So far I like it. Obviously it is in the early stages so we can’t see many options, but it seems quite simple to navigate on the most part and the information about each energy provider is a nice little summary. The back button at the top can be confusing as that is the intuitive place to press to go back one page, as opposed to out of the whole marketplace. I will give more feedback as there are changes implemented.
Yeah ‘In app browser’ is just chrome underneath. There’s an equivalent on iOS that uses safari. Sometimes Apple requires you use it if your App has any external links to make sure that you stay within the current running app.
Last time I switched, I had to compare unit price. I don’t have gas, and my electricity is day/night tariff. After comparing. Bulb happened to have all three (day cost, night cost and standing charge) cheaper than my ongoing tariff with British Gas. Here’s how it looked in my spreadsheet:
I agree with you, monthly price is nothing without context. BUT, what is easily comparable is unit cost. If Monzo would ask us to retype cost from our most recent bill (3 values, seems low effort), take our postcode and then compare it to deals across suppliers, this is what would be my preferred solution. Monzo could store our cost per unit, and notify us if they find something that seems better at a later date.
If all prices per unit are cheaper, then it’s no brainer - as long as you don’t get yourself stuck in lousy deal for 2 years ahead, most likely you should switch. I’m speculating that for many users who didn’t change their tariff recently, a comparison should end with a full set of unit prices being very clearly cheaper than their current tariff. It’s difficult to tell how many users could fall under this simplest scenario, but knowing how many people don’t switch at all… it could be a good chunk of users!
But there are problems that escape simple ‘compare unit price and pick one that’s cheapest’. It might be that price per unit is cheaper for day, but more expensive for night, or standing charge differs etc… then it would require further data input from user to really make a spreadsheet to calculate sums in full (based on last 3 months usage?). That’s a bit more hassle to make it work. I’m not sure if Monzo wouldn’t be entering ‘uswitch’ comaprison area a bit too much, but I totally wouldn’t mind if they do this better. I’m not a fan of comparison sites, they earn commission just like Monzo is, but I’d trust Monzo over ‘uswitch’ and others.
Valerio mentioned that they don’t get any cut from Savings section yet. It kinda shows how important this aspect is. I quoted his reply below:
(knows someone who knows Tom quite well)
This sort of shenanigans is common place when purchasing a commodity, as it obfuscates so that unsophisticated purchasers revert to known suppliers. It happens in energy (really it comes down to cost per unit plus a fixed cost for the gubbins), mobiles (free calls between some users, ridiculous over charging for excess data, foreign use etc), broadband (force inclusion of phone line, mix in other packages), etc etc
I’d give the consumer protection agencies way more teeth to force the suppliers to stop this practice. But then we’d end up with just a few suppliers who really are efficient and supply these commodities at minimal cost. Who’d have thought, capitalism at work.
Well, to be honest, energy is one of the simplest areas to get it compared. They are not trying to upsell you with 10Gb of mobile data a month (there’s no energy equivalent that I’m aware of), they literally provide one service that has a certain price. There’s not even a lot of marketing on top. You can easily get prices for each unit depending on your tariff, it’s not hidden. Comparing one against each other is relatively straighforward, but requires 30 mins to sit down and write it down. I did it because I hoped it would save me money (and it did, £300 a year ).
I don’t particularly blame them for tariff diversity. If anything, I would blame switch websites for not being more helpful, they are focusing their efforts on ‘you could be saving £58375 a year’ type of incentives to switch. I probably didn’t look deep enough, but I didn’t find any easy way on 2 of those sites to compare unit prices directly. The lack of transparency is the reason why I would like Monzo to show tariff prices over “pay £50 a month” prices.
I totally agree about mobiles and broadband shenanigans, I would add all sorts of insurance to the list . When I was upgrading my broadband with Virgin Media, it took all my willpower and internal zen to not walk out when dude in a shop was trying to upsell me. It kinda went like that:
“Why on earth would I want landline number and no, I don’t have TV, so move on already, no , I don’t care it will be £15 less a month than all 3 separately, becuase I don’t have other 2 at all and NOOOOO, I DON’T WANT THEM, SHUT UP, I JUST WANT FASTER INTERNET, WAAARTHGHGHBULBULBUL.”
The way into the beta seemed a bit counterintuitive (had I not know that it was an icon on the Account tab, I probably wouldn’t have found it…)
As others have said, some way of adding in a calculator to see which option might be best for me would be helpful.
