Unhappy about recipient list from contacts - a suggestion

I’m sure this will have been mentioned before but I can’t find a post by search, so apologies if it’s been considered.
I’m unhappy that the list of contacts with Monzo accounts is not manageable for two reasons.

  1. I don’t want everyone in my contact list to automatically know I have a Monzo account, I only want selected contacts to know, those whom I choose to share this with.
  2. I don’t want to see certain contacts in my list of contacts recipients - for example people who I know I am never ever going to be paying.
    So I have a suggestion
    When setting up the app it should be possible to select those contacts I wish to be included whether or not they have an account- because at this stage in theory I can’t or shouldn’t be able to know who has a Monzo account.
    The person setting up the account (me) will then have the option of sending an email and/or notification/and/or text to those they choose to share their status as a monzo account holder, and in which there is a clickable link.
    Each selected contact will get an email/text (and a notification through the app if they are a monzo client, but I won’t know who gets what) which says I want to add them as a recipient.
    Then the following happens:
    If they don’t want to share their status (and don’t wish to appear in my list even if they have monzo) they ignore it and do nothing or click on I don’t want to share my status as a monzo account holder with this person. At this stage they know it’s me but I’ve chosen to share that with them actively.
    Having read the email/text if they don’t have monzo they do nothing or click on "this doesn’t apply to me, the sender will not be informed of your response. (they did not get a notification because they don’t have a monzo account)
    If they are happy to share their monzo status they click the OK link.
    It sounds more complicated than it is and needs some refinement I’m sure, but it overcomes my issue from both ends.
    Ok standing by to be shot down in flames…
3 Likes

I think, as you do it could be refined, but essentially I get why you’d want this.

I’m amazed in this day and age that your banking data doesn’t have more-granular controls then ‘allow Monzo access your contact list’.

1 Like

I completely understand why someone wouldn’t want to see some of their phone contacts on their Monzo and/or let some of their phone contacts see that they have Monzo.

Issues with suggestion in post

  • This suggestion does seem an overly complicated way of achieving that goal.

  • All the emails/texts/notifications could also come across as spammy and annoying and have the feeling of a social media site rather than a bank.

  • Furthermore, I think this implementation would discourage people from going through the process of accepting/requesting access to see other people’s Monzo accounts causing loads of Monzo’s “network” features to be redundant.

Alternative solution

  • I think a better solution would be to initially allow Monzo access to all your contacts but also have an ability to “Block” a Monzo contact.

  • Monzo contacts would be blocked the same way as non-Monzo contacts are currently deleted.

  • After a contact is blocked, they would not appear in your Monzo contact list and you would not appear in their Monzo contact list.

  • A blocked contact would still appear in Nearby Friends and you could still send money to them using Pay Anyone (but not using normal Monzo-to-Monzo payments).

  • There would be a section in the app (probably in the profile section of the Account tab) where you can view contacts you’ve blocked, but not contacts who have blocked you (like blocking someone on Facebook, Snapchat etc…). You could also unblock people in this section.

I think this privacy issue is something Monzo should try to solve in the medium term since people are more and more worried about their privacy these days and it could put some off Monzo. Additionally I can see related serious issues occuring (eg: abusive relationship using Monzo as a method of contact).

NB: great detail in your post. In the future it might be worth using bullet points with spaces inbetween to make your post easier to read.

1 Like

We have a way to block P2P payments - we generally use it for customers that receive abusive messages.
It stops them from being able to interact with your account and vice versa. They wouldn’t show up in Nearby Friends or as a “Monzo Contact” :+1:
This does require talking to COps and then running a command manually but we (luckily) don’t see too many of these!

I believe there is work to build some related stuff into the app (keep :eyes: peeled) and in the future I think this could make it’s way into there :+1:

11 Likes

Great to know this is currently possible.

As contacts access is currently all or nothing, I don’t use/can’t use the following features:


P2P payments
Joint accounts
Shared and Request payments tabs

It’s strange and disappointing that Monzo has baked full contacts access so deeply into the app. It’s excessive and unnecessary.

5 Likes

Thanks for all the replies.
I’ll try to optimise the layout of any future posts to suit, sorry if you found it hard going. I must admit I saw it rather more as an essay than a set of bullet points (not sarcastic I’ve taken it on-board).
…I’m not quite shot down in flames, it’s encouraging at least to see that it’s being considered and that others believe Monzo’s all-or-nothing approach to the contacts list to be undesirable.(from both directions).
I do however disagree that Monzo really needs access to all my contacts, I should be able to choose.

2 Likes

I agree that Payments with Friends shouldn’t be necessary for the following:

  • Monzo.me.
  • Pay Anyone (although you wouldn’t be able to send money by text).
  • Nearby Friends with Monzo-to-Monzo payments.
  • Nearby Friends with Shared Tabs.
  • Nearby Friends with Bill Splitting.
  • Monzo.me with Bill Splitting.
  • Nearby Friends with Joint Accounts.
3 Likes

So I know someone who doesn’t have P2P on (which is to say will not give Monzo a list of contacts, which is reasonable) and whenever I send them a Monzo.me link and they tap on it, it opens the Monzo app and does NOTHING. They have to force the link to open in a browser and then pay using Apple Pay using their Monzo card :rofl:

@awjdean is absolutely right, those features do not require me to upload a list of contacts to Monzo and shouldn’t be tied to that setting.

EDIT: Oh yeah, a solution for other people seeing you have a Monzo account is to use a burner phone number. You can pick up a sim card for a quid pretty much anywhere and use that number instead of your actual number. It’s not used for anything else except the SMS fallback for 3D Secure, so there’s no downside to doing that.

2 Likes

No downside? Aside from swapping out a SIM every time you want to use it? What a pain in the tuckus that’ll be…

“Yeah sure, let me just find the sim changing doofer pointy thing… it’s here somewhere…” :joy:

I mean, just get a Nokia 3310 with that sim card in. It doesn’t need to be your main phone. And like I said, it’ll rarely be used for anything. I’ve never needed to use the SMS fallback for 3D Secure yet.

1 Like

Just get another phone, and a new SIM. Not really a great solution. So I now need to have a second phone and sim card on me ‘just in case’?

(I’m not trolling, technically I agree, but for a lot of people this won’t seem like a viable solution).

You wouldn’t need it “on you”, you’d need it probably in a drawer somewhere. As for a second phone, it might not be the same for everyone but I have a bunch of ancient 2G phones that are not in use (including an actual 3310 lol) which is really all you’d need for this; I’m not saying buy a smartphone just for this.

EDIT: I should admit that it’s an awful hack around what shouldn’t be a problem, but it’s a solution. I have also had pointed out to me “it’s also something of a security risk; phone companies will reclaim phone numbers if you don’t top them up for a number of months” so this is a bit more of an expense than I first thought.

1 Like