Switching Energy provider offer in feed

What Tandem are proposing sounds good:

Monzo would know how much you spend on energy per month with the direct debit. If you gave them the tariff name they could easily work out how much energy you use. Tell them the minimum term, and get a message in your feed when you’re due for a switch with the calculations already done on your usage, and an affiliate link to sign up. Monzo would get the referral fee to fund it, you’d feel like Monzo had your back for saving you money, and Monzo would get the info on your new tariff and term for the cycle to begin again.

And no more clumsy adverts spamming your feed.


So I’m hoping that @philhewinson will provide some more info on this test, how it was run, and how we will be moving forward with partnerships and similar tests soon, but I just wanted to chime in and say that the initial results from this particular test are hugely positive! Of course, we will be making lots of refinements and changes to the UX and the targeting but overall both ourselves and Bulb are very happy with how this played out :blush:

Please bear in mind that doing these kinds of tests very much falls into the scope of Monzo being in Beta and this is literally us building out a process that eventually, everyone will be happy with, but as always we learn best from actually doing it. Therefore, all constructive feedback is welcome to help us build something amazing, but this test (and the subsequent ones we run) should be viewed and discussed on an individual basis, and the goal is that each subsequent one should bring better targeting, improved UX and the like. For now, though, they will live in the feed as dismissible items - an ad overlay on a website isn’t really an apt comparison because such ads are designed to impede function and add a friction point to make you aware of them, which isn’t what we’ve done here.

That said, if people explicitly don’t want anything but transactions in their feed, then that’s a perfectly valid position to take, too. We’ll certainly be looking at all the possibilities here!


Just to add some additional feedback. I showed it to a couple of friends in the pub tonight. One a Monzo prepaid user, another a non-Monzo user (yet). Both were really impressed with the concept that their bank could analyse their spending and use it to save them money.


Perhaps, if the aim is to allow people interested in getting useful offers based on their spending, there could simply be a preference setting to show or hide targeted feed items?


First of all, thank you so much for all this amazing feedback! I wanted to chime in and give you guys some context on this test …

This was the first in-app test we’ve run in Partnerships @ Monzo and we only sent it to 95 people.

Why did we choose Bulb for first test?

  • Relatively good value
  • Good customer service and happy customers
  • Renewable energy focus and aligns with our values @ Monzo
  • Good partner to work with (fast-moving, flexible etc.)

What was the purpose of this test?

  • Get feedback if this is something people like and found useful
  • If it is useful, then improve it based on the feedback we get (so thank you for all this feedback!)

What were our limitations for running this test?

  • Bulb don’t accept prepaid cards, so we could only test with current account customers - this limited our pool of people to test with. We didn’t have enough energy data to target based on people’s transactions, so we just did demographic targeting (basically targeted a slightly older demographic as they’re more likely to pay for the energy bills). Very suboptimal, but we felt it was better to run the test and learn now rather than postpone and we limited it to only a few people so we didn’t create a potentially “spammy” experience for too many people.
  • The plan of course is to do better targeting (e.g. if we see you are overpaying on your energy direct debits, assuming you are paying those through your Monzo current account, we’d send you an offer like this)
  • We sent the offer via a feed item as that was the easiest way to send to people rather than creating a separate section of the app … but the long-term plan will probably be to have a separate section of the app for offers like this (although we may still use the feed to surface them, depending on the feedback we get) - we’ll see how it evolves! If you find this spammy and don’t want to receive future offers, there’s an easy way in the flow today to opt out of future offers.
  • Results so far have been encouraging though and a few people have switched, so we’re optimistic about this product and will continue to work on it and improve based on the feedback you provide ( so keep the feedback coming! :slightly_smiling_face: )

What are the next steps?

  • Iterate and do further tests with Bulb
  • Test with other energy providers and even an aggregator
  • The current thinking is a couple of “Monzo-approved” suppliers that have good value, good customer service and easy switching in the Monzo app with deeper integration (e.g. maybe put meter readings straight into Monzo or use Monzo customer support to answer questions - all to be explored, so no promises!) … plus somehow surface the cheapest providers across the whole market for transparency (but these options would lack the convenience of a deeper integration into Monzo)

And I don’t mind if you guys share your links and bypass our commissions :slightly_smiling_face: For transparency, we make £25 per conversion (we didn’t manage to make this transparent in the current test, but plan to for future tests) … you’ll also get £25 credit by signing up through Monzo if you get the offer … but it’s not as good as going via a friend link as you’ll get £50 that way!

Hopefully that address most of your questions, but happy to answer any more and I really do love hearing all this feedback - it’s super helpful, so thank you!