On that point, I wonder if you could offer users the choice of a quick screening questionnaire when they sign up for an account / access the marketplace for the first time (e.g. “give us 5 minutes to tell us what services you might be interested it, what your current usage is and when your agreements expire, then we’ll do the hard work and prompt you when it’s time to move”) - making it proactive rather than reactive would be helpful for me
On the savings list, again it felt like I needed more help than a long list of different types of savings account. I’d either want, I think, a way of jumping to what I wanted straight away (e.g. notice accounts) or some form of smart questions to narrow down my options
A way to compare one or more accounts would be handy (again, with some real life info, like saving £100 a month for x months - or £1000 in savings etc).
In the future, if you know I’ve got £x in savings (from OpenBanking integration maybe?) I’d be quite keen for you to (with my permission) suggest ways of making that money work better. Or even - if I really trust you - moving it around automagically for me, so I’m always getting the best deal
Like others, I’d expect new accounts opened through the marketplace to be visible in the app. If they’re not, I think a little note to say how they’re serviced would help avoid confusion.
It’s not an obvious place to put the icon in your Account Tab. Over time perhaps a Marketplace Option at the base of the screen (on Android) would be better.
I like the way a few options are presented cleanly, particularly for things like Energy. Perhaps having an Advanced Option where you could customise your use (either based on property size or historical energy usage) could be useful.
Under the Savings Options there doesn’t appear to be any option to sort by rate which seems odd and runs contrary to many other sites. It also seems to ignore Lifetime ISA’s.
I’m not sure I’d want to signup to transfer £1000’s in savings on my mobile phone. Perhaps you could give an option to email the details across so they could be reviewed when the customer was at a regular computer?
No. For now, it just sends you to bank’s website where you can carry on creating/opening product with them directly. So Monzo doesn’t know about your Savings with that other bank, therefore can’t display any info in the app. This is beta, very beta, so - as someone mentioned in comments above - this is a glorified list of referral links. However, worth mentioning, those are hand-picked by Monzo (and for Savings Monzo gets no commission yet, so they really must be at least okay to be selected from thousands).
In the future, yes, Monzo promised more simplified sign-up process (less typing ), and an option to see everything in one ‘place’.
Sent feedback through the app but not sure if it is better suited here? Overall, I agree with most comments by others regarding the navigation. The back button shouldn’t bounce back to accounts unless you’re on the initial loading page.
Gas/Electric prices need to be tied to actual usage (form to enter annual/quarterly usage rates) to get accurate numbers, like MSE energy club does. I work from home so my usage tends to be higher than the average so I can’t estimate what my actual cost per month will be from the UK average.
Would like to see filtering/sorting for products as well. See by best price etc and filter by “100% renewable” or “no exit fees”. Customer satisfaction rates are important to me as well so (and this is a bit of a ‘like’ rather than need) it might be nice to see average customer satisfaction rates from something like MSE or trustpilot etc? Not hugely important as I can look them up separately but definitely part of my own decision making process when switching between services.
Thanks for letting me have a sneak peek at the marketplace, very excited to see it become part of the Monzo experience for everyone!
Hey, everyone! I’m Rich and I’m a Product Manager in the Partnerships Team. Thanks for all the feedback, we’re working through it all and planning our next iterations, which we’re excited to share. Please keep any more thoughts coming!
There’s been some great suggestions of different products you’d like to see next too, so many that I won’t call them all out below, but we’ve definitely taken them on board! If you haven’t submitted which categories you’d like to see next on the first screen of the Marketplace Beta then please do.
I’ll try work through some of the latest points (there were so many ):
Thanks for the suggestions - the Financial Control Centre is certainly the vision @WillP79. In the short-term we’re working through the most requested categories, considering where we think there are great partners that can provide a smooth experience, and of course trying to build a sustainable business! We’ll continue to be super transparent about where we are (and aren’t, e.g. in the case of savings at the moment) receiving commission.
Interesting suggestion @Avishai, this feels like something we could look into once the Marketplace becomes more developed and we have enough users and data to provide a meaningful measure. At the moment we’re trying to use the most valuable measure per category - e.g. people tend to use Trustpilot scores to rank their Energy providers, but not for savings (interest rate seemed like the critical measure)!
I agree @ASKendrew, but when I did it I couldn’t think of a better way . Have you got any thoughts on how we could make it clearer / easier to compare / easier to distinguish?
Thanks @evangelskies, we’ve been looking into these kind of short-term / one-off offers. How would you like to surface these offers in the app?
