Top Up Pull vs Push

I’m aware that using a debit card to move money to the Monzo account has costs associated with it. I understand that Monzo want to reduce those costs as much as possible by asking customers to use bank transfers where possible. But…

I started with the pre-paid version of Monzo and was happy with that. I didn’t mind the change to a current account as long as I could continue to use Monzo as I had before, as a stand-alone top-up and use account. Indeed it was stated a number of times by Monzo that we didn’t have to use the current account facilities and could continue as before.

I have a long established ‘main’ bank account which I will not be transferring. For a number of reasons I do not have that bank’s app. on my phone, and use web access at home when needed (which is not often now I have Monzo). So transferring money to Monzo by bank transfer is not a couple of taps on the phone.

So I usually use the debit card to pull money into my Monzo account rather than contact the bank at home to push money to it by bank transfer.

Now if there was some other way to move money from my bank to Monzo instigated within the Monzo App which had lover charges than the debit card I’d happily use that.

Is it possible to set up a variable direct debit from Monzo to my other bank? Obviously outbound direct debits work so how about inbound? Would this be lower cost to Monzo or not?

Otherwise I will have to continue with the debit card and put up with the nag screen!

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I don’t believe that this is possible.

A work around, which may or not work for you would be to arrange a standing order from your other bank (weekly or monthly, whatever suits you best) and transfer funds you don’t need back to the other bank. You’d probably need to set the amount to be more than you think you’ll need, and it can be adjusted from time to time as needed.

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The problem with direct debits is that they’re quite legacy technology and take 3 days to process (I guess back when it was implemented it’s to give time to the legacy rust to deal with them). Day 1 is where the merchant (Monzo in this case) submits it to BACS, after midnight on day 2 the file (weird legacy fixed-width format) is made available for download to the debtor’s bank, the bank will attempt to debit the money (and sometimes give a chance to the debtor to put money into the account) and will give a success/failure response back to BACS before midnight - on day 3 the file is available to download to the merchant with the success/failure status.

It might work for bills (although personally as a business I would never accept this - I need instant feedback and would be happy to pay the card processing fees for this) but would be highly dangerous for Monzo - what happens if you “top-up” with non-existent money and withdraw it right away before disappearing completely?

I switched my legacy bank for this reason. Current setup is legacy for salary and rent, and Monzo for everything else. Salary goes to legacy, rent goes out from there, and the rest goes to Monzo. New legacy has a better app than old legacy (member of Lloyds Banking Group) and is much easier to manage on my phone.

3 days is optimistic. DD Guarantee requires 14 days notice and banks are hot on enforcing that… at work we submit the DD run mid month for the end of the month and it’s so rigid that if someone cancels mid-month we have to tell them to dispute it with their bank when it comes out as the bank simply won’t/can’t stop the payment.


This is what I look forward to.

I’m interested in the reasons you do not use your bank’s app. Not as a discussion point in any way, just curious.


My thanks for the useful background to direct debits Rjevski and other comments. I too am looking forward to being able to trigger bank transfers from within Monzo but not sure how far off full Open Banking is.

To answer j06, when I installed the app for my legacy bank (some time ago I have to admit) the UI was poor, setting up transactions was difficult, and nothing happened in real time, so Monzo instant notifications were almost magic! Things may have improved but I have little need of day to day access to my legacy bank now I have Monzo. Don’t get me wrong I’ve had extremely good service from them so won’t be moving.

Anyway the suggestion that I set up a standing order and pay back what I don’t use is probably the way to go.


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Not the OP, but as someone else who currently doesn’t use their bank’s app, this seemed a good point to state my perspective:

Switched to CA and found that with no top-up feature, I had to use bank transfers. So figured out how to make the app work, and did.

Some months later, my phone broke. So I replaced it. Installed bank app on new phone, wouldn’t work. Bit confused. Some research later, turns out that I have to deactivate app on old phone before installing it on new phone - but old phone is broke so can’t deactivate!

At this points, top-ups were back, so went back to using those because that was far less hassle than trying to get the app sorted (no doubt lengthly support phone calls during which I need to share the right 50 different passwords or pieces of security information).

I do feel bad that I’m costing Monzo some money due to friction caused by my other bank, and when I have the time and energy to sort it out I will. Just, not yet.

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