available with Monzo in the US, but here, you can pay some bills like rent directly from a pot, depends on the payment method.

ETA:

What Monzo does have though, is Summary, which can sort of do what simple does, but with quite a bit of friction. It has a * Left To Spend*, but I don’t find the dial to be an accurate indicator as it looks at your spending patterns to predict how you spend, rather than focusing solely on your fixed expenses like rent. The value of the amount though, once set up, should be identical to your safe to spend balance with Simple.

You can create a budget within this that lines up with your pay day, and earmark your bills and rent payments, and Monzo will reduce these amounts from your left to spend value. This is completely separate from your account balance and in its own corner of the app though. Again though, the functionality isn’t quite as powerful as what Simple offers, and it’s certainly not as simple to use. But it’s worth playing with and seeing if it can work for you.

You can read about it here:

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they’ve been “aware” since the first announcement. Seems like a case of mis-matched priorities to me as practically every thread and off-site discussion about Monzo US comes to the lack of check facility. :frowning:

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Thanks! This might work out well enough for what I want to do. I do really like the API access potential for Monzo so I’m gonna give it a shot at least!

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:wave: Hello from the U.K. :uk: and welcome to Monzo!

Monzo does have a feature (here anyway, probably in the US as well) called Salary Sorter which automatically sorts your income into different Pots for you. I don’t use it myself so am probably not the best person to mention it, but this may replicate some of the functionality of Simple.

It does sound like Simple may be a bit more advanced in that area, but Monzo are developing new things all the time so expect them to add to it. You also may be able to write something in IFTTT to better meet your needs, but that’s probably not necessary.

I hope you like Monzo!

PS: Just be aware, cheques are very low priority at Monzo in general, so it is likely to be a while (if ever) for them to add cheque support. If that’s a dealbreaker for you, you will need another bank either in place of or in addition to Monzo.

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If they want to gain traction and a solid footing in the US, it’s going to be something they’d need to address, as it’s a very big deal for folks over there, more so than here. If Monzo don’t tailor the product to meet needs of users in the US, they’ll wind up in the same boat as N26 did in the U.K.

For all my American friends and family I’ve shown Monzo to, checks have been the deal breaker. I don’t actually think any of them had even been interested enough to open an account. Though quite a few do bank with Simple, so perhaps that will change now.

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This is very true and I’m absolutely with you on it as far as the reasoning goes. That’s the business reality in the US, according to everything I have read and heard, and something that Monzo do need to address.

However, by the same token, being aware of this reality, I cannot in good-conscience recommend Monzo to an American as their only account or even main account without a massive caveat and warning that they will need to sort out something for cheques (with another bank, or carefully see if their specific circumstances may make it possible to live without them - and I know how difficult that is).

I don’t want to turn the thread into an off-topic argument about cheques, but it seems to me to be a shortcoming so serious as to give potential new users in the US serious pause for thought. I think they do need to be made aware of the situation as it stands, which is that Monzo has no publicly-stated plans to bring support for cheques to the US account as far as I know - although support is assumed to be coming, it has never been confirmed.

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You might wanna try and message the Monzo US twitter account. It looks like they have been moving Simple refugees to the front of the queue. :wink:

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I’m in exactly the same boat as Daron. Simple customer since invite-only beta, and highly reliant on Expenses. @Daron did a great job explaining the features.

Monzo is clearly on this track:

To elaborate on the above features, my partner is British and has a UK Monzo account, so I have a sneak preview of sorts. They’ve since added “Repeating payments” which is an improvement to the model. While they may never land on Simple’s Expenses, where they do end up may be tenable.

@SebH makes an excellent point about checks, which is getting at the more obvious truth when considering Monzo US as your primary checking account; it’s still a beta product. I was young when Simple was in beta, and it was a wonderful pairing of juveniles. Over the years Simple’s features launched right alongside my maturing understanding of money. I’ve unfortunately gotten myself too entangled with adulting to take that plunge with Monzo beta.

The plan for the time being is to open a more traditional bank account with a big US bank, and stick a Plaid layer on top of it, like Pilot or YNAB. I’ll keep some money and an eye on Monzo’s US feature set, with the hope to one day switch over.

Now, that is if One Financial doesn’t beat them to the punch…

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