ATM thinks card is foreign

(Dave) #1

I don’t know if this is because I have one of the beta current account cards, but when I use an ATM machine I get a different set of prompts to my other accounts. It seems to recognise the card / account as foreign and asks which language I’d like and warns me about fees etc. I rarely withdraw cash but its happened on all the machines I’ve used. My other debit cards just let me enter the PIN and away I go.

Do you know whats causing this and is it going to be resolved?

(Andre Borie) #2

I believe that’s how UK ATMs work for cards outside of the LINK scheme. Most UK cards use LINK (instead of MasterCard) for ATMs and so any card that doesn’t have LINK is assumed to be foreign and the ATM displays the usual warnings about charges.

There’s not much Monzo can do, let’s just hope more cards will be issues without LINK as to pressure ATM operators in updating what signals/heuristics they use to detect foreign cards (as far as I know there is no foolproof way at the moment, so it’s always going to involve some heuristics or guesswork).

(Kevyn) #3

TSB are about to become the biggest MasterCard Debit card issuer in the UK this year. Therefore these niggles with companies/ATM’s and MasterCard Debit will start being ironed out a lot faster because the big(ish) bank will be coming up to the table and complaining too.

Then again TSB are a member of the LINK scheme. The better question might be, when will Monzo be joining LINK :grin:?

(Andre Borie) #4

I hope not. LINK is a relic of the past.

(Allie) #5

I doubt it, it’ll almost certainly be a dual Mastercard/LINK card like Metro Bank issues.

(Kevyn) #6

LINK is the biggest ATM network in the UK and there are still ATM’s you can’t use with Monzo and other issues like the OP states. Nothing wrong with backwards compatibility in my books!

This is what I meant. Not a LINK only debit card, that would be silly and I don’t think any bank offers that (maybe with savings accounts but thats digressing). A MasterCard Debit with ability to use the LINK network. I’m sure that’s how my VISA card works with my legacy bank.

(Allie) #7

I was referring to the fact you said TSB will have these issues, but they won’t - since the ATM will select the LINK AID, not the Mastercard AID.

(Andre Borie) #8

LINK is the biggest ATM network in the UK and there are still ATM’s you can’t use with Monzo and other issues like the OP states. Nothing wrong with backwards compatibility in my books!

The issue is that this “backwards compatibility” is what keeps LINK in business when there’s no practical reason for them to exist - ATMs can work just fine over the MasterCard network.

(Allie) #9

I think it’s more than that… LINK essentially subsidises free ATMs. In other countries almost all ATMs charge fees.

I have mixed feelings about this. The future should be cash free. For now, purchase with cashback transactions are better for all parties than ATM use (including, ultimately, the consumer in lower fees).


I couldn’t disagree more! While I use card payments wherever I can (and actively choose merchants who accept card payments over those that don’t if I have the option) I would not want to loose cash. Cash is still an anonymous payment method, and although I do not participate (or wish to ever participate) in any illegal/shady activities I do hope that I will have the option for anonymous money throughout my life time, and there are some things were I’d rather want to be tracked (An example: The Church I attend is independent and quite small. If I donate money by card everyone will know it’s from me, and I don’t want that. Thus I donate cash.)


Starling Bank have been working with MasterCard to address the issue where you see a message displayed on ATM’s alerting you to the fact that the issuer may charge you. There is a program in place where MasterCard are requesting that the acquirers remove this message for selected BIN ranges (the first 4 digits on your card number) on the grounds of being fair to all issuers. Starling have now heard that their BIN ranges will be updated in a wave starting in February 2018. I wondered what Monzo have done with MasterCard on this, and if they know what wave if any they will be included in.

(Hugh Wells) #12

I know we have in the past reached out to specific providers to ask them to updated their BIN tables but the person who would be best placed to answer this is currently on a well deserved vacation :slight_smile:


thanks for your speedy comment Hugh

(Hugh Wells) #14

I have been and asked, and our BIN ranges should be updated in the Mastercard January wave. When exactly this happens I don’t know, and when these changes actually get rolled out is another matter :slight_smile:


thanks Hugh for your reply