Strange logic for "Advanced roundups" on Monzo Plus?

I don’t understand the product reasoning behind “Advanced roundups”

We can round up a payment to the nearest pound and put your spare change in a Pot. We’ll multiply your spare change by 2, 5 or 10. With the 2 times advanced roundup on, spending £1.90 would put 20p (10p x 2 = 20p) in a separate Pot.

If you spend £1.90, you want to round to £2. If you multiply it randomly, like with x2, then it’s £2.10, and you’re not rounding, you’re doing the opposite. Un…rounding? Neither your transaction nor your account balanced are rounded.

Was this really what people wanted? it doesn’t seem right… I’d almost pay not to have this feature.

I think what people really wanted was to see their individual spend and account balance rounded to something. So rather than think of the amount saved, we want to see a rounded amount at the end.

What would have been a better option
£1.90 spent = option to round up to £1 = £2
£1.90 spent = option to round up to £5 = £5
£1.90 spent = option to round up to £10 = £10

or smarter version of that, if up to £10 round to £1, if over £10, round to £5 etc, moving up in multiples of 2, 5, and 10, like -

£1.90 spent = round up to £1 = £2
£5.90 spent = round up to £1 = £6
£10.90 spent = round up to £5 = £15
£15.90 spent = round up to £5 = £20
£51 spent = round up to £100 = £100
etc (okay, maybe not go as high as 100, but you get the point)

This idea of

£1.90 becomes £2 if basic round up on - makes sense
£1.90 becomes £2.10 with £x.90 balance left if 2.x on - makes no sense
£1.90 becomes £2.40 with £x.60 balance left if 5.x on - makes no sense

You’re not saving more “spare change”, you’re creating new spare change, then saving some of it, and leaving more of it in the account.

If this idea happened with cash, your trousers would be falling down with all the coins left in your wallet. Imagine in a cash world, I had £2 coin, plus notes. I pay £1.90. If I save £0.10, that leaves my pocket in a good state. If I pay £1.90 and want to “save” 20p, I’d have to break open my £5 note, and be left with £4.90 (which would all be in coins in a cash world).

It makes the transaction look messy plus the account balance look messy. It’s also not rounding at all anymore.

If people really wanted to save something with each purchase, and didn’t care about rounding, then you could base a feature on “for every £1 I spent, put £x.y in savings pot”, relating to the money spent, not the money rounded up.

I assume a lot of product research and survey was done, so is my understanding of what people want from “round ups” incorrect?

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Glad I’m not the only one confused by it.

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One of the other fintechs does it and people had asked for it. I’m with you, I think it does the opposite of what I’d want.

I agree with your “to the next pound up” part, I do this with IFTTT. Round up goes into my coin jar and then it adds another £1. Keeps it neat and helps me save.

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I think there are two reasons people use it.

  1. to do some small micro savings

  2. to keep the balance at £x.00

This feature helps accelerate reason one - ie you use it to make small savings, but are not happy with the “base rate” of default round up.

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This - I have no interest in keeping my balance/available as a round number, and I would be surprised if the majority of people did - not impossible, but I feel unlikely.

But I do care about easily saving a little every time I make a purchase. Linking it to the spend but in different multiples allows it to still bear a relation to the spend, so it’s not wildly out of proportion (your smarter version option would achieve the same but would require a lot more user input - perhaps it will be added later though!).

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Like I said, if someone wanted to save micro amounts for each transaction, it should be based on the spend value, not the round up value. Basing on the round up value makes it… purposely not round at all, ever.

Like, people who want this “feature” are clearly not interested in rounding, at all, not in the slightest. They’re interested only in saving micro amounts.

Since these people don’t care about actual rounding, you could say “I want to save 5%/10%/15%/20%” of every transaction"

So current Advanced “Round ups”

  • spend £1.90, with 2x round, save 20p
  • spend £2, with 2x round, save nothing at all

My suggestion, nothing to do with rounding (since clearly the people who want this feature aren’t interested in rounding)

  • spend £1.90, save 10%, save 19p
  • spend £2, save 10%, save 20p
    etc.

They’ve conflated general micro saving with rounding saving. They’re two different features, two different types of people.

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See my reply above to BritishLibrary - there are other ways to do micro savings that have nothing to do with “rounding”.

The other weird thing with this “feature” is that it doesn’t cost Monzo any ongoing costs other than general maintenance of their app/system, which is the same with all the other basic features. Same with the auto export to spreadsheet.

The other Plus features, the interest, offers, credit tracker, free cash deposit, increased fee-free withdrawal, do cost Monzo something ongoing, so makes sense to be a Plus feature.

Not that I’d want this feature on basic anyway, I’d pay not to have it, but just to point out that it doesn’t make sense for features with no cost to only be available in a plan for customers that costs more money.

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Personally I like rounding as I track my budget on a daily basis so if I spend £1.90 I note it in my budget as £2 and then the 10p gets saved - I currently save into the Moneybox app via a weekly DD. Therefore the ability to round up £1.90 to 2/3/4 or 5£ makes sense but the current approach that plus has added doesn’t help me at all.

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I quite like the x2,x5,x10 as it is.
Allows for higher savings.
Don’t see the point of rounding up to pounds.

It’s like going to petrol pump and rounding up to £20 or £30 - why???

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I mean it works how I’d expect it to work. It multiplies the initial round up. :man_shrugging: Other options to automate savings would be great, too I guess, percentages etc. - I’d imagine they’d change the name then. Would be nice to see this eventually develop into something like Chip.

I think part of the reason for the way it was originally set up, was to treat it similarly to how you might cash. Literally started as Coin Jar - so the link to Cash-like approach is clear.

I don’t think people would treat Cash in the “I want to save 10/15/20% extra” way - you wouldn’t spend £7.54 then break out more coins to get to £0.75 saved.

Maybe the feature of “we’ll round up your spending” seemed an easier sell to people than “we’ll save 5% of every transaction”.

And when you think of the latter, it’s also easy to see scenarios where 5% is not very Micro.

I do agree with your point though - I don’t personally see the use in this specific implementation either - as you say if you’re going to assign 1x / 2x / 3x, it should be possible to do it in other ways too.

Personally for me though, this rounding isn’t useful because it fluctuates with my spending. I found the same with trialling “Plum” for a bit, which randomly siphoned off money. At some point I think Budgeting becomes easier when one makes conscious choices of what those savings are. (And these Micro methods are a good way to start on that journey).

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The answer to why is why not?
I always try to get my fuel to a round number, your personal OCD score may be lower than mine though…

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Same argument the other way around though - why not just make it based on the payment amount rather than the round up amount? since it’s not rounding up anymore anyway.