The savings products won’t appear in app at the moment as we’re really very early stage as mentioned by Valerio! Are there any marketplace products you wouldn’t want to pop up as cards? For example - there could be a bills tab where insurance (like home and car) and energy live. And then the accounts tab could be reserved for investments and savings. This is something we’re considering - the question is how does it scale, can you pull in any of your accounts, or only ones that feature in the Monzo Marketplace?
I agree, there may be a challenge to striking partnerships if we’re cannibalising their existing products, but there may be insurers who don’t yet offer car insurance on credit that we can partner with, or insurers whose values align with Monzo’s and who would value a deep integration. Do you know of any car insurers whose values would align?
Are there any other measures you care about, or is purely the savings? Is Trustpilot score, or renewable energy a factor in your choice of provider? In terms of calculating savings, what information would you have to hand to help us calculate the saving?
This is something we’d really like to improve too! What would your table columns be for this @evangelskies? This is something we struggled over when designing the first iteration of the beta and something we’re hoping to refine. Someone suggested emojis to represent the different elements, e.g. 100% Renewable , Cheapest , Smart Meter but that might be a bit too much
Being able to guarantee the ‘most environmentally friendly’ is surprisingly hard - some companies use 100% renewable electricity (when they can) and 10% green gas, some use 100% renewable electricity + carbon offsetting. I’d really like to bring some clarity to this stuff, perhaps in the first instance through an FAQ and some improved filtering.
This is a consistent piece of feedback, and you’re right that we’ll need to start asking you for more information to help us assess whether we can actually get you a better deal. The second iteration of the energy view will hopefully do this. One thing we’re testing is what information people have to hand - do you know what your KwH usage is per year off the top of your head? Would you be happy to switch based on an estimate if we narrowed it down using your house size, number of bedrooms and whether you think you’re a typical, low or high energy user?
Thanks for letting us know - we’re investigating!
A fix for this is in progress - it’s a quirk of us making it in a webview (and at speed), but admittedly very confusing!
This is interesting, thanks @mj84. Would you be happy to sign-up on mobile if we could guarantee (and label) that the partner site was mobile-optimised?
As Valerio mentioned further up this thread this is one option we’re strongly considering. The alternative is to simplify the process on the third party’s end, so still link you out but provide an API that pre-fills forms, initiates payments and does KYC. This would probably mean we can scale to many more partners, but admittedly not be as ‘deep’. Would you prefer the in-app flow but probably less choice of partners, or linking out with convenient APIs and a greater choice of partners?
These are interesting suggestions, and it feels easiest to track when people sign up for a service through the Monzo Marketplace (using their Monzo Card!) rather than asking people to manually find and enter all their subscription dates. A first step might be to ask people for their current usage / renewal dates when they’re using the Marketplace for a specific product category. Perhaps in Energy there could be an option like 'I’m not ready to switch right now, but please remind me when my contract’s up for renewal’ and the option to tell us that date, and perhaps some usage stats / current supplier. What do you think?
Good spot @Frankiejr - OVO lowered their tariff last Friday, and Bulb changed their slightly too. We’re updating the tariffs in the app as and the partners change prices on their websites, to make sure you see the same thing on Monzo as you do on their site!
Good suggestion, we’re thinking about the V2 interface for savings at the moment. Are there any other considerations you make when choosing where to save your money?
Thanks again for all the feedback, we’re taking it all on board and so please do keep sharing here!
This sounds good. My comment came about because I don’t think I’d proactively use the marketplace after the initial novelty has worn off. There’s less friction and greater benefit to me going to, for example Money Supermarket.
Now, I don’t always remember to do that, so finding a helpful way of reminding when you might be able to help is key. (And I also worry that the causal user just won’t care).
So, whatever the solution, I think there has to be some level of value over and above comparison sites. For me, this could be a bit of up front effort, or some well judged nudges on direct debits - e.g. “you’re setting up a direct debit for British Gas. Would you like to answer some questions so we can help you find the best energy deals?” (This is a badly phrased example - we’d need something less annoying and better pitched to support the user, I think!)
I think the ‘Testing Marketplace’ is more likely at the Alpha testing stage.
A lot of the functionality that will be really useful to me as a customer has been discussed as future enhancements and so I am looking forward to those.
Clicking through to a Savings Account like OakNorth it takes me four clicks to get through to the sign up page. Then it says I have to fill in information and it will take me no longer than 10 minutes. Far too much friction and the ten minutes it would take me to sign up is probably not worth the marginally better savings rates I would get.
