US Connected Accounts Beta

As some of you have already noticed - we are gearing up to launch Connected Accounts in the US.

We’re pretty close to releasing this to all users - but figured we give all of y’all a sneak peak :eyes:

*For anyone who hasn’t seen connected accounts in the UK, this feature allows you to add other accounts to the Monzo app and track their balances, recent transactions, and other account details. *

Could say more, but we’ll leave that for the full product announcement.

For now, if you are interested in joining the Beta for this feature - please DM me the email address on your Monzo account and I’ll work some magic :crystal_ball:

Once you get access, please share any questions or feedback you have right in this thread so we can see what y’all think.

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Sent a DM. This is by-far my most anticipated feature. :wink:

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Just testing out the beta and I’m already loving seeing Monzo’s categorisation applied to my Chase accounts :heart_eyes: Thanks for the hard work to get this running!

Two initial thoughts:

  • It would be great to be able to change the names of (or assign nicknames to) accounts (maybe even change card colours / logos?)
  • It would also be nice to be able to change the order that the accounts appear.
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AMAZING :star_struck:

Feel free to let us know if colors / logos don’t match for your accounts. We tried to fill the most popular institutions but it’s possible we’ve missed a few!

You can change the order in-app! On the Accounts list page, tap the edit (pencil) icon in the top right menu and you can hide and reorder cards and pots.

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I just added all my accounts to a Monzo and it’s looking really great!

Initial thoughts:

  • It would be nice to change the names of the accounts (that was stated already)
  • I think it would be cool to change the card icons or cards themselves to something more personal. I do appreciate that you have icons there already!
  • Currently swiping from right to left on the top of the app to switch from Pots > Connected accounts is a bit cumbersome if you have the max 20 pots. I know you can swipe down and quickly get to where you need, but maybe a consolidated view would be better? For instance, have the main account show and then swipe from right to left and show Pots and if you click on that, it would expand Pots. Or if you skip it and tap on Connected accounts, it would show that. Just a thought really! Or even, swiping right to left to show Pots from the main account and maybe left to right to show Connected accounts?

Loving it so far though!

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First impression- this solves some pain points I had with some accounts at less… technically inclined banks (in particular, one bank that doesn’t show account details anywhere in online or mobile banking so I have to call in when I need my account/routing number), so I love it. However, I’ve bumped into a couple of technical difficulties:

In one case I already linked my bank for external funding and the checking account automatically appeared as soon as the beta went live for me. However, the associated credit card didn’t appear, and when I tried to add it, thinking it would give me the option to choose to add the credit card to my “connected accounts”, it instead added both of them, resulting in the checking account appearing twice. In the process of fixing this, I noticed that the “remove account” option is kind of hidden- my preference would be to have it appear somehow in the “edit” menu, either as a “swipe to reveal” option in the account listing or a little bubble with an X next to the account. In addition, tapping “remove account” tells you that it will remove all accounts from that bank from the listing, but in my case it only removed the one duplicate (desired outcome).

When linking my local credit union accounts, I had options to add checking, savings, and credit card but not line of credit. They also don’t have account details appearing in their listings either, and transaction listings are a little broken- I see some transactions where the amount appears in the name while the “amount” section shows zero, and some inter-account transfers are being categorized as “bills” or “transport”. Also some transactions made to m checking account are showing up in both checking and savings listings- kind of confusing.

Technical difficulties aside, nice-to-have things would be, on top of what was already mentioned:

  • a general-purpose “memo” field in each account that you can pull up in the “manage account” screen. If account details don’t show up properly, it’d be nice to be able to fill them in myself as a plan B. It’d be a nice place to note down additional account numbers like different electronic vs check account numbers (this is a thing at two out of the three credit unions I have used and it annoys me when I have to order more checks) or US vs international account details (my other credit union account has a German IBAN and SWIFT code for when I need to send or receive SEPA payments, for instance)

  • the ability to edit transaction categories as you can do with the Monzo account itself, in case it’s not categorized correctly (see my issue with the credit union account above)

  • the ability to manually refresh account listings so that you can see up to the minute info

Missing logo: CIBC. Their US retail presence is microscopic (they have a single-digit number of US branches compared to thousands in Canada) so it’s understandable that it’d be ignored, but I like their rewards and benefits. Also, their color should be a dark reddish color. Pinnacle Financial has the right logo but the card color should be white. Schwab is missing a logo and their card color should be silver if you’re going by their physical card or at least a lighter, more vibrant blue if you’re going by their “corporate motif” color.

For a beta, though, this is already pretty great.

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I would absolutely love to join the Beta for this feature and made an account here just to participate, but I can’t find an option to DM you anywhere!

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This sounds exciting!

First impressions: I’m happy to be able to avoid the awfully slow Fairwinds app. I just wish it refreshed quicker or let you manually refresh.

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In the spirit of there being no such thing as a stupid question

What is the technology at play here that allows sharing of banking data in the US?

Genuinely a little surprised, though also pleased, that this is even possible right now

As with instant payments, in the US this is made possible through a private third party. In this case, a business called Plaid is the middleman that facilitates the sharing of this banking data. Because it’s a private third party, this does mean that not every bank supports it.

Someone else should come in and explain in more detail, though.

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Hey there! If you’re not able to send a DM through the forums, message us in the app referencing the DM issue and we’ll try to work some magic! :sparkles:

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Hey Michael! Jason pretty much covered the basics in their reply, but yes, we use a third-party service called Plaid, which connects financial apps to banks that Plaid is integrated with through their API. To connect an account for most banks, Plaid will either:

  1. ask for your user login details for that bank, or
  2. redirect you to the other bank app to connect/authenticate instead of asking for login details.

This process is securely encrypted and used to connect to the other bank to pull the fancy details we need to show things like transaction details in the Monzo app. Hope that helps!

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If you tap the image of the person you want to message, it should pop up with an option to message in blue.

Edit: my apologies if the below is correct. :see_no_evil:

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You have to be a certain trust level, I think. So if you’re new then DMs won’t work :disappointed:

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What we would call “screen scraping” or “credential sharing”. You might remember this was previously used a bit before Open Banking APIs became standard in the UK.

Put simply, it involves a trustworthy third-party that specialises in integrations (screen scraping requires a lot of maintenance as it involves effectively logging in to online banking “as you” and downloading your transaction data, so the integration has to be updated every time the website changes) like Saltedge, Truelayer or, in this case, Plaid, securely storing your online banking credentials. They then present those credentials to the online banking login page at set intervals, download your transactions and pass the data on to Monzo.

This is needed because there aren’t APIs in the USA, and works because there is no equivalent to SCA forcing two-factor authentication on every login.

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Not quite right!

While there’s no regulation and a standard API schema like we have in the UK/EU, the US market seems to be moving that direction anyway…

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Interesting, I knew there were no regulations so I assumed that banks hadn’t bothered to make them available as a result. Sorry @SouthseaOne for giving incorrect information!

That’s actually a very welcome development.

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Thanks all

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Is Monzo USA on the Plaid Exchange yet?