Virtual 'Savings' Accounts


(Richard Fryer) #139

I think that there are many use cases for virtual accounts, and it might be a bad idea for Monzo to be opinionated by baking one or more of them into the app.

For my own purposes, I’d really like to be able to do long-term “envelope budgeting”, putting aside so much a month for holidays, so much for car servicing, so much for buying a new car in 3 years time, etc. I’d like these ringfenced to the point that it’s very clear how much is in each pot, and such that the money is not available to spend until I choose to transfer it into the “general spending” pot. I think that this level of tracking/policing needs to be built into the account.

However, on top of that, there’s loads of potentially complex rules about where my salary goes. How much goes into each pot, and is it done automatically? What happens if there isn’t enough one month? Or there’s an excess? Is this the kind of thoughtful budgeting that I’d rather be using my PC for, rather than a smartphone?

Maybe the right structure is for the account to provide sub accounts to enable the ringfencing, functionality, then allow applications using the Monzo API to apply “smarts” on top of that?


(Audrey) #140

Thanks @RichF, this is really interesting!

What if you were able to automatically put money aside into virtual buckets for each savings category after payday and then simply had a spending limit for the rest? That way you would know how close you are to spending what you’ve put aside (with a notification when you’ve reached 80% of your spending limit for example) and you would have the flexibility of choosing whether or not to spend further without having to worry about using your overdraft.


(Richard Fryer) #141

I’m trying to separate the “automatically put money aside into virtual buckets” from the rest of what you are talking about. I think an implementation for “the rest” is fairly straightforward to imagine ; virtual accounts, warnings when they are getting low or going down too fast, not incurring penalties when one virtual account is “overdrawn” but the entire account is in credit.

The “automatically put money aside into virtual buckets” is less straightforward. I’ve got a set of rules for my budgetting that takes into account a whole bunch of complications, including maintaining a shared the budget with my wife, coping with her salary being sporadic, handling buckets that are saving up for a specific event vs those that are just smoothing out more intermittent expenses, etc, etc. I’d be surprised if Monzo (or anyone else) came up with a single process for automation that would fit my requirements - but I could image people coming up with tools using the Monzo API that I could assemble into a useful process.

An example might be how to handle sporadic salary. My solution is to have a buffer account with a max value. Every month, if I’m short on income to fund my other requirements, I’ll dip into the buffer. If I’ve got more income than I need to fund my requirements, then the first action is to top the buffer up to it’s max value. I can imagine this as a discrete bit of function that someone might make available as part of a smorgasbord of budgeting tools.


(Alex Sherwood) #142

I totally agree that there’s some rules that it wouldn’t make sense for Monzo to build into the app as standard because most users wouldn’t need them.

As you say developers will hopefully be able to use the API for this but hopefully this functionality can also be made accessible to ‘normal’ users too, through IFTTT & / or Zapier.


#143

I believe ‘egg’ bank used a similar technique, namely a virtual credit card number for use online. Each time I needed to use a card I would access the ‘egg’ site and get a virtual one-off card number. Each one was a once only use and if obtained by hackers could not be used.
This was really useful and gave me a secure feeling when buying online.
With respect to being able to ‘file’ funds to sub-folders, I think it is a useful option.


(Alex Sherwood) #144

It looks like virtual cards are on their way, after the current accounts launch :crossed_fingers:

Click the :arrow_down_small: in the top right hand corner of the quote to view the full post.

I’d be interested to hear more about what you have in mind there, how would you use the ‘sub-folders’?


#145

I was thinking of a simple filing system for allocating funds under a series of labels. E.g. A single ‘savings’ folder could hold a series of sub-folders in which I could allocate individual sums. I might want a 'holiday folder with sub-folders such as a ‘currency’ folder, for holding funds that I want to use to buy cash (nitwithstanding the wonders of Monzo for travel, one needs some cash); ‘holiday charges’ for paying the travel costs; ‘misc’ for other holiday funds.
It’s no more complex than any standard nominal account table where say the 9000 series is for journal entries and the digital system allows for sub-divisions of the sums, so 9100 might have 9110, 9120 etc. Instead of numbers, users could allocate names.
There may have to be limits on the number of levels and sub-folders (or sub-sub-folders,) but I hope that elucidates the idea.


(Alex Sherwood) #146

That sounds a bit like this :smiley:

would that work for you?


#147

I like the idea of integrating with other providers but would still like to see a Monzo savings account, or second account, or even a Monzo virtual account into which i could ‘hide’ some assets, as you put it.
The best solution from my point of view would be to have a simple savings account for hiding such money, with the sub-folders for labelling such money.


(Dafydd Thomas) #148

For me all of these options are great :smiley:


(Phil Turner) #149

Expanding on this idea, what if there was a feature where on a transaction basis, you were able to automatically save your change, with the user setting certain thresholds.

For example, transactions under £5, it would simply round up to the nearest £ and put the change difference from that to the transaction amount into a virtual account for you. A £1.32 sale, would put £0.67 in your savings account, meaning your balance reduced by £2

The user could then set thresholds for example, to round up to the nearest £1, £5, or even £10 subject to their saving goals.

I guess conceptually I’m trying to virtually create the moment you dump all your cash change into a saving jar.


(Alex Sherwood) #150

That’s definitely a cool idea, there’s been some more discussion about that type of functionality here too -


#151

And put the missing penny into my account like Richard Pryor in Superman III and it won’t be long before I could buy a Ferrari :sunglasses:


(David) #152

I know this idea has received traction at Monzo Towers, which I pleased about. I’ve just had my salary paid into my current account and I’m already antzy that my rent money (which gets paid 22 days after my pay cheque) is just swashing around with my other money. I do trust myself not to splurge on a new toy with my rent money, but in my minds eye,I’ve already spent that cash so I don’t want it available in my balance. I will probably transfer the money to a legacy bank account for a while, which not ideal.


#153

This might help in future;


(Colin Robinson) #154

Answered by @alisufyan


#155

I signed up to the forum just now specifically to ask for this. My friends also agreed it would be a great idea.

They mentioned it would be great for saving for things such as holidays - being able to set money aside.

I personally want it for tax reasons. I’m self employed and fill out a tax assessment at the end of the year, at which point I’m told how much tax I owe. I’d love to be able to easily stick 20% of any of my job earnings into a virtual pot so I know that it’s not for me to spend, and will go to the tax man at the end of the year.

I feel Monzo is successful because of it’s vastly superior app, so this feels like a “must have” feature as it seems like it’d be quite simple to do! Though I was a bit sad to see that this thread started in Jan 2016 - almost 2018 now and this feature isn’t in yet?!


(MikeF) #156

Pots were introduced last Monday on iOS and will be appearing at the start of next week on Android.

These operate as a stand-alone means of segregating funds but will also form the basis (from a UI standpoint) of any future third party savings account integration.


#157

Well then… I retract my earlier statement. :grinning:


#158

Not sure I would put a years worth of to be paid tax in a pot when you could earn something off it in another type of account