If I have £400 left at the end of the month, I want a pop up on the app to say this £400 could be transferred to OakNorth at ‘x%’ click here to sign up… job done. I am fundamentally lazy when it comes to things like this and am certainly not going to fill out arduous sign up forms on an iphone screen. I would also like it to be set up as a pot (like the sneak peak with Nutmeg we saw before).
Until then this just seems like a very limited comparison site within a banking app.
This isn’t me knocking it per se, as I am very excited where this leads. I just don’t think many customers will find this useful until a large proportion of the friction is taken out of the marketplace.
long term idea. If you introduce Euro accounts at some point, can we have similar marketplace options in Euro, for example life assurance in Euro to cover an overseas mortgage, home insurance in Euro for a holiday home, Euro savings to help cover expenses abroad, etc.
I actually did know it… British Gas was charging me daily rate for night usage and night rate for daily usage. When they sent me corrected bill, I verified everything on my own. I wanted my yearly usage to calculate proper comparison with most interesting offers (there’s screenshot of my calcs here).
Yearly usage is probably a problem, unless you had to correct some bills, like I did.
What is easier, ask user for provide what is on the latest bill. Monzo should/could figure out that energy bill was just paid and prompt user to check&provide it with promise of doing the hard work for them? Some could find it too intrusive though, so prompt could only happen to people who opted in.
Usual bill has period it was calculated for. British Gas had terrible bills, they literally hurt my head, because they calculated some magical valued and corrected balance based on imaginary readings, between my real readings. Here’s an example of the terrible bill:
And this is an example of a more sane bill, where both earlier and current values were my actual reading:
Soooo, who likes first screenshot more? Everyone? it is quite clear that asking users to provide details from 2nd example seems more straightforward. Charge for day/night unit is clear, standing charge too. User has start/end values for meters, as well as dates. In my user case, user would need to provide 4 meter readings (day/night start/end), start and end date and night/day/standing charge, 9 values in total. Not too bad. Seems really worth the effort, if it would give me a good comparison. If it’s dilluted into 2 or 3 steps, making sure user is not overwhelmed, seems like something I would certainly fill out.
The first example, ugh… Whilst we need exactly same data and it is available, it does require some effort. If we take into consideration that each company has their own bill format, it’s not even easy to make instructions and requires a lot more engagement from Monzo user to go through with.
Anyway, once Monzo has 9 values following things could happen:
Calculate what my last bill was
Calculate what my last bill would be like on all other aggregated energy provides
Display nice list, my bill vs real estimations of other energy providers
I would add some remarks about this being an estimation, not a quote or offer, so it’s really clear that Monzo only did the math for user.
No, I would not be happy with estimation based on bedrooms/house type. I live with flatmate who works from home. He works on multiple devices during the day, plus heating is on in the winter, so poor fella would not freeze (he is responsible for washing the dishes, it would be a huge loss). In the afternoon, we are running 2 monster gaming PCs and 2 or 3 monitors (ok, I have 2, but only because my desk is smaller, so I can’t fit three! ). We cook a lot in the oven, baking is healthy and we are lazy, and what we don’t cook in the oven, we steam - I wouldn’t have a clue if our cooking is similar to other households. We are probably not doing as much laundry as family with a kid.
And that’s what I’m just aware of, that would make me question what sort energy usage happens in my household. To a point where I don’t know if I’m below or above average. I simply can’t tell. I know is that Southern Water says we use less water than average for a 2-people household, but with our one pot dishes usually oven’ed, we don’t really have a lot to wash, we don’t eat breakfast, soo maybe that’s why?
Bedroom thing/flat type. I lived in old Victorian building, 2 bedrooms. Windows were so bad that we kept them closed for 5 months and there was still plenty of fresh air going in (and heat going out). I live in a bit more modern apartment block now, still 2 bedroom, windows are so air-tights that sometimes I have more humid air inside than on the outside (and it’s 90% humid outside). But it keeps warmth inside really well. I had never seen a ‘switch questionnaire’ that investigates building type with enough to make a note/use of information like that.
I mean, all it’s based on is average and this average might be good for most people, because they land in this average. But even if I happened to be within this average and estimation was accurate, I wouldn’t know until I either dig into details or I switch based on good faith (brrr!) and learn what my new bill is. Apart from ‘how many bedrooms in your flat/house/else’, if I also had to provide low/avg/high energy user assumption, it would make me feel uncomfortable. I might make a mistake and it might screw up some fancy decision support system.
Only coincidentally related… I’m also that person who doesn’t trust ‘what phone is best for you’ popups on mobile providers’ websites, just because it’s based on arbitrary questionnaire… The right phone for me also happens to be always £1 under my budget Coincidence? I think not.