Access to Money via ATM

Has anyone ever been refused access to their money?

I’ve been trying to withdraw some money and I’m being told I’m not allowed to until they approve what I’m looking to spend it on, and send them a selfie to prove its me trying to withdraw the money, despite me having just logged in with my fingerprints.

It all seems quite odd to me, and I’ve never come across this any other banks. I’ve gotten around it by transferring the money to an old account with another bank and then withdrawing from there but I don’t want to have to do this or have to get approval to spend my money everytime I want to use an ATM.

Are you trying to take out more than your daily limit?

The procedure you’re describing sounds like what they ask to raise your limits

I am and I informed them two days ago and they said it was fine but today they are telling me they need to approve what I’m spending it on and to send them a photo.

Yeah you need to get it raised on the day or the day before and provide that info. I think they ask why you need it to make sure you’re not falling for any scams

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That simply means the fingerprint stored on the device was the same one used. It doesn’t mean it is you. I could have recorded my fingerprint on your device and logged in to Monzo, that shouldn’t mean I should be allowed to change limits.

Also, it’s not mandatory to use a fingerprint to log into Monzo, because by default the app remains logged in.

I’ve already told them though and had it approved. They’re not concerned enough to stop me transferring it to another account, and I’ve proven who I am by logging in with my fingerprints, surely?

I suppose that makes some sense. Mine doesn’t stay logged in though. It logs me out as soon as I come out of the app.

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Logging you out means you need to get a magic link to log back in. If you have to use a fingerprint you are not logged out.

Well, to me having to use my fingerprints to get onto the app is logging in.

Transferring it leaves a trail, cash doesn’t

All banks have limits, this is just the way Monzo do it since they don’t have passwords etc for telephone banking

You’ve saved yourself a few £’s by transferring it as you’d have probably been over the free limit and had a % charge to pay

It would have been a free withdrawal as per the terms of the account. I’m just annoyed because they said it was OK and then changed their minds and wanted to know what I’m spending my money on.

But it isn’t how Monzo define it, as described above.

To actually log into the app you need the original email and access to it.

The whole thing seems a bit weird to me

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Most banks do this. Google it. You’ll see forum after forum with the same question being asked.

You’re right, Monzo doesn’t care about that, as it’s gone to an account in your name. It’s the other bank’s problem now.

Banks all perform due diligence, to ensure you’re not being scammed, and to make sure they’re not complicit in you committing any criminal activity. Once you’ve satisfied these points, the bank will give you your money, and you could set fire to it for all they care.

Why do you need so much cash in covid times anyway

To be fair it’s no one’s business on here as to why someones drawing out cash from an ATM regardless of the amount.

Monzo have limits, not sure what’s gone on in-between them saying yes and increasing it and then taking it back. If they’ve agreed it and then changed their minds I guess you can file a complaint with them to see what the outcome is.


The other option is a misunderstanding over the timing of the limit change, I guess.

The way fingerprint authentication works on mobile phones does not disclose to the app why it was successful or failed.

Normally it is a token encrypted and stored securely which can be released when device & biometrics match. So the app sees that physical device authentication permitted access. They don’t know if it was you, if it was your left index finger, or if it was face recognition, and if you were awake at the time, etc. The details of your fingerprint are never transmitted.

Biometric login must never be treated as identification (proof of who you are), but rather authentication only (proof of access). Because everyone can have multiple accounts with a given provider. Thus when an action requires to reconfirm identity, a mere fingerprint login is meaningless - as it simply says “the device that has once upon a time established identity, has hardware configured to allow access” which does not reconfirm identity.

The two concepts are closely linked together. But they are not interchangeable. From security policy point of view the actions that Monzo took are there to protect you. Even if the experience of these measures can be perceived as redundant.


Your facts are moot because the person you’re explaining this to chooses to believe something which is incorrect.

Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense. Certainly not a moot point.

I suppose the real issue then is why I was told it was allowed one day then not two days later.

Only Monzo can tell you that. My guess is that someone made an error. It happens. I think I might have been wrong once.