Is this just based on demographics, or would you ask for more specific details (like tariff and usage)? I ask because any “rough quote” I get is usually way off the mark.


Older demographic?! :sob: Hands up if you’re feeling I’m feeling personally victimised by Monzo



Glad to read your thoughts on how you’ll improve this in future.

1 Like

I’m feeling very young right now :nail_care:

1 Like

This first test was just demographics, but we’ll certainly explore lots of other options, including user input of tariff and usage) in future tests.


Will you be reaching out to other companies? For example if you see frequent transactions to Costa you could put a feed item offering a link to the Costa loyalty card. I don’t imagine this to be worth £25 to Monzo but even £5 or possibly less could be profitable.

Tom mentioned at the July open office that Phil’s already had meetings with ~50 companies so it sounds like there’s lots more partnerships in the works :smiley:


@philhewinson maybe https://purepla.net is another one to consider. I only mention as I have just been looking to switch with them. They are an app only renewable energy supplier.

Edit: :grinning: adding my newly introduced referral link: http://referme.to/hOdHlRo

1 Like

I’ll admit, it felt dirty when I first saw the Bulb “advert” in my Monzo app, but I have now switched to Bulb :slight_smile: . I’m not sure I will get the £25 credit though because I ended up completing the Bulb signup process on my Mac. Why did I do that? Because I use 1Password to generate a strong and unique password for every site I sign up to, and that was too difficult to do in the heat of the moment from the browser embedded in the Monzo app.

I would suggest maybe making the referrer URL for these kind of offers easy to copy, so we can benefit from them outside of the Monzo app.


An idea which springs to mind, to cross reference the heated debate over on the ATM foreign charges thread: Perhaps the more you use the Marketplace, and therefore earn :monzo: Monzo affiliation money, your annual limit for ‘free’ cash withdrawals will increase, for the rolling year? So a sign up to something like Bulb would trigger a ‘You’re now able to withdraw £1000 for free using an ATM outside Europe’ screen.

Just a quick thought.


I really don’t like the idea of ads in my transactions list - I don’t mind an offers section on the side or whatever. But an advert in my transactions list is the kind of thing that would make me close my account (if I had one).

This is one thing that’s been worrying me about both Monzo and Starling. Their link-ups with other companies and talk of recommendations. All fine if they’re in their own sections though.


I got the notification, that must mean I’m old!

I really don’t mind highly targeted relevant offers, but for me most offers fall into the ‘we think you’re a member of this poorly correlated group and we may be able to save some of the members a few quid but we’re going to advertise the offer as if we’re the second coming’ bin.

Or the ‘you’ve already bought one of these, so of course you want to see adverts for them wherever you go, because you can’t only want one can you?’ bin.

I’d like to see stuff along the lines of ‘this is the 6th coffee you’ve bought from Cafe Nero, the next one is free’, or ‘you’ve now spent 10k at John Lewis, they’re giving you a 4% discount for a year’.


It needs it’s own fenced off section of the app and/or a complete opt-out. Nothing would make me close my account faster than this. :frowning:

I know Monzo have to make money somehow and I’m all for it - but not in amongst the regular parts of the banking app.


I saw the ad as well, and took a detailed look at what was on offer. I liked the idea of such ads (so long as they’re infrequent and targeted at the types of companies I spend at). I’d coincidentally received an email from moneysavingsexpert.com telling me I should shop around again, so after carefully looking at different quotes from different companies, I decided to take the plunge and use Monzo to apply. This is clearly an early prototype version, but I thought I’d share some thoughts on my experience:

  1. I felt the ad could have been better targeted if Monzo had already seen my energy Direct Debit (which has not yet been paid since I switched my current account to Monzo). I’m sure that this is the plan in future, but the ad stated clearly that I would save money, and it took me a while to confirm this - since I already previously had a cheap deal

  2. During the process, there appeared to be no functionality to go back to the previous screen. The only way to go back was to start all over again. I did this three or four times.

  3. The APIs are not yet up and running - so I did have to enter my postcode for a quote, and later my name, personal details and even my Monzo card number. Again, this is something Tom said would be made much simpler in future, so very much looking forward to seeing it in action

  4. If the user had to pause midway through applying for Bulb, it would be great if there were a way for their application so far to be saved, so they could return to it without losing the data they’d already input

  5. The journey contained general information on switching. One aspect not covered (which made me hesitate) is what would happen if my account was in credit. I feel it would be useful to include this kind of information in future, as it would reassure those considering applying, and likely increase conversion

I’ll come back to this if I think of anything else.

I look forward to other types of offer. I spoke to several of my friends, and a couple suggested mobile phone insurance offers would be very useful.


That’s what happened when I switched to Octopus.